Hackathon focused on Filipino problems produces some gems
By A. Asohan August 31, 2012
- Inaugural WebGeek DevCup’s success convinces community to hold regular events
- Hackathon theme focused on building apps for Filipino problems
THE WebGeek Philippines community’s first-ever hackathon on Aug 25 saw more than 200 coders and attendees, with the former challenging their programming skills to develop applications for distinctly local problems.
While 38 teams of an average of three-persons each turned up at the Meralco Multi Purpose Hall in Ortigas Center for the WebGeek DevCup challenge, only 24 teams managed to meet the six-hour ultimatum.
“We chose the theme ‘Build an app to solve a Filipino problem’ as it’s a very flexible theme targeted at solving problems for Filipinos,” says WebGeek Philippines founder John Arce.
The winning entry reflected this perfectly, given that the Philippines had to handle a flood disaster recently – it was an app designed to manage donations and resources in relief or donation centers.
Arce was encouraged enough by the turn-out and enthusiasm to consider making this a regular event, he says.
“We're planning to hold a meet-up of all participants of the DevCup to get their feedback on the event. We're definitely making this a regular event, although we don't have a definite timeline with regards to it yet.
“We are also looking forward to collaborate with other groups to conduct some hackathons,” he adds.
The event kicked off with a series of talks from WebGeek DevCup sponsors, such as Kristian Salvo, RIM senior business manager for the Philippines, who spoke about the opportunity for mobile developers in the BlackBerry space. SMART Communications senior manager Jim Ayson got everyone in the mood with his presentation on why mobile developers rock, while others gave programming and development tips.
The theme was then announced around lunch-time and the hackathon proper began, with teams given six hours to develop a solution and then pitch their ideas at the judges: Bryan Bibat, a freelance software engineer; Jen Yu, a multi-disciplinary creative technologist; Butch Landingin, co-founder and chief technology officer of Orange and Bronze Software Labs; and Peter Philips, Freelancer.com’s engineering manager.
Team APPNimbus (pic) walked away with the first prize for Bukas Palad, which it describes as a self-hosted donation and resources management system designed to help relief organizations and donation centers.
The app, built on open source software, can handle donations given by people and help the above organizations manage the resources used to repackage, assign and transport donation packs to areas that need them.
The second-prize winner was Team TKO, whose Fund3Lives app is a social media-based crowd-sourced funding platform aimed to help concerned people donate to children suffering from diseases but who cannot afford the medical expenses.
Third place went to Team TBD, whose app Sagip is a disaster information dissemination application that allows members of the public to search for evacuees as well as for volunteers to keep track of evacuees. It also uses geolocation to keep track of the evacuation centers.
Arce (pic) founded WebGeek Philippines in 2009 as a community for Filipino tech enthusiasts to network and collaborate. The community-driven initiative has organized and hosted several major events over the past three years, but this was its first hackathon.
WebGeek Philippines is now planning monthly meet-ups and mini-hackathons, as well as workshops, for DevCup participants to keep the momentum going.
“There are definitely a lot of people willing to participate in hackathons, making it a must for us to regular conduct these kinds of events,” he says.
DNA is amongst the official media for the WebGeek DevCup.