400 of the nation’s top collegiate developers competed in the BoilerMake hackathon at Purdue University last weekend. In order to qualify for this event, students were required to complete an application for BoilerMake review, and from this review, 400 won entry into the contest. These qualified participants had only 36 hours to build their apps, competing for over $10,000 in prizes. I, along with Brad Hill of our co-sponsor Intel helped developers at this event build apps with the Mashery API Network and the Intel XDK (HTML5 mobile app builder). The Intel Galileo (the newest Arduino compatible development board from Intel) was the prize for the Best Use of a Mashery API.
Bus loads of students arrived to the Friday night opening ceremonies from the Universities of Illinois, Michigan, Maryland, Iowa, and more. Major League Hacking’s and Hacker League's, Mike Swift aka the “Commissioner” gave an exuberant welcome to the many long travelled and weary-eyed attendees.
The leadership from Kirby Kohlmorger (BoilerMake director who termed this event, the “Super Bowl” of hackathons) and the addition of cool prizes from sponsors such as Google, Apple, and Mashery/Intel helped certify this hackathon “pure awesomeness” status. In no time, excitement ran through the crowd during the event’s countdown. “5, 4, 3, 2, 1” and hacking began.
I met Major League Hacking champions, the Terrapin Hackers from the University of Maryland just hours into competition. They demonstrated to me their modified remote and arduino controlled aircraft.
Attendees were in awe as they saw this vehicle take flight, distributing stickers and flyers from the air. Students applauded the vehicles delivery capabilities and laughed at its crash landings.
Participants worked on their projects well through the night and were treated to some tasty treats. Cohosts Interactive Intelligence passed out cotton candy to the determined developers and sponsors from Apple provided to the crowd delicious Insomina cookies. I even saw cups filled with fruit flavored slushies in the hands of participants during the late hours of the night.
Both Brad and I presented The Mashery API Network and Intel XDK tech talk during the second day of competition. We were greeted by fun and energetic attendees and did our best to provided to this bunch an entertaining and informative presentation. We all branded ourselves the “Stew” crew.
I introduced the Mashery API Network and asked for volunteers to help me demonstrate the Mashery API Key retrieval process. Feliks, my volunteer who had never used the Mashery API network was able to (with a little guidance) retrieve his very own World Weather Online API key and make an actual API call using Mashery’s I/O Docs in only minutes during our presentation.
Brad and I then introduced the “Stew” crew to the Intel XDK mobile app builder. After explaining this tool’s features, such as “Start With App Designer” and “App Starter,” I called on volunteer Feliks to demonstrate the Intel XDK’s “Work With A Demo” feature. Feliks, who had never used the tool, was able to run the World Weather Online Demo App in XDK, implement into this app his newly retrieved World Weather Online API Key, and create a functional, Mashery API powered app which returned weather information. Awesome job Feliks!
Shortly after, we talked about the Intel Developer Zone and ended our presentation handing out Mashery/Intel gifts to all our tech talk attendees.
Sunday was app judgement day. The prize of (3) Intel Galileo development boards for the Best Use of a Mashery API was awarded to…”Nomad.” This app (built by a four member University of Michigan team) is a dynamic home screen which changes throughout the day with information relevant to the user such as concert, movie, and sports information provided by the Mashery powered APIs: JamBase, Rotten Tomatoes, and ESPN.
Special thanks to Boilermake’s Director Kirby Kohlmorgen, the Purdue Hackers, and volunteers for keeping the event well organized. Great job “Snackie Express” for providing the food for attendees and much props to the teams that submitted their apps for judging.
“Nomad” (Winner of the Best Use of a Mashery API) - Dynamic home screen app providing updated information about a users concert, movie and sports interests. (used JamBase, RottenTomatoes, & ESPN APIs)
"Crash Diagramming Tool” (Winner of the Best Use of the Intel XDK) - Create full visual car accident reports. (used TomTom API)
“CookBookShop” - One stop shop for recipes and nutritional values. (used FoodEssentials API)
“Doodle Chat” - Drawing messages app. (used TomTom API)
“Driving Assistance” - Car traffic, routes and weather conditions indicator. (used TomTom API)
“Get Your Pitch” - Movie idea creator app based on existing movie information. (used Rotten Tomatoes API)
“Imgur-Up” - Contact information finder and organizer. (used Pipl API)
“MAD Bus” - A bus auditing program for Metro public planning. (used World Weather Online API)
“Weathermen” - Weather app overlays current condition logos on a Google map. (used World Weather Online API)
"YouCaption” - Alternative commenting system for YouTube overlays text on a YouTube screen. (used ESPN API)