Tuesday Post | Hack marathon

Tuesday Post | Hack marathon

Yahoo! Open Hack Day

Taj Residency, Bangalore

5-6 October

I met Chad Dickerson, the founder of Yahoo Hack Day, at the first BarCamp in Bangalore where he had told me about his latest attempt to promote innovation in Yahoo through Hack Day. So when Yahoo organized one in Bangalore, I had high expectations.

The challenge was to create applications using Yahoo API’s (application programme interface, which enables communication between computer programmes) in 24 hours. There were about 100 participants, who built products on services such as Yahoo Search, Flickr (photos) and Yahoo Maps. The coding marathon began at 2pm and the hackers laboured through the night. It helped that the venue was equipped with a never-ending buffet, strong coffee and a great Internet connection.

The next morning saw the arrival of Yahoo co-founder David Filo, which spurred on the participants to put in their best. After a brief break, when they got to interact with panellists Filo, Yahoo javascript domain expert Christian Heilman and Ugenie’s Bharat Vijay, it was time to declare the winners.

The prize-winning hack was YaHealer, using which doctors could share photos of a brain scan over two Yahoo widgets that are connected over the Web. This allows for collaborative annotation of large sets of images (architectural blueprints, for example) without having to download the whole set of photos.

Only time will decide how many of these projects will change the world, but for now, just being there was worth it.

Shreyas Srinivasan is co-founder of Radioverve, a Bangalore-based Internet radio station that plays music by independent Indian artists. He currently works for Geodesic Information Systems.