Anatomy of a Project

There are four simple requirements for your GovHack project:

  • That you register your team and fill our your project information on the Hackerspace,
  • That you submit a 3 minute video by the end of the competition,
  • That you make your project source code and assets available online under an open source software license, and
  • That you cite all the datasets that you use within your project.

It’s useful to bear in mind that the competition judges will be focused on the tangible outcomes of your project, so making your team page a snazzy and useful resource with information about your project, screenshots, your 3 minute video, and anything else that shows off how awesome your project is REALLY important 🙂

Register your project and team

Firstly, get one of your team to sign up and register your team on the Hackerspace. You should register your team and created your project by 5pm Saturday (local time), but you’re free to continue editing and improving it until the competition closes.

If you experience any issues with registering your team, or have any questions about what is required of you, seek out one of your friendly GovHack organisers and they’ll give you a hand.

Prepare your video

The second most important part of your project is the 3 minute video showing your hack in action that you’ll make to show off your project to the competition judges.

The preferred method is to use a screencast with a voice-over narration explaining your hack, why you created it, and what is being show in the video. Remember that the judging panel is viewing the videos in isolation and doesn’t necessarily have any context around your project.

You may mix in other elements with the screencast, such as footage demonstrating the issues your hack addresses, interviews, live action material and actors (read: team members and bribeable friends)! you’ve filmed, et cetera – but be aware that videos that don’t primarily focus on showing off the hack itself will not be as valued as ones that do.

You are encouraged to include your team name, event location, team members, and to talk about the data you have used and your data reuse story.

Check out the hacker toolkit for some assistance and instruction on how to make a compelling video. Remember: Your video should not take more than a few hours out of your weekend if you keep it simple

Storyboarding, screencasting, and editing

To help with storyboarding your video grab this huge pack of free storyboarding illustrations.

For screencasting check out software like OBS that will allow you to record demos of your application.

For mixing clips together VLC or LWKS may also be handy.

Videos should be uploaded to YouTube, Vimeo, et cetera.

And again, if you are unsure about what you need to do, or just need a bit of help with your video, hunt down one of your GovHack organisers and they’ll be happy to help.

Submit your project

The last tenet of GovHack is that you submit all of your source code and assets (data, documents, art assets, et cetera) and make it available under an open license (such as Creative Commons). Typically this will comprise the source code for a web or mobile application, but for other types of works (e.g. 3D printed jewellery) that can be your notes and evidence of your prototypes.

The key point to remember is that your source material needs to demonstrate to the competition judges that the end result was your own work, and that it is possible for another person, with the right knowledge and equipment, to replicate that work.

You’re free to submit your source materials in any fashion, but typically we find people like to use GitHub or BitBucket. Both of these services are free for open source projects and have user-friendly web and desktop applications to allow even novice users to create, submit, and edit their source material.