Winning a Firefox OS Hackathon

On May 17th there was a FirefoxOS Day at the Bilbao University, and later a hackathon.

I had the oportunitty to talk with @soyjavi, it’s always a bit weird to talk to someone well known that you follow on videocast and twitter but he doesn’t have a clue of who you are.

The talks where great and inspiring, speakers @jmcantera and Cristian Rodriguez I still had some memories from the talk on the past SpainJS conferences where I was able to touch the first prototype:

Winning a GeeksPhone Peak

Some GeeksPhone devices where given as prize for technical questions but it felt almost random.

After a good lunchbrake that replenished my energies (I had traveled 285km by car that day without rest) I headed to the hackathon. But I didn’t knew anyone, and everybody seemed to had his group of pals and even some good ideas well prepared. There was going to be 4 categories to win a GeeksPhone device so it was totally a competition.

I was just hoping to at least learn how to create a basic app and be able to push it to a real device. I cloned the example app from Cristian’s github, and started to make changes to see what I could do.

Then I remembered a app idea that I had almost a year ago, very basic but still used the alarm and notification WebApi’s so I spent 15 or 20 minutes trying to define what the app would be able to do and the incremental steps.

The first problem was the FirefoxOS simulator, that didn’t seem to be able to handle the Alarms WebApi and until I found that hitting Command+R the app wash refreshed so I didn’t need to push it again and again. Then I made a simple visor.html to test the visual styles on the browser more quickly:

Simple iframe to test the looks on the browser
<iframe src="index.html" width="320px" height="480px" />

After 3 hours the time ran out and each group made a quick presentation in 1-2 minutes, we saw great but incompleted ideas, some others fully developed but a bit useful, and the greater ones where just awesome like their whatsapp clone Firetalk!

Then the jury went out of the room and I started to pack my things because I was very hungry and still had a 1 hour ride back home. But I was awared with the prize to the best app in the e-Health category, didn’t truly believe it and even felt like it wasn’t quite deserved, but talking before with the jury they told me that being alone and able to deliver a functional and useful app was the key for me to win.

So thats the story of how I got my GeeksPhone Peak all alone in a hackathon 285km far from home ;)