Blog Posts by Julie Choi

  • Long Live Hack

    This WayHere at YDN, we are no strangers to Hack Days. Back in 2006, we pioneered the "Open Hack" event, a 2-day overnight hackathon hosted on Yahoo!'s Sunnyvale campus. Open to any and all developers and featuring a Beck performance to boot, Yahoo!'s first Open Hack was truly epic.

    Today, YDN's hack program continues to be an important and special way to connect with the developer community. In 2012, we sponsored or organized 7 Hack events spanning the globe through which we were able to meet over one thousand developers. You can see the full list in our year-end review. Through each hack event, we were able to share and exchange knowledge and encourage collaborative innovation, a cornerstone of the YDN hack program.

    Not only has Yahoo! continued to support hack, but we have been encouraged by the number of hack initiatives that have sprouted since we did our first Open Hack in 2006. Facebook, Google, Twitter, and just about every start-up with an API have sponsored hackathons, developer

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  • Yahoo! Open Hack Taiwan 2012


    Taiwan was abuzz this past weekend as YDN and Yahoo! Taiwan kicked off Yahoo! Open Hack with Taiwan's developer community. The two-day event brought developers from Taiwan and other parts of Asia together to engage in two packed days of learning and hacking. Taking place October 20-21, Open Hack Taiwan set a new record for attendance and participation for the event, with 62 teams and 216 developers.

    Open Hack Taiwan 2012 Hackers

    Starting with a series of technical workshops, Open Hack Taiwan culminated with a non-stop 24-hour coding competition. Developers were encouraged to build their applications across multiple devices with Open Source technologies and tools including Yahoo!’s Mojito API as well as Taipei City Government’s open data API.

    Hackers teamed up to turn their ideas into working prototypes in just one day with “mobilization”, “socialization” and “localization” common attributes of many of the hacks at Yahoo! Open Hack Taiwan. There was no shortage of ideas for hacks, and we saw a diverse range of

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  • Square Launches Code Camp for Women Contest

    Square logoSquare logoLast week payment start-up Square launched a contest for its inaugural Code Camp. You’re probably thinking, ‘I’m in!’, but slow down fellas, because this contest is ladies only. The contest is fairly specific for women too, only open to full-time female students 18 or older who are pursuing degrees in computer science, computer engineering, or related majors.

    Square wants to be known for “encouraging, empowering and educating engineers” and a contest like this is on point for this initiative. The dongle that allows anyone to accept a payment using their iPhone, iPad or Android device was founded in 2009 and is headquartered in San Francisco. The Code Camp will be held on-site from January 9-12, 2013.

    The 15 women selected to attend Code Camp will be flown to San Francisco, all expenses paid, where they will participate in three days of coding workshops and mentoring sessions. They will also experience the start-up culture firsthand and get an exclusive look inside Square.


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  • NodeJS + Cocktails: Scaling Yahoo! – an HTML5 Dev Conf talk

    HTML 5 Dev Conf LogoThe HTML5 Developer Conference will be taking place in San Francisco on October 15 & 16. HTML5 Dev Conf is a large JavaScript and HTML5 developer conference, with a number of varying and expanding approaches, tools, best practices, and advice available for consumption.

    Our very own Diego Ferreiro will be presenting a talk called NodeJS + Cocktails: Scaling Yahoo!. This talk will cover the rationale behind moving Yahoo!'s Web stack to NodeJS and the Cocktails platform. Diego will provide a performance analysis between PHP and NodeJS on Yahoo's infrastructure. He will also give suggestions on how developers can leverage the power of Cocktails to improve and automate all engineering processes at large scale including:

    • Writing apps for multiple devices using Mojito (MVC framework on top of NodeJS)
    • Continuous integration tools for docs, jslint, unit tests
    • How to package, share, test, and deploy your app in an efficient and automated way

    Diego will be discussing many different open-sourced

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  • Introducing BOSS Geo – the Next Chapter for BOSS

    Today, the Yahoo! BOSS team is thrilled to announce BOSS Geo, a new addition to our Search API that’s designed to help foster innovation in the search industry. BOSS Geo, comprised of two popular services – PlaceFinder and PlaceSpotter – now offers powerful, new geo
    services to BOSS developers.

