HomeTech NewsHackathon for energy savers: Improving the ecological balance of open source projects

Hackathon for energy savers: Improving the ecological balance of open source projects

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On September 23, 2022, the Federal Environment Agency is organizing a hybrid programming competition. Resource-saving ideas for open source projects are wanted.


On September 23, at a hackathon, software teams and individual developers can develop ideas on how open source projects can save energy, both large and small. The Federal Environment Agency organizes the programming competition together with the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection (BMWK) in Berlin and hybrid. The tech community can participate on site in the Digital Hub start-up field or remotely, individually or in a team.

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The motto of the competition is to make the environmental impact of popular open source projects measurable and to reduce it. A project’s energy improvement is defined as changes to the code base that result in measurably lower energy consumption. For this purpose, identical tests are carried out before and after and the values ​​are compared (with unit tests, integration tests and function tests). The energy consumption when performing the build and test counts. It is not the tests, but the programs themselves that need to be optimized.

The participating teams can monitor their values ​​with a Gitlab instance. Prizes will be awarded to those who propose the most practical improvements. Behind this is the Sustainable Infrastructure Alliance, an association for sustainable infrastructure, and the framework is provided by the German Federal Government-funded project SoftAWERE, a group of several non-profit organizations.

The hackathon will take place on September 23, 2022 between 1 p.m. and 9 p.m., either in Berlin in the digital hub “Spielfeld” near Schlesisches Tor or virtually via zoom as a live stream. Anyone interested in participating can register with a team to improve a specific open source project or as an individual. A team building process should take place at the beginning of the event so that nobody goes through the competition alone.

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Doors on site open at 12:30pm for the welcome round and arrival. At 1:00 p.m. there will be a kickoff for sharing knowledge, for short presentations of the tools and for planning the day. From 2:00 p.m. the teams are formed and there is lunch. The actual coding, testing and improving runs from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. From 6 p.m. the teams will present their contributions and receive feedback from the jury of independent experts in energy-efficient software engineering. The day concludes with a closing ceremony where the winners are announced and prizes awarded. Winners can take their cash prize home with them or donate it to a charitable organization. The event officially ends at 9 p.m.

According to the organizers, the requirements for participation are a laptop, charger and enthusiasm – everything else will be taken care of. On the field there are workspaces for teams, power points, internet access, remote test systems to measure the energy consumption of software, food, refreshments and like-minded people – at least for those who participate locally in Berlin.

All further information on the event as well as on registration and possible arrival can be found on the Hackathon website. There you will also find information about the jury, the hosts and sponsors of the event.

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