API Hackday recap & preview – coming to a city near you


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Man, we’ve been on the road a lot lately, helping developers hack up a storm on the west coast… Read below for a recap of our recent API Hackday action and a forecast of upcoming fun!

API Hackday PDX – July 30

Following on the heels of OSCON, API Hackday made a stop in Portland, Oregon, to host some serious hackery. Portland is an incredible city with a tech startup scene that seems poised to ignite. Fortunately, they also have really good donuts, coffee, food trucks and beer. Mixing all of these things within the art-filled walls of the Urban Airship office, resulted in an instantly fun day of hanging out and slingin’ code.

12 teams showed off their hacks at the end of the day and competed for a number of prizes, including a grand prize of a $750 Apple gift card.

First place (and a grossly oversized Apple gift card) went to Brennan Novak and Oscar Godson for Planrrr – a tool for coordinating events across a variety of platforms, which integrated APIs from SendGrid, SimpleGeo, and Twilio. You can sign up for a beta invite now!

Jami Dwyer took the second place honors with Lookzi, which uses geolocation to aggregate a ton of different stuff that is local to your area, from news to Flickr photos to Groupon deals.

And third place went to Tantek Çelik and Erin Jo Richey for Visual Resume, which employs the LinkedIn API to pull in data and make it useful and interactive, not to mention its kick ass design and visualizations of career history and events from Lanyrd.

API Hackday LA – August 6

API Hackday LA brought us to Silicon Beach, the tech community in Santa Monica. There was a ton of energy packed into the awesome space provided by Coloft, and it didn’t take long for folks to team up and start hacking. After all, they were gunning for some cool prizes: an AR Parrot Drone, a Gameduino/Arduino hardware hacking package, a molecular gastronomy kit, and of course some SendGrid credit.

After hacking away for 10 hours, everyone voted on the eight projects that were presented to the group.

Jay Stakelon received rave reviews (and first place!) for his use Rdio and Echonest to create SoundClash, an app that generates playlists by asking the user to enter a preferred type of music and then picking their “winners” from a series of song-vs-song battles.

The runner up was Jorge Garifuna, who built GiveMeMoney, a platform that employed Twilio to enable submission and processing of donations over the phone.

Third place went to Brad Gilreath and his app GeoRadio, a mashup of SimpleGeo location data and Rdio that selects tunes based on the context of your location.

If this all sounds like nothing short of pure awesome, check out our upcoming events and join in the fun when we visit a city near you. In the next few months, we’ll be in Austin, Salt Lake City & Boulder, with a few more being planned in the midwest and on the east coast. To stay tuned in to all the API Hackday news, follow us on twitter and join our meetup group.

What’s that? We’re not yet planning a trip to your city? Drop us a line in the comments below, and we’ll see what we can do!

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As a Developer Evangelist for SendGrid, Brandon's focus is on empowering developers to build things, gathering feedback for new features and improvements, and fostering a cooperative developer community for anything that needs email integration.

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