Last weekend was Yahoo’s Open Hack 2009, two days full of hacking, networking and fun. I’ve been to two similar events before (Over The Air and Mashed), but never ended up hacking anything together (choosing instead to make swedes and trailers). This time around I really wanted to make something.
I’ve recently been getting into PHP and have started messing around with APIs. And I had a cool idea for the weekend: Flickr Ego Tracker. An app that would track activity on Flickr photos that I was in and update me when someone commented or favourited. I was slightly optimistic about me being able to hack that in 24 hours though. While my programming skills are pretty okay, I had to read up on and try a lot of stuff I’ve never touched before.
I didn’t end up presenting my app, but I still feel as if I actually did do something this year. I didn’t even play a single game on the Saturday night, opting instead to go on with my hacking. Maybe next time I’ll manage to actually finish something (although I am continuing working on my little project).
There were a lots of great apps hacked together that weekend, like Dan‘s London Undersound, an app that uses last.fm and the Oyster API to visualize what music you listen where on the underground, and Cristiano‘s ShouldIBackupMy, an app that would tell you whether or not you should backup certain data (fill in Magnolia and it says “Too late”, fill in Yahoo, it says “probably”, fill in google, it says ” Not really, but why not”).
It was a great two days and I do feel as if I actually participated in the right way this time. To check out more of the hacks (including the winners), take a look at the Open Hack wiki.
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