1. June 4, 2014

    Jumpstart Your Next Project with 17 New Software Challenges & Hackathons

    Summer is here and we’ve got a full slate of challenges and hackathons for you. For weekly updates about new competitions, sign up here.

    Challenges

      Samsung Gear App Challenge

    241 prizes worth $1.25M - Submit by July 17

    Take wearable technology to the next level by creating original and functional apps for Samsung’s Gear 2 smart watch.

      Dual Screen App Challenge

    8 prizes worth $100K - Submit by July 21

    Use WirelessHD and MHL technologies from Silicon Image to create dual screen apps and games for Android phones and tablets.

      Connected Intersections

    10 prizes worth $50K - Submit by September 9

    AT&T challenges developers to leverage apps, wearable devices, and new technologies to increase environmental awareness for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.

      Explosive Remnants of War and Land Mine Reporting Apps Challenge

    9 prizes worth $5K - Submit by July 15

    Enable residents of post-war zones to report the location explosive material and landmines using their mobile devices.

      Disaster Apps Challenge

    8 prizes worth $5K - Submit by July 15

    Build open solutions to improve and refine disaster relief applications.

    Hackathons

    Week of June 2–8

      San Juan, Puerto Rico: Tech Summit 2014 Open Data Jam (June 4)

    Create innovative solutions with open data from Puerto Rico’s state and federal governments to improve life for citizens, public sector, and private enterprises.

      Cambridge, MA: Hacking Journalism (June 7–8)

    Join journalists, developers, and designers to rethink how we create, disseminate, and consume media. Prizes include Galaxy watches, Kindles, an Oculus Rift 2, and more.

      San Francisco: tvot^ Hackathon 2014 - San Francisco (June 7–8)

    Build the TV of Tomorrow through new apps and experiences alongside directors, creatives, and experts in television, big data, art, and music. Over $7,000 in prizes.

    Week of June 9–15

      New York: The Video Experience Hackathon at Kaltura Connect 2014 (June 13)

    Create engaging Kaltura based video experience apps or services and present them at Kaltura Connect for a chance to win a $50,000 grand prize!

      London: FUTUReBOOKHACK (June 14–15)

    Embrace emerging technology to move the publishing industry forward. The grand prize winner will receive £5,000 and pitch their hack to a panel of top VCs.

    Week of June 16–22

      London: IoT Week 2014 Hackathon (June 17–18)

    Get access to state of the art IoT infrastructure and crash courses provided by IoT project engineers including gateways, cloud services, sensor platforms, and wearables. €1,000 in prizes.

      Toronto: Hacking the Middle East (June 20–22)

    A three-day hackathon in Toronto focused on building solutions for positive social change in the Middle East. $750 in prizes.

      San Francisco: Tech for Justice 2014 (June 21)

    The first-ever dispute resolution hackathon, where lawyers, technologists, UX designers, and public & private sector orgs will tackle access to justice issues through tech. $8,000 in prizes.

      New York: NUI Central Kinect for Windows Hackathon 2014 (June 21)

    Join fellow developers, UI/UX designers, and hackers for a 24-hour hackathon using the new Kinect for Windows v2. First place team members will receive their own Kinect v2s.

      New York: Grey Healthcare Group Health Outcomes Code-a-Thon (June 21–22)

    At this two-day hackathon, participants will create prototypes and innovative solutions to improve health care. $7,000 in prizes.

      San Francisco: SmallBizDev Hackathon (June 21–22)

    This hackathon brings together designers, developers, and entrepreneurs to create mobile apps that solve the toughest challenges facing 23M small businesses in America. $20,000 in prizes.

    Week of June 23–June 29

      Riverside, CA: RivCodes: 2014 (June 28–29)

    Riverside’s first Hackathon is aligned with the County’s commitment to technology and increasing awareness about open data.

  2. May 13, 2014

    Software Competitions Aren’t Just for New Apps

    By Brian Koles, Biz Dev Guy at ChallengePost

    There’s a widespread misconception amongst platform marketing professionals that software competitions are only useful for driving new development. Developer evangelists often assume that featuring their APIs, SDKs, or open data in online software “challenges” doesn’t align with goals for accelerating adoption amongst existing applications that already have significant traction.

    Good news: many of the most successful app competitions encourage participation from both new and existing software. Whether all new or ported over — new users are new users.

    For example, check out the Tizen App Challenge and HTML5 to Tizen challenge series from appbackr. Combined, these two challenges got developers to port over 1,200 existing HTML5 apps to the Tizen platform and app store.

    We love hackathon events and online software contests geared towards new app creation, but “portathons” and app contests that accept launched software can be immensely effective for growing a developer ecosystem. The barrier to entry is lower for existing apps when eligibility requires that submissions be publicly available in an app store or online, which generally means higher participation than when exclusively targeting new software. Plus, prizes that offer public recognition and marketing support to drive downloads can be more attractive than big cash prizes.

    Another option is to run a challenge with separate prize tracks for new and existing apps. This way, the playing field is leveled for each developer pool, and your developer outreach engages both audiences.

    Getting new built-from-scratch apps on your platform is obviously fantastic. However, when your priority is driving adoption, software competitions that welcome both new and existing apps can play a key role in moving the needle.

