Revision as of 08:39, 16 August 2014 by Schindelin (talk | contribs) (ImageJ hackathons: the Zurich hackathon was actually in 2008)

What is a hackathon?

In the context of ImageJ, a hackathon is a coding spree, or if you want, a one or two-week brainstorm session where scientists with programming skills sit together and work in a low-distraction, high-energy environment to advance the software side of their research. Typically, results get accomplished much faster (read: days instead of weeks or months) than without hackathons, because the setting is ideal to discuss advanced ideas with similar-thinking scientists and ideas can sprout much faster. Sometimes, results are achieved that would not have been possible without a hackathon at all.

{{#ev:youtube|ZDZvoJX3PDM|425|right|The "hackathon effect" in effect!}}


First and foremost, hackathons are fun. The participants like what they are working on, and rarely have the same opportunities to talk to and inspire each other about their ongoing research.

Also, hackathons are the perfect excuse to concentrate on a particular subject without distractions. A lot gets done at a hackathon (see right!).

Origin of the term hackathon

The term comes from the original meaning of hack, i.e. a clever and unforeseen way to use or improve a technical system.

It is not clear whether Sun's marketing team or OpenBSD were first, combining the words hack and marathon to form hackathon.

Ever since, OpenBSD held annual hackathons during which OpenBSD was improved in leaps and bounds.

In 2007, the first hackathon revolving around neuro-science was taking place at Janelia Farm. In a sense, it can be seen as the first Fiji hackathon, since Fiji was born in the wake of that hackathon, and probably would not have happened without it.

ImageJ hackathons

ImageJ has benefitted from many hackathons over the years:

ImageJ Hackathons
When Where Who Topic
2007 Janelia Farm
Ashburn, VA, USA
Albert Cardona, Arnim Jenett, Benjamin Schmid, Gregory Jefferis, Hanchuan Peng, Johannes Schindelin, Julie Simpson, Mark Longair, Stephan Preibisch, Stephan Saalfeld, Torsten Rohlfing, Wayne Rasband and Yuriy Mishchenko, see also HHMI Bulletin November 2007 Neuroscience
2008 Apr 21 -
2008 Apr 30
Dresden, Germany
Albert Cardona, Benjamin Schmid, Cornelius Sicker, Daniel James White, Erwin Frise, Jean-Yves Tinevez, Johannes Schindelin, Mark Longair, Pavel Tomancak, Stephan Preibisch and Stephan Saalfeld Fiji
2008 Dec 8-13 INI
Zürich, Switzerland
- Fiji
2009 Mar 23 -
2009 Apr 03
Dresden, Germany
Some! Segmentation
2010 Mar 14 -
2010 Mar 27
Heidelberg, Germany
Many! Fiji
2011 Jan 27 -
2011 Feb 13
Madison, WI, USA
25 developers Multidimensional visualization
2011 Dec 9 -
2011 Dec 19
Dresden, Germany
25 developers Interoperability
2012 Oct Universität Konstanz
Konstanz, Germany
hornm, dietzc,

tpietzsch, dscho

2013 Jan 22 -
2013 Jan 25
Madison, WI, USA
thewtex, ctrueden,

dscho, hinerm

SCIFIO ImageIO plugin
2013 Apr 14 -
2013 Apr 18
Madison, WI, USA
iarganda, dscho, ctrueden Trainable Weka Segmentation
2013 Apr 27 -
2013 May 3
Madison, WI, USA
StephanPreibisch, tpietzsch,

ctrueden, dscho

2013 Nov 14 -
2013 Nov 27
Madison, WI, USA
dietzc, dscho, ctrueden KNIME+ImageJ
2014 Mar 4 -
2014 Mar 13
Universität Konstanz
Konstanz, Germany
ctrueden, dscho,

dietzc, hornm

ImageJ OPS
2014 Mar 11 -
2014 Mar 13
Wiesbaden, Germany
joshmoore, ctrueden ImageJ-OMERO
2014 Mar 20 -
2014 Mar 21
Madison, WI, USA
jburel, pwalczysko, ctrueden ImageJ-OMERO
2014 Jul 7 -
2014 Jul 10
Madison, WI, USA
Mark Tsuchida, derakon, dscho,

stuyvenberg, ctrueden, hinerm

Micro-Manager and OpenSPIM

As you can see, in recent years ImageJ has trended toward smaller, more targeted hackathons, as we find them very focused!