“Hack/reduce is a non-profit 501 c3 community space whose mission is to help Boston create the talent and technologies that will shape Boston’s future in a big data-driven economy,” read the organization’s Oct. 9 blog posting. “In addition to providing workshops and events to the community, hack/reduce will be making their big data cluster, data sets, and work space available, free of charge, to a select set of members.”
Resident hackers, tasked with working on “cool” projects related to Big Data, are given free access to workspace and resources during working hours; they also have to “give back” through teaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping out hack/reduce. Contributors (the other type of application) are “individuals who want to learn and collaborate with others on big data projects while helping build out the hack/reduce community.”
In addition to resident hackers and contributors, hack/reduce wants what it calls “Fellows,” or experts from the local “Big Data community” who can teach workshops and provide expertise “at industry-specific hackathons.”
A BostInno interview earlier this year with former Vertica CEO Chris Lynch, who assisted in hack/reduce’s founding and claimed the organization had been established in partnership with Microsoft, IBM, EMC, and the government of the State of Massachusetts. “Hack/Reduce will develop the necessary talent to create companies and jobs to shape the future in the Big Data driven economy,” he said. “After successfully establishing Hack/Reduce in Boston, we will take this concept across the nation and eventually the globe.”
A rising amount of data, he added, translates into an increased need for data experts to handle it all. “The laws of Supply and Demand should lead you to the obvious conclusion—those who understand the Big Data mega-trend and lead the initiative to store, process, analyze, and take action upon vast amounts of data will shape the future,” Lynch added. “The Big Data tsunami is upon us—like it or not; we will either transform these massive pools of data into actionable insights and improve the world or drown in the noise of false signals and indecision.”
That also means an opportunity, potentially, for any region that can supply enough data analysts and coders to handle all the data-related tasks for various industries, including health-care and finance. If hack/reduce succeeds in its quest, Boston could have the added capacity to meet more of those needs.
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