Whitecliffe College of Technology and Innovation

CPP student helps lead the way at Govhack 2017



September 2017

Computer Power Plus student Andrew Saunders (second from left in picture) took part in Govhack recently where his team won a Surface Pro for a ‘number 8 wire’ award for innovation.
Andrew is studying towards a Level 5 Diploma in Web Development and Design and found out about Govhack through the CPP Open Data course material.
Govhack is a weekend-long event that focuses on bringing together the power of open data with the aim of building a better democracy with an open Government.
As per the Govhack website, the main objective of the event is: “The best future available to us all is one that is strongly collaborative, where we choose to tap into skills and ideas across the whole of society to develop new ways, and to respond effectively to new challenges and opportunities.”
It is not about trying to hack the Government; it’s about working with Government data to collaborate and create a “hack”. The most common ones are web or mobile applications or visualisations.
People work together in small teams across a 46-hour period to create their concept.
Andrew takes up the story from here.
I was a bit concerned that being in my first year of study, the competition would require skills well beyond those I have acquired so far and that I would not be able to contribute at any significant level. A good friend, who works in the Health/IT industry, called me a few weeks back and said he had registered for the 2017 competition. He assured me that it was not all about in-depth hands-on coding and that the weekend would be worthwhile, irrespective of programming skill ... and he was right.
The two of us - plus another friend also studying web development - met on the Friday evening, and after a short chat about potential concepts, agreed to team up with three guys who had quite different skill sets to our own. The three of them currently work together in the health industry and within an hour or so we had a concept to work on.
GP Seek
Our idea: GPSeek - an app to guide both locals and overseas visitors through New Zealand’s healthcare system, helping them find the best medical services available. We used the GovHack data to get statistics on which countries people come from to visit New Zealand, how busy hospital emergency departments are and where facilities are located.
The teamwork was fantastic, aided by our spacious room, desk pod, whiteboards, Slack and Google Drive and a generous supply of complimentary candy! The hours were long and the deadline was challenging but it was an incredible opportunity to put the knowledge and skills gained from my studies into a real-world application, and to work with people already established in IT.
The organisers and hosts were second to none: Excellent food, venue, WiFi and we even walked away with spot prizes. We met many people from incredibly varied backgrounds and were exposed to new technologies, ideas and industry contacts.
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed it, and although we were pretty weary after a creative, high-energy weekend, I would definitely recommend it to any other students.
Check out Andrew and his team’s award-winning work here:

> Return to blog menu


Book a Free Career Consultation

Request Course Information