    Geo is increasingly important in today’s always-on, mobile world and adding features like these have been among the most requested we’ve received from our developers. With mobile devices becoming more pervasive, users everywhere want to be able to quickly pull up relevant geo information like maps or addresses. By adding PlaceFinder and PlaceSpotter to BOSS, we’re arming developers with rich new tools for driving more valuable and personalized interactions with their users.

    PlaceFinder – Geocoding made simple

    PlaceFinder is a geocoder (and reverse geocoder) service. The service helps developers convert an address into a latitude/longitude and alternatively, if you provide a latitude/longitude

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  • Developer Spotlight: Hackbright Academy

    This is a guest post by Jamie Giedinghagen, a recent graduate of Hackbright Academy.

    Hackbright Academy LogoHackbright Academy is a 10-week fellowship program for women. Coding experience is not required to be accepted in to the program. The main focus is on learning Python, but the course materials also cover HTML, CSS, JavaScript, frameworks such as Flask and Django, and databases such as MySQL and MongoDB. When I got accepted into the program, I felt like I won the lottery. I’m pretty sure those were my exact words when I replied to my acceptance letter. I still feel that way. I now describe my life as “before Hackbright” and “after Hackbright.”

    Hackbright Group Picture at LinkedInEleven other women and I were the first class at Hackbright. Some of us had no programming experience whatsoever, and others of us had a good amount. The training was intensive and there was a lot of material to absorb. For five weeks, we focused on learning Python and other technologies. We were divided into pairs and worked on exercises using a Markov chain as

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  • Developer Spotlight: Paul Osman, Developer Evangelist, SoundCloud

    soundcloudlogoSoundCloud is a start-up based in Berlin that is making some noise with their audio platform that enables anyone to upload, record, promote and share their originally-created sounds across the Internet. We had a chance to catch up with SoundCloud's Paul Osman to learn more about his role there as a developer evangelist and about the product.

    Here's the audio for the interview, powered by SoundCloud:

    Here's the transcript with sound-markers for your listening and reading convenience:

    Today’s YDN Developer Spotlight is on Paul Osman, a developer evangelist at SoundCloud.

    How’d you get started as a developer?

    paulosmanI’m a self-taught developer. I was lucky enough to grow up in a pretty tech-literate house and my father who dabbled in programming himself built me an old XT from spare parts when I was 10 or so. So I always had the idea that computers were things you could take apart and hack on. It wasn’t long before I wanted to learn how to program. I read books and I taught myself how to

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  • Publishing your YQL Table to Github

    YQL logo

    YQL Engineer Daniel Park (@sudocoder) explains how to create a simple
    table and how to publish your YQL table to the YQL github repository.

  • Developer Spotlight: Julia Grace, CTO, WeddingLovely

    As part of our Developer Spotlight series, YDN recently spoke with Julia Grace, CTO of WeddingLovely, a start-up in Mountain View, California that is disrupting the consumer wedding industry.

    YDN: So how did you get started in development?

    Julia GraceJulia: I started programming around age 11 on an old Commodore 64. I was writing very simple Fortran programs, then later took C++ in high school and that was it: I knew I wanted to study computer science. I was very lucky, my father is a theoretical physicist and he was very encouraging of all my computer endeavors. It never mattered that I was a girl. He was supportive in every way and when I started excelling in math and science, he said that was fantastic. I got an undergrad degree in CS, did some work in consulting, then went to grad school to initially study distributed systems and networking. I ended up taking several courses that touched on HCI (human computer interaction) and I was hooked. After grad school, I got a job offer from IBM

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  • Making Open Easier

    Open is at the core of many Yahoo! initiatives and products. Over the past two years Yahoo! has been hard at work to change how we develop products and interact with our developer community. In addition to being avid supporters of Open Source, we participated and adopted community-based specifications such as OpenID and OAuth, and were a founding member of the OpenSocial and OpenID Foundations. As you can see, we love Open.

    But Open isn't always easy.

    Whenever we (or other companies) engage in a collaborative effort with a wider community, we are faced not only with technical challenges, but with the complex reality of intellectual property law. Patents, copyright, and trademarks are not what geek dreams are made of. This is why we have actively supported the creation of the Open Web Foundation, an organization dedicated to the creation of an open, free, and community-driven environment for the development of technical specifications:

      The Open Web Foundation was founded to help
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