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NCBI Hackathons: Community Driven User Centered Design of Software to Interface with Genomics Datasets

Friday, September 18, 2015 — Poster Session IV

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
FAES Terrace


  • BR Busby


After we established that genomics professionals from the community could build deployable software for genomic analysis in an educational hackathon setting, ( we wanted to go farther with implicitly user-centered software prototyping. Therefore we identified three general categories where available open-source software tools to interface with NCBI datasets were lacking, and set out to build deployable software prototypes, guided by members of the genomics community. The three categories we identified were RNA-seq, translational genomics, and education/democratization of access. We built seven teams of volunteers, two to three in each category, drawing on the previous experience of these individuals, as well as their motivations for attendance. Drawing from our experiences in the January 2015 hackathon, we understood that the major goal of attendees is to finish deployable software, and therefore we endeavored to enable August attendees to do so by breaking software production into smaller pieces, to enable attendees to work through them in three days and then asking three veteran hackathoners (who are experienced Genomics professionals) to help attendees stitch the work together, and write tests for the resultant software from the other two categories. The resultant software from NCBI hackathons is freely available under a creative commons license at

Category: Genetics and Genomics