Hack the Galaxy

Hack the Galaxy @ GCC2017

Join us for Hack the Galaxy at GCC2017. This is a collaborative event that brings together both Galaxy Developers and Power Users to improve Galaxy, and hopefully learn a few things along the way!

Dev Hack

User Hack

Dev Hack @ GCC2017

What is a hackathon? 

Hackathons are driven by the people who attend them. Participants propose and coalesce around a set of core goals and projects beforehand, or early on the first day, and then spend the rest of their time working together towards those goals. It’s an intense event at which people with different backgrounds and skills collaborate hands on and face to face to create deliverables that are useful to the community as a whole. Hackathons gather people in a room, where they can focus on the task at hand, free of distractions.


Hackathons are self-organizing events; any attempt to impose something as detailed as an agenda we encourage you to meet with resistance and humor. With that in mind, our schedule provides the absolute minimum amount of structure needed to ensure that something actually gets done.

The hackathons are “officially” scheduled for two days, starting on Monday, June 26. (Note that the second day overlaps with the first day of training.) However, we put “official” in quotes because we encourage activity to continue throughout the conference and afterwards as well. If you have experience with hackathons, you will know that follow-up is key. The project will do all it can to support follow-up efforts. We very much want to make sure that the efforts from each hackathon make it into the wild. In particular, this applies to those involved in projects that aim at a publication to work together to finalize it.

The ideal is for all of the efforts from both GCC2017 hackathons to make it into the Galaxy codebase, with downstream tutorials demonstrating best practice analysis models as an additional potential result for those interested.

Minimum amount of structure


One challenge with hackathons is getting things done in the short amount of time during the event itself. To optimize productivity, we’ll use GitHub to track ideas and progress. This helps organize both ideas and people into concrete projects and teams. The hackathon organizers will be active contributors, both to seed ideas (add your own as well, please!) and offer commentary on proposed projects. We’ll use GitHub throughout the event to keep track of project status and changes.

Day 1: Monday, June 26

Welcome and participant introductions. Participants will have a few minutes each to say who they are and what they’re interested in hacking on. We’ll have brief task proposals, followed by some Brownian motion and coalescing into groups of folks who want to work on similar things. The rest of the day will be filled with hacking, lunch, hacking, dinner, more hacking.

Day 2: Tuesday, June 27

Hackathon activities continue. We’ll have project status updates in the morning, fill the day with hacking, and have one final gathering in the evening with plenty of time for showing off achievements. GCC2017 training starts today, and this marks the official end of the hackathon.

Days 3-5: Wednesday-Friday, June 28-30

The official hackathons are over, but we strongly encourage teams to continue working together throughout the remainder of GCC2017.

After GCC2017

Join us on IRC (irc.freenode.net, #galaxyproject) and keep on hacking! Not sure how to use IRC? See the GalaxyProject.org IRC Support wiki.

  • Anthony Bretaudeau, @abretaud
  • Julien Seiler, @julozi
  • Marius van den Beek, @mvdbeek
  • Björn Grüning, @bgruening
  • Dannon Baker, @dannon

User Hack @ GCC2017

We are inviting Galaxy users, tool and workflow developers, bioinformaticians, and scientists from all fields to join us for the 3rd Annual User Hack the Galaxy @ GCC2017!

Get registered



The main goal of the User Hack is to clarify and resolve issues with Galaxy usability from a user’s perspective. Participants will work on projects within a User Hack team or collaborate with participants of the Dev Hack to improve the way scientists use and learn Galaxy.

Other important goals are to bring the community of Galaxy scientific User Hackers together, along with the Dev Hackers, where all can have direct input on development initiatives, propose tool ideas and solutions, plus contribute expertise and practical content.


Participants are encouraged to become familiar with Galaxy before GCC and should review the latest Galaxy tutorials on interacting with the user interface and performing common operations. Participants should also create a free Github account and review basic GitHub utilities such as creating and commenting on issuesParticipants are strongly encouraged to post potential User Hack projects as issues on GitHub. Please contact the organizers if you have any questions about prerequisites. We can help you get ready!


The User Hack schedule is largely dictated by what participants want to do. Both the User and Dev Hack are officially scheduled for two days, Monday June 26th and Tuesday June 27th. The second day overlaps with the first day of training. User Hack organizers will support follow-up efforts to complete projects and publish work to the public code base and end-user resources.

Before the Hack: Prepare

To optimize productivity and collaboration during the User Hack, organizers have created a GitHub repository to track ideas and progress throughout the event. Participants are encouraged to post project ideas and updates in this hack repository’s "Issues" and "Projects" areas above, and everyone is encouraged to communicate through the Hack gitter channel.

Please contact the organizers if you have any questions about GitHub, gitter, or preparing for the User Hack. Organizers will also be offering short technical help sessions on these and other topics throughout the User Hack.

Day 1: Monday June 26th

The first day of the User Hack will start with introductions and discussions of potential projects. Participants will then organize into project teams, and at the end of the day participants will give short progress updates and discuss any issues.

Day 2: Tuesday, June 27th

The second day of the User Hack will focus on continuing project progress. At the end of day participants will give short project summaries and establish future collaborations and end goals.

After the Hack: GCC2017 and beyond

User and Dev Hack lightning talks will take place at the end of the last day at GCC2017. The User Hack GitHub repository and gitter channel will remain open to facilitate ongoing collaboration for Hack the Galaxy projects.

Suggested topics

Below are potential projects for the User Hack along with a suggested level of Galaxy expertise. This is a short list, so please add your own projects, too! How? Open an issue or propose a project here in Github to get the collaboration discussions started!

  • Implement and improve Galaxy tools, workflows, interactive environments, and visualizations. This project can be done in collaboration with participants of the Dev Hack. (beginner)
  • Improve and expand Galaxy training materials including: test datasets, workflows, interactive tours, and best practices. (beginner/intermediate)
  • Develop training and documentation for Galaxy Flavors. (advanced)

Who should attend

  • Galaxy power users and bioinformaticians with ideas about how to best construct start-to-end analyses and workflows
  • Galaxy users passionate about improving Galaxy’s usability in cooperation with developers
  • Students, postdocs, and researchers from any field who perform or want to perform large-scale data analyses
  • Everyone!


Please reach out to the the GCC2017 User Hack organizers should you have any questions or feedback about the event.


  • Frederik Coppens, @frederikcoppens
  • Mallory Freeberg, @malloryfreeberg
  • Yvan Le Bras, @yvanlebras
  • Stephanie Le Gras, @slegras
  • Mo Heydarian, @MoHeydarian
  • Jennifer Hillman-Jackson, @jennaj
  • Christian Schudoma, @cschu
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