What is API Hackday? We started doing these sometime back in 2010 along with our Mashery API friends at SendGrid & Twilio with great success. It’s an event that brings developers together for an all-day coding fest focused on building apps with APIs. My personal past API Hackday outings have included Bloomington and my home turf - New York City held at our Mashery NYC offices. Developers of all experience levels can share ideas, collaborate on projects, start new ventures and discover great tools and new APIs to play with. The one-day format forces creativity. It rewards focus, minimalism and coolness. The format forces creativity and focus. The fact that you have a little less than 8 hours to do this makes very exciting. API Hackday events are like a hackathon, but leaner and built for speed.
This time it was Austin’s turn. Held at HubAustin on Saturday, February 18th - a fantastic co-working space in South Austin, run by Keith Casey and some of his friends, API Hackday Austin was a great experience. Even though it was drizzling all day, it certainly didn’t dampen the spirits of Austin developers. We had a great turnout.
Some really cool apps got built in litte less than 8 hours. What’s more, Austin based startup - Whit.li opened up their API for the weekend in order to get valuable feedback from API Hackday developers prior to their public launch at SXSW. Whit.li divines a consumer’s psycho-social profile by scanning and analyzing social media activity using complex context-sensitive pattern-matching algorithms. Whit.li’s api allows anyone to build applications and widgets enriched with this data.
- Hotel Deals iPhone App - This is what makes API Hackdays so awesome. Inside 8 hours, solo iOS developer Jeff Linwood built an iPhone app that lets you search for hotel deals using Hotwire’s API. Needless to say, he ended up winning the Grand Prize as also the award for Best Hack built using Mashery API Network.
- WhatWhere - Ellen Sullivan - weather reports using Patch & Weatherbug from Mashery
- Hotel Deals iPhone App - Jeff Linwood - used Hotwire via Mashery (Mashery winner, overall winner)
- Web Performance Dashboard - Dan DeFelippi - (SendGrid honorable mention)
- Connect Array - An Arduino hack that lets you signin to an event by scanning youur mobile device. Sends SMS using Twilio with your Klout score. Built by Portugal. Winner of Best Hack built using Twilio.
- Easy Creep - Colin Loretz, Chris Yoder, Kevin Pfab, Mike Taczak - used Full Contact, Klout (Whit.li honorable mention)
- Meetr - an app for meeting up - Kassandra Perch, Josh Marshall, Phred Lane - used Twilio, Heroku (Whit.li honorable mention)
Some other cool hacks
- Crypto Tweets - Ben Combee - Twitter, USA Today via Mashery
- North Pole Nerve Center - North Pole Nerve Center: Keep track of what gifts your friends/family are looking for. Bring it on X’mas #APIHackday.
Thank You Austin
Had a great time at API Hackday Austin. My love for Austin would continue into SxSW a few weeks later, but that’s another post :) A huge shout-out to Keith & HubAustin for being such an awesome host and providing a setting that was ideal for a hackathon. Plenty of desks, whiteboards, monitors. Great food. Nice Apps. Met some really cool people - I am looking in your direction Keith, Saranyan, Emanuel & Jeff Linwood. Great fun. Again, I love API Hackdays.