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2024 Taipei Spring Season Codefest: Programmers Congregate at Jiantan to Achieve New Milestone of Government Services

Organized by the Taipei City Government Department of Information Technology (DOIT), the “2024 Taipei Spring Season Codefest – City Dashboard Hackathon” took place at the Jiantan Youth Activity Center, attracting over 200 programmers from across the island. After nearly 30 hours of coding and programming actions, the competition entered its final stage in the afternoon of May 12. The theme of the spring season focused on Taipei City Dashboard as the foundation, allowing participants to use their imagination and creativity to challenge themselves within a given time. 

Information Technology Commissioner Chao Shih-lung went over the rules of the contest in detail and joined Commissioner Ho Ya-juan of the Department of Civil Servant Development to kick off the event. The Spring Season Codefest covered five subject areas, including “EOC Dashboard,” “Citizen Service Dashboard,” “Disaster Resilient City Dashboard,” “Traffic Safety Dashboard,” and “Climate Change Dashboard.” The teams each selected one of the topics and explored the website data.taipei for relevant open data to be included. After acquiring the information, the teams will analyze and identify key factors that have a significant impact upon citizens’ daily life and come up with an adequate presentation method by developing appropriate tools that can be configured into the city dashboard. Despite the highly challenging scenario, each participant was fully prepared ahead of time – by reviewing the online development instruction video and attending the workshop before showing up at the heated competition.

To ensure the top performance of team members under long hours of planning and development, the organizers have set up snack bars and lounge areas on site. In addition to providing food from nearby Shilin Night Market, Taipei City Foreign and Disabled Labor Office has arranged for visually-impaired masseurs to provide services to the contestants, allowing them to rest up before returning to their strenuous tasks. As for the snacks, in addition to endless supplies of treats and desserts, there are also self-serve popcorn and cotton candy machines to help contestants refresh and fill their stomachs before heading back to coding. 

A number of heavyweights from academia, government, and industries are serving as jury members of the hackathon. They include National Institute of Cyber Security Consultant Kiang Fin-jon and JavaScript.tw founder Wang Ching-hung (TonyQ). The jury listened to team presentations on the data and technologies employed in the respective projects and selected 13 teams to advance into the finals. The jury members of the finals comprised Director Huang Yen-nun of Research Center for Information Technology Innovation at Academia Sinica, New Taipei City Information Management Center Director Chen Fu-tien, CIO Michael Kung of Hon Hai Precision Industry Corporation, and Professor Huang Chung-yang from National Taiwan University’s Department of Electrical Engineering. Following the live demos by the finalists in the afternoon, the top three teams and honorable mention winners were selected. The works of these teams will be incorporated into the Taipei City Dashboard Open Sourcing project in the future, and their innovations will be disseminated across the world along with the open-source dashboard application.