SendGrid’s First In-House Mobile Hackathon


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By all accounts, the first ever SendGrid hosted hackathon was a fantastic success! Both for our team here at SendGrid and those who came to hack with us. As a result, we will definitely hold more hackathons here at our office in Anaheim, locally in Orange County and in other cities around the country.

Before I recap the event, I’d like to give thanks to some of the key people who helped make this hackathon a success. Penny, our office manager at SendGrid, was instrumental in making sure all of the logistics were in order, from initial planning to organizing our workspaces to the “unofficial” after party. Thanks to Tom, our former VP of Engineering for attending the entire event and helping with the final judging.

Special thanks goes out to our wonderful sponsors Heroku and IOGEAR who delighted hackathon winners with awesome prizes. And to all of the attendees, both SendGrid employees and visitors, who made this event fun, educational and entertaining.

Now, on to the good stuff …

After some preliminary networking, Jorge Garufina, President of LAMPSig, showed us how easy it can be to create native iOS and Android apps using programming knowledge we already have (HTML, Javascript and CSS).

Then, several attendees pitched interesting ideas, formed teams and started hacking for the next 6 hours. At the end, the following teams presented demos:

tvQ

Hacking away in the conference room.

Hackers

Tuffon Benavides
Vince Chan
Rahim Sonawalla

Summary

Take checking in to the next level. Using tvQ’s iPhone application, you can check into the TV shows you’re watching. But checking in wouldn’t be complete without rewards. Check into different shows to get prizes like coupons, VIP access and tickets to a filming of your favorite show!

Technology & APIs Used

They used Appcelerator for the iPhone app, the Rovi API for the media information, IMDB for the poster art and iTunes for title matching.

Money Tracker

Jorge could not help but to join in on the fun.

Hacker

Jorge Garifuna

Summary

Track income and expenses via SMS. Text what you spent or earned, and the program will return how much money you have left via SMS.

Technology & APIs Used

He used the PhoneGap platform for the Android development and Twilio to handle the text messaging.

Threads ToDo List

Some serious hackery going on.

Hackers

Eric Becking

Summary

A hierarchical todo list for the iPhone. Eric was able to create the framework of the todo list by creating a programatic task tree structure that allows for “infinite” nodes with parent tracking and task folding.

Technology & APIs Used

He uses the AppMobi platform for iOS development.

xFit

Showing off their cross fit app.

Hackers

Kyle Partridge
David Tomberlin

Summary

SendGrid’ers at the Anaheim office go to cross fit together every MWF, so naturally a mobile application for managing cross fit workouts was in order.

Technology & APIs Used

They used Ruby on Rails and Heroku to create a mobile web app.

Siri+

Showing off their Siri/SendGrid hack.

Hackers

Kien Pham
Angela Ong
Eddy Kim

Summary

Use Siri to check into Foursquare and post messages to Twitter. Also, they used Siri to launch applications on their Mac.

Technology & APIs Used

They used the SendGrid Parse API as a means to capture emails sent by Siri.

I can haz cats?

I can haz cats!

Hackers

L Z

Summary

View heart string tugging pictures of cats along with audio that will make you think a cat is in the room with you. You can send these pictures to friends and family as well.

Technology & APIs Used

He used Flickr for the cat images and PhoneGap for the Android app.

After all of these awesome apps were demoed to the group, Tom and I spent some time deliberating and declared the following winners:

Best Overall – tvQ

Prize: Kindle Fire Sponsored by SendGrid

Best Use of SendGrid APIs – Siri+

Prize: iPod Touch Sponsored by SendGrid

Best That Deployed to Heroku – xFit


Prize: $500 of Heroku Credit Sponsored by Heroku

Best iOS Targeted Hack – Siri+


Prize: iOS Mobility Kit Sponsored by IOGEAR

Best Android Targeted Hack – Money Tracker


Prize: Android Mobility Kit Sponsored by IOGEAR



Finally, the night was capped off at Oggi’s, where we celebrated a fantastic day of hacking and camaraderie.

A great way to end the day! :)

View more photos on Facebook, Google+ or Flickr. Enjoy!

Thanks again to the sponsors who helped make this event shine:

Heroku (pronounced her-OH-koo) is a cloud application platform – a new way of building and deploying web apps.

Our service lets app developers spend 100% of their time on their application code, not managing servers, deployment, ongoing operations, or scaling.

IOGEAR, headquartered in Foothill Ranch, CA, offers innovative Consumer Electronics and IT solutions that enable convergence through connectivity in the home, at the office and on the go. The company provides a broad range of products that help integrate technologies in everyday life, share resources, decrease clutter and energy consumption, and reduce electronic waste.


Elmer Thomas is SendGrid's Hacker in Residence. His mission is to help SendGrid live up to its slogan: "Email Delivery. Simplified" by improving the lives of developers, both internally and externally. Via all sorts of hackery, of course. Follow his exploits on Twitter and GitHub.

Elmer Thomas on Twitter
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