Hackathon, Show Rules, Categories & Prizes

Team Ansca at iOSDevCamp 2010One of the best parts of iOSDevCamp is participating in the Hackathon—you have a huge opportunity to learn and grow your skills, get into the groove and flow of high performance development, and network with future colleagues that may help you solve technical challenges for years to come.

Join a Team, or Start One?

For best results, be prepared. You should know if you plan on joining a team, or if you are going to try to recruit one. If you plan on joining a team, you should be able what skills you have to offer, or what skills you wish to stretch. If you are going to try to recruit a team, you should be able to articulate your ideas well, and know what skills you are looking for. Be sure that you’ve filled out your profile questions on our CrowdVine website as that is how I will help you find the people you are looking for.

And of course you should be flexible—your great idea may not appeal enough to recruit a team this time, but maybe you can join another project where you can learn how to do your own project later. Don’t plan to work alone—the best part of the Hackathon is working with others as passionate as you are about the iPhone and iPad development.

There will also be opportunities for new developers to be mentored on basics of iOS programming. We have a room dedicated to that, and last year some of those new programmers won prizes! If you wish to mentor, or be mentored, contact me.

Matchmaking and Concierge

If you need help forming a team, or finding one to join, I am here to help. I’ll be at the Hackathon desk in the commons area front of Town Hall starting Friday evening and during most of the conference, and I will help you find the people you need.

As the teams emerge and everyone has found a place, I will also be acting as concierge to help you find solutions to problems that you encounter. Need someone who knows spherical trigonometry to make your app work? Let me help you find them.

The Hackathon Show and Contest

This year we have over $14,000 worth of sponsored, special and general prizes that will be given out after our Hackathon Show.

The deadline for submitting to Hackathon Show and Contest is 1pm Sunday afternoon. However, your entry doesn’t need to be a complete app—find something undocumented and share it! Show us how you made something work! Create a cool demo of a feature we didn’t know about! Remember, your iPhone or iPad App doesn’t have to be perfect, just be enough that other people can learn from it!

Changes to Hackathon Rules

The complete rules for the iOSDevCamp Hackathon are here, but I wanted to highlight a few differences from previous years:

  • Only iOS 4 apps will be be accepted in the Hackathon due to iOS 5 NDA restrictions. No jailbreak apps.
  • Apps that are currently in the Apple App Store are NOT eligible be shown during the Hackathon Show, and are not eligible for prizes. This year this includes unreleased updates to existing apps in the App Store. We reserve the right to make an exception in a special case, but it is unlikely.
  • Our top prize category is the Best Open Source, with four $250 Apple Store Gift Certificates. To be eligible for this prize the app must be available on GitHub or other publicly accessible source code repository. We will be confirming that the source code is actually available before awarding the Best Open Source prize.
  • To encourage more open source apps, we will make exception to our no App Store apps rule — an open source app is always eligible for the Hackathon Show and the sponsored and special prizes even if already in the App Store.
  • Apps must be submitted by 1pm PDT on Sunday. The form for submission will be available Sunday morning.
  • We will have a strict time limit of 3 minutes for you to show your app.
  • We ask that all apps, both iPhone and iPad, be shown on an iPad 2 using video mirroring to make the show easier. If you don’t have an iPad 2, borrow one. Exceptions are possible, but we want to limit them.
  • We expect that this year may have to cutoff some submissions due to time limitations, so apps created entirely during the weekend and open source have highest priority in the Hackathon Show lineup. These apps also have priority for the sponsored and special prizes.
  • Each iOSDevCamp Satellite event should send their top entry as a ~3m video by 12pm PDT on Sunday, contact me for a DropBox share link.

If you have any questions on the rules, contact me at Hackathon desk in front of Town Hall.

Sponsored Categories & Prizes

“Just crazy enough it might work”
16GB Verizon 3G iPad 2 (or equivalent dollar amount App Store gift card)
Sponsored by The Association for Competitive Technology (ACT)
Best Crowdsourcing App
$500 Apple Store Gift Card
Sponsored by Mirego
Best New Developer
2 – $250 Apple Store Gift Cards
Sponsored by Millennial Media
Best Shopping App
$500 Cash
Bonus prize of an iPad 2 if you use the Retailigence APIs
Sponsored by Retailigence
Best Use of Betable APIs
Trip to Las Vegas for the winning team up to 4 people, certain limitations apply
Sponsored by Betable
Best Use of Storify APIs
Two iPad 2s
Sponsored by Storify
Best Use of PayPal APIs
Gadget grab bag full of cool stuff
Sponsored by x.commerce & the PayPal X Developer Network
Best Use of eBay APIs
Gadget grab bag full of cool stuff
Sponsored by x.commerce & the eBay Developers Program

Special Categories & Prizes

Best Open Source
Four $250 Apple Store Gift Certificates
Best Developer Tool or Library
iPad 2 32GB Wifi
Most Innovative
iPad 2 32GB Wifi
iPad 2 32GB Wifi
Best User Interface
Gadget grab bag full of cool stuff
Best Web App
Gadget grab bag full of cool stuff
Best Satellite App
Gadget grab bag full of cool stuff

In addition to these special categories, there will be a number of other special categories that will be decided by the Hackathon Judges. In past years these have been Best Game, Best Social App, Best Health App, Best Hardware Hack, etc. but final decision will be based on best apps submitted.

Prizes for each of these special categories will a gadget grab bag full of cool stuff, which may include: 12-South Backpack Shelf, 12-South Subwoofer, Apple TV, Apple iPhone 4 32GB Black UNLOCKED, Apple Store Gift Certificates, Apple App Store Gift Certificates, Blue Mikey iPhone/iPad Microphone, Cobra iRadar Detector, E-Merse Dry Waterproof iPhone Case, Griffin Cases, Guide 10 Solar Power Charger, Hasbro Nerf Tag Blaster, iDevices iGrill, iHealth Blood Pressure Dock, iRig Microphone, Lark Sleep Monitor, Logitech Case with Bluetooth Keyboard, Macally Dual AC Charger for iPad, Magellan iPhone Car Kit, R.I.O.T. iPad Stand, RJawbone JamBox Bluetooth Speakers, Schoche iPad Car Chargers, Seagate GoFlex 1.5TB FW800/USB2 HDs, Verbatim Bluetooth Keyboard, Withings Connected Body Scale, XBox 360 Kinect Sensor, etc. Each gadget grab bag is worth $200 to $400.

General Categories & Prizes

As always, iOSDevCamp staff will be giving out blue tickets to those exhibiting our values of contribution, sharing, openess and “can do” attitude. If someone you know deserves a ticket, contact me or other staff member.

The person with the most blue tickets after the Hackathon will receive our Iron Man award, and one of our gadget grab bags. In addition, we’ve have quite a few ~$100 items for the top blue ticket holders, as well as many other valuable prizes donated by our sponsors for the remaining blue ticket holders.


  1. Leo says:

    Sounds like a very awesome event. Would like to know when the next one will be held. Thanks!

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