Developers Win the Day at the Facebook World Hack Bangalore

Held on the 18th of September at the MLR Convention, Whitefield, the Facebook World Hack Bangalore was a one of a kind event. Inspired by the coding sprees everyone saw in the movie, The Social Network, developers thronged the event to make a mark. Facebook had enough goodies and booze to keep the geeks happy and coding.

A Hush-Hush Affair

“We filled out in two days,” said Bear Douglas, a developer advocate from Facebook, “And besides we wanted it this way. Announcements regarding the world hack were always on the Facebook developers’ page. We wanted this to be an only developer’s affair.”

There was representation from corporates and startups alike. Industry heavy weights such as Intuit and Nokia were present at the Hackathon, both coding and scouting for engineering talent. From the Startup circuit, engineers from ZipDial spoke told us that they got a lot to learn from the event. The open source community was represented by the Mozilla team; one developer representing the Mozilla Fraternity openly admitted that the Hackathon was nothing like anything he has ever experienced before.

Why Bangalore?

“From what we know, Bangalore is the Startup hotspot of India and there have been some really impressive hacks that we’ve seen here,” said Nicole Kim from the events team at Facebook. Adding, “I think Startups will make the best use of our API and we wanted that particular section of the developer community to be most exposed to it. Going by some of the hacks that I’m seeing here, I think Bangalore is definitely a good choice that we made.”

The Objective

Gerard Rego, the director of Ecosystem & Developer Experience at Nokia, was one of the members of the judging panel. He said “Along with Facebook’s judging parameters I’m on the lookout for ideas which are innovative, mobile and scalable. Mobility is the future and mobile internet is going to be so much bigger than the internet that we know of right now.”

“We’re giving away iPads, iPod Nano’s and many other goodies for the best apps! Hope that’s incentive enough for folks to come up with some awesome ideas,” added Bear, during our conversation with Gerard.

Winning Hacks

A total of 40 teams presented at the event. There were three individual categories; Mobile, OpenGraph and Games. Apart from this, there was an overall category. The winners were as follows –

i) Mobile Category – All 4 one: Connects needy with his/her friends and their friends. Through this app, a user can appeal for Money, Skills or any kind of help and friends can vouch, share or contribute to the appeal.

ii) Open Graph Category – CodeFeed: allows users to connect their GitHub accounts to their facebook profiles, allowing them to share commits, pushes, forks or any other Git activities.

iii) Games Category – Jigsawers: A jigsaw puzzle game using your own album pictures

iv) Overall Category – 22feet: A mobile web app which lets anyone highlight problems in need of fixing in their neighborhoods and share with friends on Facebook.

“We really enjoyed seeing the projects you produced. We saw some very impressive social apps, and we hope you all learned something, and had fun hacking. Congratulations to all the winners of the day” Said Bear Douglas at the end of the event.

Promising Signs

With the world hack happening in 11 other countries, Facebook is looking towards India for popularizing the Facebook API. At the end of what Facebook considered a successful event, Bear Douglas said that the India chapter of the next world hack will mostly happen in Bangalore again. Only next time, the event will be larger.

This can only be good news for India, as the developer ecosystem will be exposed to more of the Silicon Valley way of coding and innovation. The number of coders in India and the number of Indian innovations is disproportionate and the Hackathon culture aims to change that. We urge more developers to attend these events.

Were you at the Facebook World Hack as well? Feel free to use the comment section to share your experiences at the event!