Chi Hack Night is a free, weekly event that takes place in Chicago to build, share and learn about tools to create, support and serve the public good. Their mission is to improve and promote civic engagement and technology. It takes place on every Tuesday night from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Merchandise Mart, Braintree Facility.
It has been an ongoing event for more than three and a half years now and has brought together significant changes. It usually starts off with everyone having food and non-alcoholic beverages on the house. There is a three word introduction and beginners are welcome. People of all age groups are usually present, and it is a very fun environment to be in. It requires an RSVP before 12 p.m. of that Tuesday and walk-ins are generally not allowed.
There is an agenda for the week, and the one I attended was on January 15 — Tech Month Chicago for the awareness for the city of Chicago. It was presented by founder of the Tech Month, Melinda Adcock.
She discussed the first three years of learning, development, successes, and failures of this maturing civic concept. Her goal in giving this talk was to get feedback and ideas from the community at large and start a regular breakout group at Chi Hack Night to involve the civic tech and hacking community and work on organizing the awareness month together.
After the 30 minute presentation, the crowd broke out into multiple groups. As a Fresher, I started with the Chi Hack Night: Civic Tech 101 Breakout group and was able to meet a wide variety of developers, artists, hackers, and people interested in learning and building awareness. There are basically two main categories of group one — Learning Group and another Working Group. If you're interested in helping build a product then there are a wide variety of groups you can help out with. Otherwise stick to learning in topics such as Blockchain technologies and Data Science.
If you have a Tuesday evening free, this is a must-visit, especially if you're a student studying in the field of technology. Don’t forget to RSVP and check next week's agenda!