Hack Event Survival Guide

I get to attend a lot of hack events as a Yahoo!  Developer Network Evangelist. These marathon coding sessions are a great opportunity to learn new skills, meet new people, and build something cool. I’ve seen some common problems and solutions appear at these events and this post will help those going to their first (or next) hack event.
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Preparing for the FCC

I’m heading to the FCC next week for a developer event.

On Monday, November 8, 2010, the Federal Communications Commission will sponsor an Open Developer Day event at FCC Headquarters in Washington, DC, to promote collaboration between Web developers in the public and private sectors, in furtherance of FCC goals to further innovation in accessible technologies and foster citizen participation in open government.

This will be a public, single-day event that prioritizes accessibility goals, though other Web solutions are also of interest. The event will feature guest engineers from the Yahoo! Developer Network and Yahoo!’s Accessibility team, and will have a component addressing the requirements and opportunities in the new Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act.

FCC Hosts Open Developer Day: Accessibility Innovation – Yahoo! Accessibility Lab

I’ve been playing with government data to make it ready for quick mashups. I threw a challenge to some other developers for creating a quick map mashup with a series of map points generated by a spreadsheet on Data.Gov. This is what Anthony Ettinger put together with Yahoo! Pipes:

It’s great to see how you can grab a spreadsheet from the government’s repository, convert it to CSV format, upload it to your server, and quickly parse that data for mashups. It would be easier if data.gov had the file in csv format instead of xls or zip. I could have saved the first few steps.

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