BlackBerry Jam Session Hackathon – Recife, Brazil

Android Development

Guest post from Zak P. – Ed.

Winner – Best App
Awarded to: Team C&N

Although computer science undergraduates Alexandre Cisneiros de Albuquerque Filho and Joselito Francisco do Nascimento Júnior share a background in web development, neither member of Team C&N had ever developed and released a mobile application. The team’s first try, ‘Teach Better’, allows teachers to integrate and automate their busy schedules, including grading, classes and appointments. Their app was awarded “Best App” at the BlackBerry Jam Session Hackathon in Recife, Brazil!

On developing with HTML5/BlackBerry WebWorks SDK…

“We’ve both been web developers since childhood and had used the same technologies, frameworks and techniques to develop applications. We immediately chose HTML5/BlackBerry WebWorks SDK because we thought it would make our learning curve developing a mobile app much shorter. Designing the user interface, interactions and the functionality of the app was a straightforward experience. This allowed us to focus on our ideas for the app, and not on coding patterns. The BlackBerry WebWorks SDK was also crucial in building a framework that would create an integrated user experience.”

On working with the Research In Motion (RIM) team and receiving feedback…

“The RIM developer team was more than helpful – they were essential. Although there is great documentation available on the web, nothing can substitute for having experts right by your side, coaching you along the way. We were able to ask questions, test ideas and solutions on the spot, and receive timely feedback. The entire development experience was totally worth it! We really appreciated the compliments received from the RIM team, and also the ideas for changes that helped put us on the right track to continue developing our ideas.”

On sending a lasting message to other app developers…

“The BlackBerry Jam Session Hackathon was a turning point in our lives. We left the event motivated to bring our ideas to life. It was an amazing experience and speaks to the bond RIM has with its developer community. Developing for the BlackBerry 10 platform is a rewarding experience, which allows you to work with technologies that you are comfortable with. When you combine these elements, it keeps everyone very motivated to continue developing!”

Winner – Best E-Commerce App
Awarded to: Team Steam

As a team with prior experience developing on the Android platform but only limited exposure to BlackBerry smartphone development, Team Steam wanted to take part in the BlackBerry Jam Session Hackathon in Recife, Brazil to learn about how to port their Android applications. After a few hours, Team Steam – made up of two developers and one designer – walked away with the prize for Best E-Commerce App!

On the ‘Search My Car’ application…

“The application leverages GPS functionality to locate your car and then trace a route to you. It also allows you to locate nearby gas stations.”

On deciding to participate at the BlackBerry Jam Session Hackathon…

“We didn’t have a deep level of experience developing for the BlackBerry platform, since most of our background was in Android development. When we found out the Hackathon event was coming to Recife, we saw it as an excellent opportunity to develop our app idea on the BlackBerry platform. It was an amazing experience for all of us. We want to develop for the BlackBerry 10 platform because we see it as a new market opportunity, and because it’s a unique chance to be a pioneer in the development of applications for an exciting new platform.”

On using the BlackBerryRuntime for Android tool to port their application…

“With our collective backgrounds in web development, the BlackBerry Runtime for Android apps was a good way to overcome our lack of experience with the BlackBerry platform and take advantage of the opportunity to develop an application on it. We were able to leverage the Google Maps API in the application.”

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