Strange Loop

This Cruise Ship can Fly: Bringing Hackathons to the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Hackathons have grown in popularity, and more companies and enterprise-level non-profits are getting involved. This talk is drawn from my experience as an organizer at the Philadelphia Museum of Art- the good, the bad, and the amazing. It provides information and steps for those organizing large, multi-day events. In 2015 I was asked to be one of the organizers for the Philadelphia Museum of Art's first hackathon. Little did I know what the next 24 months would bring. From our first, traditional weekend hackathon in 2016, to an extended-format, month-long VR/AR game design hackathon in 2017, this talk focuses on how we did it. Larger, older institutions can have specific challenges and strengths. The Museum has over 500 employees and I was the only staff member who had participated in a hackathon. I interviewed hackathon organizers, acted as a geek translator in meetings to advocate for what this event would need, and learned so much throughout the process. I imagine I'm not the only person who would like to do innovative, interesting, large projects at their established, (perhaps more old-school) company. It can be done, but it's not always easy. In this talk I'll share what happened, what I learned, and strategies you can use at your venerable institution.

Laura Webb

Laura Webb

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Laura works in Information and Interpretive Technologies at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. No day is the same, and some more memorable moments include Sylvester Stallone and the Secret Service. She's actively involved in the Philadelphia chapter of Girl Develop It and TechGirlz. When she's not at work or volunteering, Laura can be found installing Linux flavors, enjoying a latte, or running in Fairmount Park.