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September 24, 2013 > Alameda County holds ÔhackathonÕ

Alameda County holds ÔhackathonÕ

Submitted By Guy Ashley

Rethink AC, Alameda CountyÕs first-ever Internal Hackathon, was an overwhelming success as more than 100 County employees brought energy and imagination to the day-long event and delivered a long list of creative ideas to enhance customer service and improve County operations through collaboration, innovation and technology.

Eighteen employee teams came up with ideas for automate inefficient processes, reduce the CountyÕs carbon footprint or enhance customer service.ÊThe September 13 event culminated with the judgesÕ selection of the Best of the Best Award, which went to nine employees who collaborated on a mobile app concept that would provide information on community services and resources in many categories, including food, housing, child care and transportation.

Event judges selected winners in four categories: Innovation, Collaboration, Technology and Green.ÊÊ Notable entries included a mobile app and online calendar listing County events; and a project to place QR codes outside County buildings to help customers use smartphones to locate the services they need.

Though Rethink AC was the first Hackathon exclusively for County employees, it follows two highly successful events Ð Alameda County Apps Challenge 2012 and 2013 - in which members of the community were invited to tap into a trove of public County data to develop apps and other ideas to help Alameda County better serve residents.

Tim Dupuis, Alameda CountyÕs Interim Director of Information Technology, said Alameda County consulted several partners in private industry for their insights in holding successful employee Hackathons, a process he said helped tremendously in organizing an event that was both fun and productive.

County Administrator Susan S. Muranishi said Alameda County will continue to organize Hackathons and brainstorming sessions for the community and for employees to encourage bold thinking about ways Alameda County can be more efficient in its operations and more effective in the ways it serves residents.

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