They Came, They Hacked, and They Believe!

BlackBerry Jam

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Last weekend was a smashing weekend for developers in Asia Pacific – almost 500 developers in India, Singapore, Malaysia, and Philippines got together and hacked their way through Friday evening to Sunday morning!

Yes, I am talking about BlackBerry® JamHack 2012, the first simultaneous Asia-Pacific-wide 40-hour BlackBerry hackathon. This weekend’s five simultaneous JamHack events were organized by Rubus Labs DevGroup (Bangalore), BlackBerry Developer Group India (Delhi), BBMYCoders (Kuala Lumpur), and PinoyBBDev and BBDevSG (Singapore)! While the 500 JamHackers were hacking in five different cities, their spirit and goal was admirably unanimous – hacking their way to the best app on BlackBerry® 10.

On Friday evening, participants started their 40-hour with registrations, networking and a series of RIM® -designed sessions, including local market insights session called “Country Vibes”, a “JamBytes” session on BlackBerry 10 design and user experience, and an introduction to the Built for BlackBerry program and the 10K Developer Commitment.

Each developer group helped participants to help form teams to ensure the best-rounded pitch on Sunday.

The hackathon started around midnight, and the dev groups had planned various icebreaker activities to wake up their contestants. If I had to pick my favorite icebreaker, it’d be the BBMYCoders Gangnam Style kickoff! Check out the video:

[ YouTube link for mobile viewing ]

A great start is always important, but what’s better than that? Solid support and non-stop energizing activities to keep awake! Throughout the 40 hours, developer group leaders, co-managers, partners, business development teams and RIM Developer Relations were present to motivate and help our hackers. But it didn’t end at that: Our experts in RIM Canada didn’t want to feel left out, so they offered virtual help-desk hours for our hackers through Twitter® (#BBJamHelp) which saw over a hundred questions and tweets! Special thanks to @Naveenan5, @PratikSapra, @RSSessantotto, and @WaterlooErik for staying up through the weekend to support our APAC developers.

Other than providing support, the developer group managers were also busy keeping the teams entertained (and awake)! If the participants were bored of coding, needed a breather, or just wanted an excuse to have fun, there were exciting activities that kept them up. Let’s take a look at what tactics were used by our group leaders to keep their participants awake:

Massage Corner by PinoyBBDev
Tired from hacking? Teams in Philippines were rewarded by one of the best break activities they can get – a spa treatment onsite!

Quiztions by PinoyBBDev
Quizzes are fun, and even more so when they are done over Twitter. PinoyBBDev planned a social media quiz with small giveaways for the quiztion winners.

Pen in Bottle by BBMYCoders
While the Pinoy Devs were busy getting massages, the KL JamHackers were tasked by BBMYCoders team to complete a task — but what are they doing?

Photo courtesy of BBMyCoders

The deal is that they had to untie a pen from their back and drop the pen into a bottle behind them, with a paper bag over their head. Sounds fun and simple, but they were definitely trying hard to get the special prizes given out!

Some other fun activities:

Game on at the Gamezones

Best DJ

Singing Competition on the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet

Of course, it wasn’t all fun and games — the teams had to work hard on getting the apps done within the 40 hours, and their hard work and efforts were all worth it! It absolutely showed during the pitching sessions – more than 100 apps were showcased across the five cities. Here were the teams from the pitches and their winning apps:

Bangalore, India

Winner: Team QEDGE
App: Story Board, a presentation and slides creation HTML application on BlackBerry 10

Delhi, India

Winner: Team Fukraaas
App: UnTANGLED, a complex puzzle game built with HTML on BlackBerry 10

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Winner: Team Websmith ATP
App: 1BB, an augmented reality application on BlackBerry 10
For more event highlights, check out BBMYCoders’ post: http://bit.ly/BBMYCodersJamHack

Manila, the Philippines

Winner: Team Rain Creative
App: Realm of Elysium, a strategy game inspired by Battleship

Singapore

Winner: Tiam Yang, Tyler Projects Ptd Ltd
App: Drop Zone, a HTML game on BlackBerry 10

All in all, the participants had loads of fun, were rewarded with giveaways, and walked away with awesome prizes even if they didn’t win. Teams walked away with a bag of great goodies such as water bottles, t-shirts, stickers, and more. Also, all participants who attended BlackBerry JamHack received a BlackBerry JamHack rewards badge on BlackBerry JamZone as well as a free pass to BlackBerry Jam Asia 2012 in Thailand! Spirits were definitely sky high when the events ended and everyone walked away a winner.

This series of JamHacks would not have been possible without the BlackBerry developer groups. To find out more about the developer groups behind the scenes of the awesome JamHacks, check out:

Registration for the next five cities is still open – so don’t miss your chance to be jammin’ with us on October 19-21 (5-city simultaneous hacks):

All ten winners from BlackBerry JamHack city events will be walking away with an all-expenses paid trip to the BlackBerry Jam Asia in Bangkok, where they will be vying with nine other teams to be crowned Asia Pacific champions and receive the grand prize of an all-expenses paid trip to BlackBerry 10 global launch, amongst other great prizes!

Follow the hashtag #BBJamHack to find out more about the JamHack events – here are some tweets we were pretty proud to see:



Interested to learn more about some program or events mentioned above? Click to learn more about:

About Jiazi Xu

@JiazeeX

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