Inside the Hackathon Organiser’s Backpack


I’ve done my fair share of hackathon organising over the years. From small 30 person “specialist” hacks, to larger, 200+ affairs like Music Hack Day London. Over that time I’ve built up a checklist of items that I try to ensure I have with me on the day to make sure everything runs smoothly. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and only covers the scrappier DIY end of the hackathon spectrum. There’s certainly going to be more insight from people who read this too, so I’d love to see contributions in the comments below.   The Hackathon Backpack Sharpies & A4 Paper The height of technology. Sometimes, you’ll use a venue that is supposed to provide signage that

Lone Star Ruby Hackathon Recap

Brandon West Events
LSRC Hackathon

Last weekend after the Lone Star Ruby Conference in Austin, a group of developers gathered at Capital Factory for an overnight hackathon with a focus on communications. In addition to the awesome support and space donated by Capital Factory, the event was put on by Context.io, Twilio, SendGrid, and Searchify. The prizes were big ticket items, with first place taking home a MacBook Pro with Retina Display, and the runner-up getting a Thunderbolt Cinema Display. There were also prizes for the best use of Twilio and the best use of SendGrid. Read More ›

Young Rewired State: Coding a Better WORLD

hackers gonna hack

As I wrote last week, I spent the week in England, witnessing something very special that’s been happening there for one week a year, for the past four years. That “something” is different and awe inspiring, and it is called Young Rewired State. If you didn’t catch my post from last week, here’s your chance to catch up and learn a bit more about YRS. At the time that post went to press, I was en route to the grand finale – the Festival of Code – in Birmingham, UK. As expected, it was a spectacular end to what had already been an exceedingly fulfilling week. About 500 people were in attendance, which included: hackers – young developers (400+, <19 yrs of

Hackers Redefine Work at Box Hackathon


Early Saturday morning nearly 200 attendees crowded into the cafeteria at the Box offices in Palo Alto, California for the first ever Box hackathon.  Hackers were challenged to form teams and hack together apps that redefined the way that we do work.  A short 24 hours later there were 40 hacks that accomplished exactly that. Read More ›

Young Rewired State: Empowering Young Minds To Do Great Things

Young Rewired State - Manchester Centre, The MadLab

Young Rewired State is awesome. I’ll back up that statement below, but I encourage you to learn more for yourself about what creates said awesomeness: check out Rewired State, the organization that put “Young” in front of its name and decided to do more for the youngsters – technical geniuses under the age of 19 years; peruse the Young Rewired State 2012 website; and read through the Information Pack that was distributed to all the participants. Be sure to scroll to the bottom or click “What is YRS?” at the top of the Info Pack, for a quick synopsis of the true spirit of this important initiative. I’ve spent the last three days (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday GMT) visiting a few of

API Hackday Coming To London


Are you a developer in the UK looking to flex your coding muscles and win some cool prizes?  API Hackday is coming to London, England August 4th after another successful run in Portland, Oregon around OSCON.  Sponsoring companies for London include Twilio, Mashery, SendGrid, Pusher and GoPaperless. Developer evangelists will be on site to help you integrate the API’s including SendGrid’s Tim Falls (@timfalls), Stevie Graham (@steviegraham) from Twillio and more. An let’s not forget about the prizes!  You can win an iPad, Nexus 7 tablet, Sphero remote controlled ball and Jambox (more to be announced soon). Admission is free and meals will be provided for lunch and dinner with post hackathon beer to celebrate. There are still spots left to register for the event and here’s the description from the Eventbrite page: API Hackday

Hacking the Midwest


When I heard that SendGrid was one of the API sponsors for Hack the Midwest on June 2nd and 3rd in Kansas City, I jumped at the chance to represent us there.  Although I was actually born in Kansas City, it had been nearly ten years since I’d been back, and I was super excited to see what the tech and startup scene had to offer.

Nearly 100 local hackers showed up to demo their skills at the competition.  Teams came in all shapes and sizes –  some from local startups, others comprised of groups of local tech enthusiasts.  There was even a father-son pair that ended up taking home some awesome prizes! Read More ›