Developers’ Challenge

Announcement: Calling all Developers in the Digital Humanities!

Have you a cool new way to give Humanities researchers access to digital resources? Here is a chance to show the Digital Humanities community what you can do.

There will be a Developer’s Challenge as a part of the DH2010/THATCamp London this year. It will be an opportunity for you, as a developer of software in the Digital Humanities, to show off your ideas for new ways that digital humanities data can be exploited. The focus will be on a prototype application that breaks down barriers between humanities scholars and digital materials in new ways.

We are encouraging a few Humanities data providers to provide materials that you can exploit. A list of available datasets is available on the THATCamp London website. Information on how to access the datasets will also be made available on this page.

The winner will receive a piece of hardware that we think you might like. Also, of course, you will receive the glory of recognition from others in the Digital Humanities. The winning team and software will also be announced within the broader JISC developer community.

How you can take part in the Challenge
You will need to register as a participant for the Developer Challenge. Please email <> and <> to register your intention to participate in the Challenge; if you are not already registered on the THATCamp London site, please also include a brief biography, and a description of the area you would like to work on.

JISC, DH2010 conference organisers, CCH, CeRch, Digital Classicist.


  1. To take part in the Challenge you will need to use data from at least one of the recommended data providers, but you may combine that with data from other sources if you wish (but note the evaluation criteria below).
  2. Your prototype can be made up of code from anywhere as long as it is legally used: third party libraries, applications and web services. It need not be a fully polished application, but needs to have enough in it to show your idea clearly.
  3. It may be based on code you have already developed for something else. Participants must ensure that entries do not in any way infringe copyright or other intellectual property rights of any third party.
  4. The evaluation criteria for the competition will include: relevance to the question of enabling scholars to more effectively exploit digital data; coolness; usability; and plausibility for adoption by others.
  5. The winner must be willing to write brief documentation about the submission to aid others in building on the work. The documentation will publicised by the sponsors of the Challenge. The winner must also be willing to have their name and picture published by the sponsors.

How the Challenge will work:
The Developer’s Challenge is meant for participants in THATCamp London, but entering teams may also include developers who are not physically present in London (although we think you, as a developer, would find what goes on there interesting and useful, and there is no charge for the THATCamp). You can also submit an application to the Challenge without being present at DH2010, and if you win you will not need to attend the announcement at the DH2010 banquet (although we think that DH2010 is a good event for developers to attend too).

On the first day of THATCamp London (July 6th) you will be able to meet with some of the data providers. Find out more about their data then, and perhaps feed back to them new ideas about how changes in their material might make it more readily exploitable by applications such as yours.

On the evening of the penultimate day of the London DH2010 conference (before midnight UTC on July 9th) submit your prototype to the judges. The winner will be announced at the DH2010 conference banquet on the evening of July 10th, where many of the best minds in the Digital Humanities community will be in attendance.