It’s been a busy month for “hacking” stuff in the Burlington area. First there was HackVT, then StoryhackVT and, most recently, the first Hack the Stacks at Fletcher Free Library in Burlington, put on by Code for BTV.

Code for BTV is Burlington’s Code for America Brigade — a group of developers, designers and project managers hacking for a cause (full disclosure: I’m a Code for BTV volunteer.) Brigades around the country work on open data and government projects, but so far Code for BTV has primarily undertaken projects for local nonprofits. The group’s first hackathon occurred on the National Day of Civic Hacking back in June, and volunteers have gathered for monthly meetups since. This was the first meetup at Fletcher Free Library, which has been spiffing up its tech bona fides of late; it’s also one of the sites where Burlingtonians can find gigabit-speed Internet, which has gotten a lot of press lately because of the BTV Ignite initiative.

Three hackathons in one month seems like a bit much, but they’ve all differed in interesting ways. HackVT focused on building apps, while StoryhackVT was about (you guessed it) stories. Hack the Stacks brought the focus back to apps, but unlike the first two, it was a non-competitive event (and it didn’t go overnight). In that collaborative spirit, about 30 participants worked with local nonprofits on their projects. Below is a list of apps that participants tinkered with at Hack the Stacks, some of which have been ongoing projects:

  • A paper-saving printing system, a statistics-tracking app and recommendations for a room reservation site for the hackathon’s hosts, Fletcher Free Library
  • Lakecraft, a mod of the game Minecraft based on the Lake Champlain basin
  • A new website and a music-venue database for Big Heavy World

Below are some photos from the event, all of them taken by Jim Lockridge, except for the “I Coded” stickers photo, taken by yours truly.

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger kicks off Hack the Stacks.


Volunteer hackers at work.


Left to right: Code for BTV co-captain Bradley Holt, Code for Raleigh captain Jason Hibbets, Code for BTV co-captain Jason Pelletier.


Code for America swag.