Amit Jotwani | Front End Developer, Developer Evangelist
September 15, 2011 New York - A great experience


This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend in NYC - a 24-hour hackathon showcasing innovation and creativity in the world of video. The experience was truly amazing. Some great video apps got built inside 24 hours.

It truly reflected the passion and enthusiasm of the developer community in NYC. A total of 60 developers hacked all weekend to produce 20 awesome video apps.

On Saturday morning, before the hacking began, I did a quick demo of I/O Docs for the Rotten Tomatoes API, making live API calls from within the documentation. I must confess, every time I demo I/O docs, I can see some developer pain being released into the ozonosphere. All right, I can't really see it, but it's really awesome! In fact, in the little over 2 weeks that I've been with Mashery, there are two things that have stood out absolutely clearly in my interactions with developers. They love the I/O docs and they love Mashery's USB drives :)

After the API pitches, the hacking began. While I didn't get a chance to hack myself, I did get a chance to interact and meet some really smart folks. I went around the room checking out what people were building and offering any help they needed with any of Mashery's APIs.

Fast forward 24 hours and we had some really inspiring apps.

Sunday, being 10th anniversary of 9/11, it was only appropriate that the demos opened with the story behind 110Stories (via An iPhone app that augments an outline of the Twin Towers through your camera. The app will let you "Orient. Augment. Comment."

The award for the best hack built using Mashery's API went to OpenCaptions built by solo developer Nadu. It lets you access closed captions from YouTube videos. You can select individual words and see an American Sign Language Representation on screen. It also used the Appinions API to show what people around the world are talking about the word that was selected. Pretty cool. He won the cool GoPro Sport camera. Last I heard, he was looking for a cliff to jump from!

The grand winner was the TerminatrVision by Haris Amin and Rich Cameron (my favorite and not surprisingly it won the People's choice award as well).

Being a video hackday, it only made sense to have a film crew on site to shoot some trailers for the apps, as they were getting built. Some cool trailers - TerminatrVision and _rld. They even did a short interview of yours truly, which I secretly hope never gets out :)

All in all it was an fun and inspiring weekend. It's amazing what you can accomplish in 24 hours with some awesome hackers, great APIs, Grilled cheese & beer! Kudos to & General Assembly: for doing a fantastic job at organizing and hosting it. If you are a video hacker, you really should be at the next at San Francisco on October 1, 2011