Last week I’ve been in working in one of the most amazing events for developers in the world: Microsoft’s Build Conference, in Redmond, Washington. I had the honor to participate as a mentor of the event’s Hackathon; a competition where developers from around the world gathered in groups of at most 5 people and built apps in Windows Phone, Windows 8 and Windows Azure from scratch in only 3 days. I’ve seen, together with other mentors from other latitudes of Microsoft, a set of amazing products, services and games designed, developed, tested and demoed in a record time.
The participants not only spent their time developing the apps, but also getting advice from specialists and attending the conference sessions that covered many aspects of the technologies they were working on. Some of them kept on working during at those sessions, and for instance one of the teams built their entire WP8 integration with Windows Azure Mobile Services while learning it at that session!
The result? Almost 40 apps submitted by the teams and it was really impressive to see, while evaluating them all, the amazing products these engineers, devs, enthusiast, hobbiests, designers and hackers came up with: an ancient China chess game, a hide-and-seek Windows Phone version, a location service for lost Windows 8 devices, a voice-commanded photo camera, among others.
Since, apart from being a great learning experience it was a competition, let me hare the 1st places of the 3 categories:
As part of the prizes, these 3 winners of the 1st place in each category, apart from getting $ 2.5K to split among them, got the chance to share their apps live in Channel9 to the world! I had the pleasure to join them in the interview:
It was a great experience and I’d like to thank Drew Robbins and Dan Fernandez and team for the invitation and coordination, but also for the great energy in that gigantic room during these days!