Data Hackathon evolves to accelerate change

“Problem solvers” (also referred to as “hackers”) and “problem owners,” met together virtually and in person at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., March 14-18 for the Air Force Test Center’s second Data Hackathon Event. Participants from a multitude of career fields across AFTC, the 412th Test Wing at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., the 96th Test Wing at Eglin AFB, Fla., and Arnold Engineering Development Complex, Tenn., combined efforts to tackle complex sourced problems with open-source and Air Force provided tools.

The Hackathon, organized by Capt. Troy Soileau, 96th Cyberspace Test Group Chief Data Officer, has seen one iteration of the event prior to this and is already showing substantial growth and evolution. The concept which initially started to see what data software a team could use to accelerate capabilities has gone from solving data problems singularly sponsored by the United States Air Force Test Pilot School into an efficient think-tank of problem solvers tackling issues sponsored by 7 units at once.

“This event is about raising the overall data competency baseline in the Center. We work with problem owners to convert an aspect of their mission into a scoped problem, we provide hackers access, awareness, and training to current cloud analytics tools, and we provide a space for the mission problems and the talent to solve them to meet,” said Soileau. “It doesn’t matter what level of data capability you or your unit is at- there is value in participating in this event.”

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