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Reno readies for world's biggest little hackathon

The world's biggest little city is about to get its code on.

By GovFresh · September 28, 2011

The world’s biggest little city is about to get its code on.

Set for October 15-16 at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts in Reno, Nev., Hack4Reno is a 24-hour civic hackathon organized by the Reno Collective and the City of Reno.

We asked organizers from the Reno Collective, Colin Loretz, Don Morrison and Chris Yoder, and City of Reno Web Manager Kristy Fifelski to share why they’re doing Hack4Reno and what’s in store before, during and after the event.

Who's behind Hack4Reno and who's it for?

Hack4Reno is a partnership with Reno Collective and the City of Reno to inspire developers, designers and entrepreneurs to build apps, websites or services that help the Reno community grow into a smarter, more engaged city. If you’ve ever wanted to build an app or a website, this is the perfect opportunity to do so while getting a lot of exposure and even win prizes!

What do you want to accomplish short- and long-term with Hack4Reno?

In the short-term, Hack4Reno will help local developers, designers and entrepreneurs to meet one another, learn about what other talent exists in the area and showcase the local talent. We have a wealth of resources in Reno and places like Tahoe, Sparks and Truckee all within 30 minutes but not everyone knows what resources exist or how to access them. The apps that get built at Hack4Reno will help make Reno a more connected place.

Long term, Hack4Reno is about education. We want people to understand what is happening around them in their community and we want them to see what kind of talent exists here. In doing so, we hope to retain and even attract new talent to the area through the creation of new businesses and opportunities around web technology, open government and entrepreneurship.

What are the the pre-hackathon events and why are they important?

We are hosting various Hack4Reno meetups and workshops leading up to the event so that we can prepare everyone for the 24 hour hackathon. This includes classes on various services and open source technologies that can cut the time and cost of development significantly. We see them as a kind of training regime, similar to how you’d train for a marathon. You can’t just show up to a marathon without any training and expect to run all 26.2 miles. These meetups also allow the participants to meet one another, form teams and learn more about open government, open data and learn more about why Hack4Reno is happening and why it is happening specifically in Reno.

How can people connect with Hack4Reno and get involved?

Everything can be found online at or you can follow updates on Twitter at @hack4reno. Thanks to our wonderful sponsors, we have made the event completely free for participants and we want to encourage developers and designers, even if they are from another city, to come out and build something with us!

Watch this video from the organizers:

[vimeo 29636230 w=500 h=281]

Photo: CityofReno