Google Hackathon – January 22nd, 2011

Supported by Google, Year One Labs is running a 1-day Google Hackathon on January 22nd, 2011. The event is being held at the RPM Mtl shared space. Read the original announcement here.

Here’s the Eventbrite signup form.

The goal is to have developers building applications atop the Google App Engine platform. Sean Lynch, product manager for Google App Engine will be in attendance to help out, along with folks from Google’s Montreal office. There’s an interview with Sean on NextMontreal that explains a bit more about App Engine. Google has a wide range of tools and APIs for the creation of new applications, from its App Engine platform to services like maps, search, and checkout.

What can I code in?

While App Engine is the suggested development platform—which means you can code in Python or Java—you can build your application on anything you want, as long as it’s somehow using the Google stack. Check out the extensive docs here: If you’re a Ruby fan, check out out jRuby; if you want PHP, you may want to play with Quercus, which runs PHP on Java.

I’m looking for a partner for the hackathon—can you hook me up?

The hackathon is mainly aimed at developers. But if you have a good idea, and you’re not sure you can build it on your own, let us know. Similarly, if you’re a coder but you’re open to working with a less-technical partner for the day, drop us a line. We’ll do our best to match people up beforehand, but we can’t guarantee anything. When you arrive, we’ll give you a nametag:

  • It’ll have green on it if you’re looking for a business partner
  • It’ll have red on it if you’re looking for a technical partner
  • It’ll have blue on it if you’re looking for a design partner.

In other words, if you’re a coder who wants a designer and a marketer to work with, your nametag will have green and blue on it. It’s up to you to meet up with others.

How many people to a project?

We’re hoping that pairs of developers work on something—we want to avoid large groups of people coding a single project, as (in our experience) this leads to scope creep and miscommunication that means the project doesn’t get finished.

What should I prepare?

You can download development environments for App Engine online. Google also has a wide range of documentation and technical resources online so you can prepare.

Who owns the code I write?

You do, unless you’re using something that belongs to someone else. We’d like to make a few screenshots of promising projects, which we can share with folks in the technical community, but that’s up to you. We’ll also be taking pictures during the event; we assume that’s OK.

What should I bring with me?

You should come armed with a notebook or two, plus anything else you need to build an app (i.e. an iPhone or Android if it’s mobile; books; etc.) We’ll provide power and bandwidth, as well as desks and food.

What’s the schedule?

  • If you’re looking for a partner to co-develop something, please get there by 7:30 AM so you have time to mingle and hook up.
  • We’ll get started at 8AM sharp, with a few words from Year One Labs and Google, while you have some of the pastries and coffee we’re providing. Then Sean will present some details on the Google platform, and we’ll get to work.
  • Around 12:30, we’ll get some subs and drinks, which you can help yourselves to.
  • At 5:00, everyone stops coding. After a quick bio break, each team that wants to will have five minutes to present their work to the audience. We’ll also open the bar.
  • When we’re done with presentations, the judges—there will be five of us—will pick the top three applications.
  • We’ll leave the bar open for a few hours, and we’ll order pizza and have snacks. Here’s a list of stuff in the area around RPM.

Have any questions? Please get in touch with us directly.