Calling All Hackers

The White House wants to produce production-ready apps available under an open source license.

The White House is inviting tech experts, developers and entrepreneurs to come together for some civic hacking on June 1.

The second White House hackathon will bring together these tech experts to help produce full, production-ready apps and visualization tools that will be featured on the White House’s petition website We the People and made available under an open source license. 

The first hackathon in February included 21 participants who built apps and visualizations based on the new application programming interface, or API, for the We the People website. The White House development team used feedback from the hackathon to improve the API and is adding code from the hackathon projects to a software development kit, said Peter Welsh, deputy director of online platform for the Office of Digital Strategy, in a blog post on

“The most creative ideas, and the best solutions, often emerge when a diverse group comes together and each person contributes from their own unique perspective,” Welsh said. “We hope that hackers from all backgrounds, men and women, young and old, will apply.” 

The June 1 hackathon coincides with the “National Day of Civic Hacking,” an event that will take place June 1-2 in cities across the nation. The effort will bring together citizens, software developers and entrepreneurs to create, build and invent new tools using publicly-released data, code and technology to help solve societal challenges.

The application deadline for the hackathon is 5:00 p.m. on April 19. Those selected to participate will be notified by email and invited to the White House on June 1. Those unable to attend in person will be invited to a public repo on GitHub where they can collaborate with other participants and the White House development team, Welsh said.

To apply for the National Day of Civic Hacking, click here.