There are a lot of opportunities for developers to attend events catering to their interests, but the organizers of an event June 24-25 in Mountain View, Calif., hope to stand out from the crowd.
As the name implies, the Muther! of all Hackathons + DevCon is designed to give developers one place to convene and hack, learn and develop to their hearts content – all in the space of 24 hours. “Thousands of coffees and Red Bulls” will be on hand, too.
Caroline Lewko, founder and CEO of the Wireless Industry Partnership (WIP) Connector, says it was last fall when organizers looked around and took note of the many events designed for developers – and they calculated that if a developer attended every one of them, it would cost about $10,000 before travel expenses.
Some events were generic; others were good for networking but not for coding. They wanted to combine a hackathon with a place where developers could also get good feedback, talk with experts and have some fun. And it dawned on her: It had to be called the Muther of all Hackathons.
The goal is to generate at least 100 new or enhanced apps from the event; not all apps have to be brand new – a developer could work on an app that’s already in a store but add a new element like speech to make it better. Prizes will be awarded across several categories. A “Mystery Mashup” involves mixing and mashing up two or more APIs or third-party services in what’s described as a “wildcard” category.
Sponsors will be sending technical support types to help developers work out bugs or what-not, plus an app store input station. People can develop on whatever platform they choose; webOS experts from HP will be there, as well as those representing other platforms. Immersion will be there, along with Navteq and others, including carriers.
Lewko says they like to encourage developers to think beyond the “quick app” so that they’re considering their plans for subsequent versions of an app, how to market it, integrating in-app billing and the overall business plan.
In a salute to “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” the registration fee is $42. Based on early registrations, attendees range from students to people at companies that want to give employees some “personal innovation” time. One registrant from Seattle told Lewko he has an iPhone app and now wants to create one for Android, and attending the event will force him to buckle down for 24 hours and get it done.
The hackathon+ will be at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View – which Lewko considers a good venue because it has a lot of places where coders can have their privacy when they need it and enough room left over for those who want to concentrate on the networking side of things.