Thursday, August 20, 2009

GTUG Campout - 3 Day Hackstravaganza

The Silicon Valley Google Technology User Group (GTUG) held the first GTUG Campout, a 46 hour hackathon, over the weekend of August 7-9. Nearly 200 developers, designers, and business people came to build working applications using Google Technology, focusing largely on the Google Wave API.

The event was intense, spanning 3 days. In that time, attendees had to pitch ideas, form teams, and code like heck to have a working prototype to demo by Sunday evening.

Friday evening, we had over 50 pitches. Afterwards, people had a chance to mingle and find teams that they wanted to work with. Groups whiteboarded and discussed their ideas, then started working hard. Over 30 coders were still working past 2:00 am Saturday morning.

Sunday night we had 32 presentations of working applications followed by wooden nickel style voting to determine the winner. The crowd chose Videowave, a Wave gadget that allows synchronized viewing of videos from YouTube. They were awarded 1 pass to Google I/O '10, 2 G1 phones, and lunch with members of the Wave team.

Screenshot of Videowave in action

The list of winners:
  • 1st place: Videowave, by Solomon Wu, Aaron Tong, Nelson To. (their blog)
  • 2nd place: H3LP, by Jen McCabe, Steve Okay, Stig Hackvan, Andrey Petrov
    • Android app and mobile web app for emergency medical situations. If launched, app locates you and notify authorities and emergency contacts.
    • Mobile web vers:
  • 3rd place (3 way tie)
    • PoppyWave, by Hitesh Parashar, Van Riper, Kewaljit, David Elliston, Dave Lyman, Prathap Nimal, Dave Neubaur, Toby Morning, Perrine Crampton
      • Wave-Email Gateway that lets non-Wave users to participate in Wave.
      • Robot:
    • BeerTime Bot, by Jason Katzer, Aaditiya Bhatia, Joe Mulvaney
      • Measures hostility level in a Wave. If too high, hijacks thread and geolocates participants and suggests nearby drinking establishment. Robot and gadget components.
      • Robot:, Gadget XML
      • Open sourced code: beertime, meetuptime
    • Cutebox, by Audrey Roy
Congratulations to all the winners and other attendees who worked so hard! Thanks also to the Googlers who helped out and answered questions, and our volunteers, especially those that helped with videos and photos.

A fun slideshow of the event:

The Silicon Valley Google Technology User Group is one of the first GTUGs around the world. Today around 70 GTUGs exist worldwide. Information about starting a GTUG in your area can be found at The first GTUG Campout was a great success and we are looking forward to doing the event next year, and hope other GTUGs will host GTUG Campouts in their neighborhoods.

Update: Video and some images courtesy of Shirley Lin of WooMeOver.

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