Organized by Koding, sponsored by IBM, hack.summit()’s virtual hackathon is now over. I was a part of it, alongside some other members of DSG and here’s what happened from my point of view.

About the hackathon

The hackathon was organized by hack.summit() and Koding and took place the weekend before this year’s hack.summit(). To be more specific, the event started at 00:01, 20th of February and finished at 21st at 23:59. That is for those who live in U.S.A and use the PST. Here in Greece we started at 10:01 of the 20th and finished 9:59 of the 22nd of February.

The goal of the hackathon was to create a webapp (and a webapp only) which could be included in one of the three following categories: Data Visualization, Productivity and Gaming. We were allowed to use public APIs and libraries but everything else had to be written from scratch.

The prizepool was pretty big, at $140.000, $100K for the winner and $30K and $10K for the second and third.

The team

Because the hackathon was virtual and we didn’t have to go anywhere, we gathered at Stavros’s house, bought snacks and started coding. The team was quite big (and that was a con) and was consisted of Theodore, Lithan, Stavros (not the one with the house), me, and of course Stavros (yup, that’s the one with the house ;) ). We were supposed to be 6, but the last one (Charis) could not participate in the end.

Most of us are members of DSG, that’s why we named our team DSG.

The project

The idea was Stavros’s.

The project is oriented to teams or individuals that want to use images they found on the internet. However using them in projects legally you have to know their license and this is where our project, isThisLicensed comes into play.

You can upload(or link) any image you want to use and the webapp will check if it is licensed.

The original idea was to check the web with (perhaps) an scrapper which will be taking result from reverse searching the image in Google Images, Flickr and 500px. However because it was too complex for 48 hours ( and maybe, just maybe, we had to talk for hours about the colors of the project instead of doing some real work -.- ) we implemented only the flickr API.

The time I wrote this post, we still do not know the events winners.

My thoughts on the hackathon

Pros

  • We didn’t have to go to Athens, Thessaloniki etc to participate. We could participate from our homes.
  • Learnt about Koding. It is an awesome tool! You have to check it!
  • Very specific borders. You were not allowed to built anything but a webapp and without any pre-written code.

Cons

  • We didn’t have to go to Athens, Thessaloniki etc to participate. We did not feel the hype of a physical hackathon.
  • Quite generic rules. We had to send e-mails to be sure if what we wanted to do was legal. The thought we already knew what koding is and how the hackathon was going to progress.

Will I participate again next year? Probably not. It depends of next year’s theme.