BBM Apps Hackathon: A Celebration of Collaboration

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Picture the scene: 30 enthusiastic developers, Wi-Fi® and BBM™ experts, press and video crews on hand to capture the very process of turning ideas into BlackBerry® Messenger (BBM) connected apps. Early this August, developers spent two full days entrenched with their cohorts, hacking away at completely new applications that incorporate BBM and adding BBM into existing applications.

Organized into five groups, developers had the chance to work together and discuss their apps with direct access to members of the BBM development and product teams. It was evident to those in attendance that this new event format – open, collaborative – was working out well. Problems that could take hours for a developer to fix on his or her own suddenly took minutes, and a helping hand was always within reach.

Day one consisted of short presentations about the platform and tools, followed by intensive coding sessions – the perfect balance. Day two gave developers the chance to work out more kinks and eventually show off their apps. We were impressed: completion ranged from just the framework of an app to fully-functioning examples. Here’s just a sample of what we saw:

  • Sharing tasks and status over BBM
  • Finding friends based on tags or your location
  • Challenging other BBM contacts through a game

I am excited to see these developers complete their apps and eventually submit them to the BlackBerry App World™ storefront and the 2011 BlackBerry Developer Challenge. The format of this event allowed us to collect feedback and ideas directly from developers, which are of immense value to us as we evolve the BlackBerry development platform, SDKs and tools. We’ll certainly be hosting similar events in the future.

To see some of the action that took place, take a look at our photo album on Facebook®. To get in on the action and build a BBM-integrated app, download the BBM Social Platform SDK and get started. And don’t forget to submit your app as the ‘Most Addictive Social App Using the BBM Social Platform’ in the 2011 BlackBerry Developer Challenge (see the terms and conditions). We look forward to seeing your creative ideas come to life through your apps!

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