White House hosts open data hackathon

The White House held its first Open Data Day Hackathon last month where a team of civic hackers developed tools and applications for its online petition site “We the People.”

Twenty-one developers built applications based on the new “We the People” application programming interface, set to be made available to the public in its next release.

“By letting this group of smart people work with an early version of the API, by helping them come up with their own ideas and bring them to life, we found ways to make both We the People and its API better,” wrote White House Deputy Director of Online Platforms Peter Welsch on the White House blog.


According to Welsch, during the hackathon, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park spoke about the value of collaboration by invoking Joy’s Law. “No matter who you are,” he said, “you have to remember that most of the smartest people in the world work for somebody else.”

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