Photo Credit: Trailhead Boise

Alefort Beerposium and Hackfort2 Open Hack

Via Trailhead Boise blog post

Treefort Music Festival has evolved over the years into Boise’s most well attended eclectic event mix of all things creative. This year Trailhead was proud to be part of the kaleidoscope of energy by playing host to Alefort’s “Beerposium” and Hackfort’s “Open Hack” social.

New to the Alefort lineup was a panel discussion from leaders in Boise’s craft brewing industry with a focus on economic development and sustainability. The crowd mixed with homebrewers and brewery representatives, along with beer lovers and techies starting to arrive for the open hack set for later in the evening. Along with a few samples- an industry perk, the crowd enjoyed a free flow of dialogue and questions.

The beerposium wound down due to the increase in volume from the gathering crowd flowing in to support local children’s arts and performance institute, TRICA, and their Kidfort Roadshow. Kids ages 8-10 entered Trailhead to throw down a flashmob-style 80’s new wave performance complete with their very own DJ, Popsicle!

Once the melee of the roadshow died down, another keg was rolled in and a stack of pizza boxes opened. Hackers and techies grabbed a beverage, a slice of pie and their free Hackfort2 shirt to settle in to one of the many tables scattered throughout the space. Some groups got right to work, others joined in friendly conversations with those around them.

With WiFi flowing (thank you, Cradlepoint and MetaGeek!) and the charging station easily accessible, it was time to get to work. Scott and Meredith from Portland sat near the back and were eager to share their project plans. Both came to the festival for the music, but Scott, a web designer by trade, was drawn to Hackfort and the open hack opportunity at Trailhead. Being new to town, they were using open data provided by the city of Boise to design a “points of interest” filtering site for other visitors to Boise who might be looking for things to do in a new city. They had designed a template and were working on populating the site with stats and info.

Across the room, a diverse group of hackers hailing from Utah, Portland, Coeur d’Alene and Boise were continuing work on their “Datefort” site, which they had initiated earlier at Hackfort2’s Hackathon. Like a “choose your own adventure” book, Datefort* compiled interests and randomly assigned date ideas for those looking for creative ways to woo their partner around the city of Boise. Their “date generating” site was already looking test worthy, and they talked excitedly about how fun the experience had been so far.

[*Update: Datefort ended up winning the Hackfort2 Hackathon contest!]

As the night went on, the pizza grew cold, but it didn’t seem to matter to the various hackers scattered around Trailhead’s various tables and couches. Groups intermingled and conversations continued far into the late evening hours. The entire evening beautifully executed Trailhead’s purpose in Boise’s entrepreneurial community: to be a hub for ideas, conversations, serendipitous meetings and potentially successful opportunities. There is no doubt that Hackfort3 will be even bigger and more improved next year and Trailhead looks forward to being part of the action again and again.