    If you’d like to learn more about running an effective and inspiring hackathon or online software competition, check out our app contest resources, post a hackathon/online challenge now, or write us at post@challengepost.com.

  3. May 6, 2014

    Developer Evangelism is a Process, Not an Event

    By Brian Koles, Biz Dev Guy at ChallengePost

    Hackathons, developer conferences, and coding workshops are fantastic events for growing the app ecosystem consuming your API. Just not by themselves. They should be part of an ongoing developer engagement strategy.

    Well-meaning platform marketing and developer relations professionals (a.k.a. developer evangelists/advocates) often focus their developer outreach resources on making a big splash at one or two events per year. While it’s awesome to have a marquee event that spotlights the latest and greatest innovations baked into your new release, consistent and persistent outreach is the key to success. Every great developer can’t make it to one big event in Silicon Valley on a weekday. But most can find the time to chime in on a webinar or attend a local event if given advanced notice.

    Take Twilio, one of the most admired developer outreach programs. Sure there’s Twiliocon, a three day festival featuring the brightest minds in communication services. But they also deploy a roving team of devangelists to hackathons all over the world every weekend, celebrate and match-make their developer community, and constantly provide thought leadership at industry events and online. There’s no question that they’re all-in with developers for the long haul.

    Or look at how Evernote did a global workshop tour in support of their DevCup app contest. Rather than doing a two-day hackathon that generates prototypes, they used in-person face time to educate developers on their API and extended these relationships by encouraging attendees to earn prizes and recognition by submitting fully-fledged, working software in their three-month online competition.

    There’s no one-shot silver bullet for growing a developer community. Frankly, neither great apps or relationships are built in a day. There should always be a next event or online challenge, a reliable point of contact for support, and a showcase to reward partner success.

    Much like how investors want lines, not dots, software developers require a consistent effort to build winning products on your platform. So spread the love. Developer communities aren’t built in a day.

    If you’d like to learn more about running an effective and inspiring hackathon or online software competition, check out our app contest resources, post a hackathon/online challenge now, or write us at post@challengepost.com.

  4. May 4, 2014

    Disrupting New York

    By Richard Murby, Developer Evangelist at ChallengePost

    The first TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon of the year was held in New York City over the weekend. I was there and got a chance to see hundreds of hackers make amazing software.

    96 projects were created and shown to the audience. You can check them all out here.

    Here are some of my personal favorites:

    WisconsinThis was the first demo of the day to get a standing ovation from the audience. This app helps you cultivate social media envy by sharing that amazing trip you didn’t really take.

    FoodASMThe product of a father and son team. FoodASM helps you find awesome recipes and syncs a customized shopping list into Evernote. Congrats on winning the Pearson prize guys!

    oRouterThis has already been covered by Sarah Perez. oRouter is a portable, easy way of accessing a more secure internet. We’re living post-Snowden now, so privacy and security should always be top of mind.

    Roman Sharf: Build physical racing tracks and virtually race them using augmented reality. I can’t wait to try this out in person.

    Indulge: A special shout to to my friend Leslie (who throws a damn good hackathon). Leslie called this early and wrote it up for TechCrunch. I can never decide if “Ballet Slippers” or “Adore-a-Ball” from Essie is my favorite — Indulge may finally help.

    The overall prize went to VRBAN, an app that combines ESRI’s city engine with the Oculus Rift for visualization. You really have to see this one.

    Of course, these are just a sample of all the amazing hacks. Check them out and let the makers know what you think by commenting on their projects.

    See you at the next hackathon!

    Richard

    You’re invited to sign up to hear about the latest software competitions & hackathons on ChallengePost. If you’re interested in hosting a hackathon for free, get started now at post.challengepost.com/hackathons.

  5. May 1, 2014

    What the Hack?!

    By Brian Koles, Biz Dev Guy at ChallengePost

    The general public’s perception of “hacking” is the cyber-equivalent of harassment, an unwelcome and aggressive intrusion. “Hacking” can also mean “rapidly creating something awesome,” but that’s largely limited to the technorati who can comfortably use it both ways in context. Thus “hackathons,” i.e. typically weekend-long coding competitions and other developer-focused events carry the burden of catering to a well-meaning audience in the know, while simultaneously seeking support from skeptical outsiders.

    This confusion is largely self-induced. Organizers could easily boost understanding and reduce stigma by labeling their events as “codeathons,” but the “hacker way” and its “move fast and break (your own) things” mantra is a cherished tradition. It’s the core of why talented people such as yourself take pride in your craft. Outsiders can attach whatever meaning they want.  

    A “hack” carries more spirit than a “code set,” “program,” or “app,” and nobody at a hackathon thinks the goal is to break or extort somebody else’s technology. They’re there to have fun and tackle problems with like-minded peers.

    Perhaps “hackers” and “hacking” will always carry a negative connotation to those unfamiliar with tech, but re-branding feels like a betrayal to the developer community.

    To that, I say, “Hack on!”.

    Tune in next week, where I’ll be waxing poetic on developer evangelism.

    Ready to host your hackathon? Get started now at post.challengepost.com/hackathons.

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