GCC2015 Hackathon

There will be a Galaxy Coding Hackathon in Norwich immediately preceding – and in some part overlapping with – GCC2015. The Coding Hackathon will be held in conjunction with the Data Wrangling Hackathon, and we’re hoping for a little overlap for those interested in improving Galaxy from a user perspective.

There will be close interaction between both Hackathons, as some of the concepts developed by the Data Wranglers might require mad coding skillz. The venues of both GCC2015 Hackathons will be physically close to facilitate communication and coordination between participants. Furthermore, we will have food together.

What’s a Hackathon?

GCC2014 Hackathon

Hackathons are driven by the people that 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 towards those goals. It’s an intense event at which a group of developers with different backgrounds and skills collaborate hands-on and face-to-face to develop working code that is useful to the community as a whole. Hackathons gather people in a room where they can focus on coding, free of distractions that are inevitable when you are in your office.

Who Should Attend?

This event is for you if you:

  • are passionate about improving Galaxy and related projects
  • write code (and enjoy it!)
  • know or want to learn something about the Galaxy codebase
  • have an idea of something new you’d like to make happen
  • want to work with others to build things


Schedule? At a hackathon?

Hackathons are self-organising events and attempts to impose anything as detailed as an agenda should be met with resistance and humor. With that in mind, this schedule tries to provide the absolute minimum amount of structure needed to ensure that something actually gets done.

Both hackathons are “officially” scheduled for three days, starting on Saturday, 4 July. The last two “official” days overlap with the Training SunDay and Training Day. The exact location for the first two days is almost settled. It will have plenty of space (and outlets!) for individuals and groups to break off and work.

We keep putting official in quotes because our hope is that activity will continue throughout the conference and afterwards as well. If you have experience with hackathons you 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 this hackathon make it into the code.

Minimum Amount of Structure

Here’s a proposal for “the absolute minimum amount of structure needed to ensure that something actually gets done.”


One challenge with hackathons is getting things done in the short amount of time the event itself is going on. To help this along we’ll use a Trello board (GCC 2014 example, an updated board for GCC 2015 will be created prior to the event). This is to help organise both ideas and people into concrete projects and teams. The hackathon organisers will be active contributors to the board both to seed ideas (though, add your own as well, please!) and offer commentary on proposed projects. We’ll use Trello throughout the event to keep track of project status and changes, and as a way to transition completed projects and related documentation to the regular Galaxy or Cloudman development Trello boards for inclusion, so please do check out the board and contribute to it as soon as the GCC 2015 board is online.

Not familiar with Trello yet? Don’t worry, we’ll be posting additional help for getting started on this web site soon. If you wish to get involved early, visit the GalaxyProject.org Trello Support wiki and Trello’s Tour.

Day 0: Saturday, 4 July

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 1: Sunday, 5 July

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 what we’ve all achieved. Training Days start today with Training SunDay.

Day 2: Monday, 6 July

This is the second GCC 2015 Training Day. Conference meals start today. We aren’t yet sure if there will be one place for participants to meet or if teams will be distributed around the venue.

There is probably no formal hackathon schedule for today other than a single evening meeting at which everyone presents their work so far. During the day, teams will meet according to their own agreements and continue work.

Lastly, each team will send out their final pre-conference team report for that day, via email, before midnight.

Post-Hackathon: GCC2015

People are encouraged to continue work and meet during breaks and other unscheduled time.


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


There will likely be no registration cost for the hackathon. Why? Please thank the sponsors. Repeatedly.

Participants will need to cover their own lodging costs, and (most) of their own meal costs. We will do our best to keep caffeine flowing throughout the event. Details about lodging options will be included here soon.

The Johns Hopkins University Data Science Specialization Program offered on Coursera is the exclusive sponsor for both the GCC2015 Coding Hackathon and the Data Wrangling Hackathon.

This program includes a Genomic Data Science course covering

  • Basic computational, biological, and statistical skills for analyzing big genomic data
  • Foundational tools for successfully engaging in this rapidly changing field
  • How to go from unprocessed next generation sequencing data to meaningful biological results

and introduces Galaxy, Bioconductor, Python, command line, and many other tools.

The series of nine MOOCs are now open for enrollment and free to anyone.

Twitter Hashtag

Please use #usegalaxy as the Twitter hashtag for the Hackathon (and anything else related to GCC2015).

Is this part of GCC2015?

Yes, but there is a separate organising committee.