From August 31st to September 4th, 37 global participants logged on to take part in Waterhackweek (WHW) 2020. With the hackweek originally scheduled to take place in person in March, the organizers experienced the challenge of extending their efforts to recruit a new set of participants and experiment with ways of moving the collaborative event completely online. The hackweek was run using several platforms that included Zoom, Sched, HydroShare, GoogleDocs, and Slack. WHW was also the first of hackweeks hosted in partnership with the eScience Institute to use the platform Qiqochat, a wrapper around Zoom meetings that participants moved freely in and out of. To help with the challenge of juggling several tools at once, several orientation sessions were held prior to the event to get participants acquainted with the hackweek tools and structure. The experience ended on an overall positive note with six group project presentations and shared laughs at the quirks of making the collaborative event work online in the current unusual circumstances.
Several participants in the WaterHackWeek 2020 program share their experiences and feedback below.
Dr. Santosh S. Palmate
This Waterhackweek 2020 is my first event, which was virtually organized. The event was more than I expected, with insights into Python programming. It is helpful to effectively work on available time-series data for solving the water-related problems. Mainly, the sessions of the Waterhackweek 2020 are helping me to work using open-source tools, online platforms like HydroShare, GitHub and JupyterNotebook, and access and analyze the data using Python. In short, the Waterhackweek event helped support my developing research career in the water sector.
The involved team project pushed me towards collaborative work, and it really helped complete my research task within time. The Waterhackweek team members are very helpful supporting us during and after the program for any queries and water research problems. I really encourage early career researchers to participate in Waterhackweek. I hope I can participate again with new global water problems to solve in the future!
Waterhackweek is a platform to push yourself to think about and work efficiently on different aspects of water for solving contemporary problems and securing the future of water.
During Waterhackweek, I have learned how to use Python to process climate and hydrologic data in these hands-on tutorials and then apply it immediately to a group project. With these new skills I will work more efficiently, and share code and data more smoothly with collaborators in my future research. I enjoyed the group work; we learned from each other and helped each other with their specialties. It is the first time that Waterhackweek goes online; the organizers have done a great job teaching us more skills and making everyone involved. I appreciate the organizers’ effort and wish Waterhackweek keep helping more people in the coming years.