Hackweek Introduction


Welcome to the Waterhackweek hackweek! Hackweeks were originally designed by the University of Washington's eScience Institute, and they aim to provide a welcoming learning environment where you can learn new software tools, collaborate with colleagues, build community and make progress on specific projects. Our hackweek model is constantly evolving and we invite you actively participate as we experiment with new approaches and ideas.

This preliminary tutorial is one that we would like you to complete before arriving to the hackweek. The purpose is to learn about how we plan to work with various software tools and how you can best prepare for our event. We would like everyone works through this tutorial so that we can make the best use of our time together in person.

Presentations and tutorials

Waterhackweek 2020 presentation recordings are posted to the Waterhackweek 2020 Learning Resources HydroShare resource within a couple of hours. They are in turn posted to the Waterhackweek YouTube playlist afterwards, typically not the same day.



See here for access to all the tutorial materials this day.


What is the format of this event?

Here is a general roadmap of our event:

  • we begin the hackweek with a review of our code of conduct, and we build a set of guidelines for co-creating a positive and welcoming learning environment
  • each day will include some combination of tutorials, short presentations and/or open project time / hacking.
  • we will guide participants through the formation of groups early in the event
  • we'll check-in with project teams on a regular basis to find what's working and where challenges lie.
  • there will be opportunities for peer learning and open tutorials on topics of most interest to the group
  • participants will be invited to present their work at the end of the event

Will my laptop work for this hackathon?

All participants will be required to have their own laptop. The absolute minimum requirement is any laptop with a functioning web browser so that you can access our shared cloud computing resources. We will also teach you to install software on your own computer. For that we recommend the following:

  • Windows Vista or newer, MAC OS X 10.7+, or Linux (Ubuntu, RedHat and others; CentOS 5+)
  • 32-bit or 64-bit
  • Minimum 3 GB disk space to download and install software

If you do not have a laptop, please contact us and we might be able to loan you one during the event.

Will I need to learn a specific programming language to participate?

We welcome all participants regardless of their programming background. In order to teach our content in a consistent way we need to select one programming languge. We have chosen Python because it is free and open source, and has many libraries suitable for efficient manipulation of a variety of different types of data.

What can I do in advance to prepare?

We require all participants to work through the following lessons in advance of our event. The lessons are brief and will ensure that we are all set up and ready to work when we arrive.

Setting up your laptop and getting access to computing resources

How do I ask questions about the Hackweek?

If you have technical or general questions about the Hackweek, we are here to help. First, you can use the General channel on Slack. Second, we have Cyberseminars scheduled on specific days, for which you can find the schedule here.