GCC hackathons

Find out what you need to know about this year’s hackathons.

Coding Hackathon information
Data Wrangling Hackathon information

About the hackathons

GCC2016 events will start Saturday morning, June 25, with the 3rd Annual GCC Coding Hackathon, and 2nd Annual Data Wrangling Hackathon/Datathon. The Coding Hackathon will focus on extending Galaxy’s functionality, tool set, and interaction with other resources. The Data Wrangling Hackathon/Datathon will bring researchers together to tackle challenging integration and analysis issues using Galaxy.

The hackathons will be held in the Herman B Wells Library on the Indiana University campus. Both hackathons will be physically close to each other to facilitate interaction amongst participants and to share breaks together.

What is a hackathon?

Hackathons are driven by the people who attend them. Participants propose and coalesce around a set of core goals and projects beforehand, or early on the first day, and then spend the rest of their time working together towards those goals. It’s an intense event at which people with different backgrounds and skills collaborate hands on and face to face to create deliverables that are useful to the community as a whole. Hackathons gather people in a room, where they can focus on the task at hand, free of distractions.


Hackathons are self-organizing events; any attempt to impose something as detailed as an agenda we encourage you to meet with resistance and humor. With that in mind, our schedule provides the absolute minimum amount of structure needed to ensure that something actually gets done.

The hackathons are “officially” scheduled for two days, starting on Saturday, June 25. (Note that the second day overlaps with the first day of training.) However, we put “official” in quotes because we encourage activity to continue throughout the conference and afterwards as well. If you have experience with hackathons, you will know that follow-up is key. The project will do all it can to support follow-up efforts. We very much want to make sure that the efforts from each hackathon make it into the wild. In particular, this applies to those involved in projects that aim at a publication to work together to finalize it.

The ideal is for all of the efforts from both GCC2016 hackathons to make it into the Galaxy codebase, with downstream tutorials demonstrating best practice analysis models as an additional potential result for those interested.

Minimum amount of structure


One challenge with hackathons is getting things done in the short amount of time during the event itself. To optimize productivity, we’ll use GitHub to track ideas and progress. This helps organize both ideas and people into concrete projects and teams. The hackathon organizers will be active contributors, both to seed ideas (add your own as well, please!) and offer commentary on proposed projects. We’ll use GitHub throughout the event to keep track of project status and changes.

Day 1: Saturday, June 25

Welcome and participant introductions. Participants will have a few minutes each to say who they are and what they’re interested in hacking on. We’ll have brief task proposals, followed by some Brownian motion and coalescing into groups of folks who want to work on similar things. The rest of the day will be filled with hacking, lunch, hacking, dinner, more hacking.

Day 2: Sunday, June 26

Hackathon activities continue. We’ll have project status updates in the morning, fill the day with hacking, and have one final gathering in the evening with plenty of time for showing off achievements. GCC2016 training starts today, and this marks the official end of the hackathon.

Days 3-5: Monday-Wednesday, June 27-29

The official hackathons are over, but we strongly encourage teams to continue working together throughout the remainder of GCC2016.

After GCC2016

Join us on IRC (irc.freenode.net, #galaxyproject) and keep on hacking! Not sure how to use IRC? See the GalaxyProject.org IRC Support wiki.


There are no registration costs for the hackathons. Why? Please thank the sponsors. Repeatedly. However, registration is still required to participate in the hackathons.

Participants will need to cover lodging and meal costs. We will do our best to keep free caffeine flowing throughout the events.


These hackathons are only possible through sponsorships. The hackathons are an ideal way to get your organization in front of two tightly focused groups of decision makers.  

Two levels of sponsorships are available: 

Peta sponsorships at $2,000 (includes a 1/4-page ad in the program)

Tera sponsorships at $1,000 (includes a 1/8-page ad in the program)

All sponsors are publicly thanked during the events and the sponsors’ logo and links will be displayed on the conference website. Hackathon sponsors are recognized in the conference program.

Sponsors are also encouraged to send participants to the hackathons.

Please contact the GCC2016 executive team if you are interested in sponsoring either or both hackathons.


Please use #usegalaxy as the Twitter hashtag for the Hackathon (and anything else related to GCC2016).