Star Students Show Off Innovation at Yahoo! Hack Beijing Event

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Some of China’s brightest minds took over Yahoo!’s Beijing Global R&D Center to compete for prizes in Yahoo! Hack Beijing, our 20th community Hack event.
With the goal of accelerating innovation, Yahoo! has hosted over 100 hack events around the globe since 2005. Hack events enable people to learn, collaborate, get recognition, and win prizes. Yahoo! also holds employee Hackdays and creates new products from these events. The Yahoo! Weather app for iOS and Android are examples of two products that came out of an internal Hackday.

With two million developers, YDN recognizes that China has a huge and influential developer community and therefore wanted to bring our own hack brand to the country. The event was a great success, and it’s likely we’ll return to the area soon. Students from 33 universities, including top ones such as Tsinghua University, Peking University and Zhejiang University and as far away as Sun Yat-Sen University collaborated to brainstorm and build prototypes during the official hacking period.

1,160 university students across China signed up for Yahoo Hack Beijing and were tested for their knowledge and skills. The best of the best were selected and invited. On Saturday, 18 May, those 171 students traveled from many different locations across China to come to the Yahoo! office in Beijing.

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The Center’s Managing Director, Chen Zhang kicked off the 171-student event on Saturday, followed by talks from Selina Zhou and Erik Suhonen, and various tech talks from Y! engineers.

The teams then started building their hacks. Students collaborated and hacked through the night, most forgoing sleep to code through the night. After 24 hours, 46 hacks were built, many leveraging tech such as Flickr API, YQL and YUI, Weather API and the Geo API. Hackers then showed off their hacks live to expert judges and the student audience. It was amazing to see the results of the hackers’ creativity and hard work. You can see all of the hacks on YDN’s HackTrackr.

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Congratulations to the grand prize winner, Easy Travel, by the Agile Coders team, who won MacBook Pros for each team member. Students from all winning teams were also offered internships at Yahoo!. The event also showed the Chinese developers that Yahoo is great place to work. One developer remarked on social media "I haven’t slept for 35 hours, just came back from Yahoo! Hack Beijing event without an award. So far Yahoo! is on the top of the list in my mind, as a best employer."

See you again soon, Beijing!