South African hackers, companies, and institutions have come together to host domestic Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) events in Pretoria and Cape Town on the weekend of 1–2 December 2012.
Cape Town’s RHoK event page said that it will confirm its venue at a later stage, though WhatsOn recently listed the event as happening at the Bandwidth Barn in Woodstock.
The Pretoria RHoK event, on the other hand, has already confirmed mLab Southern Africa at the Innovation Hub for its event.
Schalk Heunis, an organiser of the Pretoria RHoK event and founder of House4Hack, said that Random Hacks of Kindness is a bit different from other “hackathons” he’s been involved in.
The nature of RHoK means the spirit is less competitive, Heunis said, which makes it a friendlier event for less experienced hackers to participate in.
Heunis explained that RHoK events typically have a few problem “owners” that present challenges for hackers to choose from.
Owners include non-governmental organisations, with Heunis highlighting the African School for Excellence as a good example.
The African School for Excellence needs software to show Khan Academy videos on cheap Android tablets while allowing students to interact with them in some way. This is the type of problem hackers may sign up to solve at RHoK.
Hackers work on the challenge for the weekend (from 09:00 til late on Saturday and 09:00 to 16:00 on Sunday), and at the end of it they report back on the progress they’ve made.
Whatever is developed gets put in the Github under an open source license, Heunis said.
Software developers, subject matter experts, researchers, students, and anyone else interested in participating in Random Hacks of Kindness can register on the RHoK website for either the Pretoria or Cape Town events.