Last Fall I had the chance to participate in our University Hack Day program. It's a bit of a twist on a typical college recruiting visit. Instead of simply setting up interviews and buying some pizzas, we decided to bring a little bit of Hack Day to the campuses.
Here's how it worked: modeled after our internal Hack Days (and our public Open Hack Day), a group of Yahoos acted as judges while a number of students (individuals or teams) presented their hacks to an audience of their peers and professors. Of course, there was music, lots of
junk food hacking fuel, and a fun atmosphere. The only real rule was that each Hack had to involve some sort of Yahoo! product, service, or API.
I was blown away each time by the sheer diversity of hacks presented. All told, I saw hacks that involved Messenger, Maps, Music Engine, Search, Widgets, Flickr, del.icio.us, YUI, and others I've probably forgotten already.
Last week, we (and by "we" I mean "our excellent recruiting team") invited the winners from the various schools to the Yahoo campus for a few days for a final University Hackdown. Our esteemed judges and a collection of interested Yahoos gathered in a room to participate in the final round. The hackers presented, the judges judged, and a winner was chosen.
Here's a quick video of Greg's winning presentation, thanks to the new YDN Cam and Matt McAlister's Jumpcut editing skills. The widget itself is hard to see, but you'll get a good feel for its capabilities and the thouroughness of Greg's hack.
Congrats to everyone who participated. I look forward to seeing several of the hackers back as Yahoo interns later this year.
Yahoo! Developer Network