becky's blog

National Priorities Project Creates A Better Budget Map

Jason Leveille wrote about his experience at Hack for Western Mass over on the National Priorities Project blog. Over the weekend, he and some teammates brainstormed about the best way for NPP to ditch Flash-based maps and provide better ways of displaying the local impact of federal spending. Jason also notes the he was a first-time civic hacker and is already looking forward to the next time around.


After several weeks of outreach, we’ve solicited a great collection of hackathon challenges from local organizations. They truly represent Western Massachusetts, and they show exactly why civic hacking has value beyond the big city.

Do I Have to be a Programmer?

When I tell people about Hack for Change, a common response is, “That sounds really cool, but I’m not a programmer!”

Think of a hackathon like a movie. Actors are only one part—you also need directors, producers, screenwriters, editors, production designers, costume designers, sound engineers, and art directors. Actors alone cannot make a movie, and programmers alone cannot make a hackathon.

So what are some of the non-technical roles on a hackathon project team?