We came, we hacked, we picked winners – Open Hack Day Bangalore was a blast

I'm just recovering from a 30-hour session of giving tech talks and helping hackers to finish their hacks, so bear with me. Open Hack Day Bangalore is over and we had a blast. The plan was easy enough:

1) Go to Bangalore, India and hire a room
2) Put wireless up
3) Give a bunch of tech talks
4) Let the hackers loose
5) Help the hackers when they got stuck
6) Pick winners, thank everybody.

This matter-of-fact wishlist was easy to pull off but the reality was different: the enthusiasm, the cultural differences, the food, the venue and the thirst of hackers to try something completely new made the Open Hack Day in Bangalore one of my fonder memories.

Impressions of Open Hack Day India 2009

I want to thank all the people who organized it, all the hackers that challenged themselves, and me, with very (and I mean very) demanding and interesting questions and problems. I am very much up for coming back for the third installment of the India Open Hack Day, whenever we have it.

Here's a quick look at some statistics as of this morning:

  • 66 Hacks submitted (unique, also a handful did not demo :-( )
  • by 125 hackers (unique)
  • 9 winning hacks by 19 hackers
  • 26 hacks used BOSS (2 winners)
  • 9 hacks used Blueprint (3 winners)
  • 9 hacks used FireEagle (2 winners)
  • 8 hacks used OpenMail (3 winners)
  • 4 hacks used YAP
  • #hackdayindia on twitter reached #4 on trending (the first 3 were V-Day, Dollhouse & Valentine)
  • 1020 tweets #hackdayindia since 8am on Sat morning!!!
  • 202 photos on Flickr with hackdayindia tag taken after Feb 13th

Quite a yield, eh?

What about the outcome of the competition? Here are the winning hacks --the winners were not ranked. They all were different, so how to say which one was better?

  • Best Search Inside - Y! Grep - (by pi: Ravi Bhushan Kumar & Ravi S. Math)
  • Best Gone in 90 seconds - BOSS in 90 seconds (by The Flex Ninjas: Raghunath Rao Thricovil & Harish Sivaramakrishnan)
  • Best Social Travel Helpdesk - Travel Assist (by Beanbag-Hackers: Nidhi Chaudhary & Anurag Jain)
  • Best Keynote from a Traffic Jam - Slideshare for Mobile (& openMail by scriptease: Kapil Mohan, Sri Prasanna, Mani Kumar & Ciju Cherian)
  • Best Crossing the Language Chasm - Translate This (by kroniks: sourabh behra)
  • Best Confidential Messages - Redact Mail (by : BabuSrithar)
  • Best Socially Mobile - Kiva Mobile (by SocialSync.org: Akshay Surve)
  • Best Navigation Bangalore Traffic - MyBus (by Parageeks: Pradeep BV, Akash Mahajan, Aashish Solanki & Rohit Talukdar)
  • Best Built from Scratch - Search Engine with Hybrid (Human & Artificial) Intelligence (by API (Advancing Predictive Intelligence): Antano Solar John & Niranjan Prithviraj)

Of course all the hacks had a lot going for them, so make sure to check out the full list and see what those Indian hackers were up to.

I sincerely hope that the energy put into the day and the hacks will continue to flow, and that some of the hacks will be taken further, and that the networking and grouping that happened will result in new partnerships, products, and maybe even companies. I have to say the hackers at this hack day were very intense and dedicated to the cause.

Thanks to everybody again, and let's keep the hack alive!

Chris Heilmann
Yahoo Developer Network