iPhone Dev Camp 3 Weekend Recap

It was a fun weekend at iPhone Dev camp 3 at Y! Sunnyvale HQ.

iPhone Dev Camp sign

iPhone Dev Camp sign

Day 1 – Friday 7/31/09

Friday night was a nice relaxing evening with just one keynote by Chi-Hua Chien from KPCB iFund.  See my previous post for details.  His slides are posted online here. The rest of the evening was roaming around and network. Met many nice people. Hovered around Christopher Allen to see what Hackathon projects are available.  A few that interested me:

  • GetAround – Charles Du and his team of green-shirted friends looking for “rockstar programmers” with MapKit experience.
  • Chief Medical Officer – Bess Ho and Jen McCabe assembling a team to make Google Health more useful.
  • Foodspotting – Alexa & Seth wants to build a visual, dish-centric, social app for foodies.
BT spinning, Geeks Dancing, iPhones taking pictures

BT spinning, Geeks Dancing, iPhones taking pictures

BT was playing trance electronic music outside.  I was out a bit watching geeks dancing. But there are just too many flying buggers.  When they start to swim in my beer, it’s time to head back inside.

Hot dogs were served for dinner, with beer on tap (after keynote). I overheard some people who mumbled “What? Hot dogs for dinner? How lame?” I did not butt in, but at $50 for a weekend of food and fun, what do you expect? Beluga caviar and Dom Pérignon?

Day 2 – Saturday 8/1/09

Arrived bright and early at 9am.  Bagels, pastries, coffee, OJ. Lots of people already.

Slide from Andrew Stone's presentation

Slide from Andrew Stone's presentation

The morning session started late.  Sorted of expected. The Andrew Stone keynote on How  NeXT computer became the iPhone is an excellent talk about the history of NeXTStep.  I was remotely connected to the NeXT through FrameMaker‘s availability on the NeXT cube.

I finally decided to join the Foodspotting Hackathon team and forgo many of the equally interesting sessions.  The team includes Alexa & Seth Andrzejewski, Aaron Bannert, and Warren Stringer. Around 2pm, we started really talking about limiting the capabilites so we can create something that demonstrates the concept and vision within 24 hours.  Alexa got many screen mockups already. We were able to define what functionalities can be done and what the screens should be by around 4pm.

I started putting the Xcode project together as the framework and CVS it.  Aaron & Warren worked on the data model.  Alexa & Seth provided the missing graphics and whatever we need. Magic Seth walked over and helped me with the iPhone camera integration code so the Foodspotting app can launch the camera to snag photos of food.

Indian food for dinner!

Indian food for dinner!

Over yummy Indian dinner, we continue to hack away with more code and before the 10pm shutdown time, we have a version that includes taking photos, showing the MapKit view with current location, and the beginnings of the streaming photos view and loaded it on my iPod touch and Alexa’s iPhone.  We were kicked out of Y! building 10pm-ish.  I braved the crazy flying buggers in the parking lot and headed home.  A bit more hacking at home before heading to bed.

A side note: Greystripe got some interesting stuff left in the Men’s room.  I should have taken a picture. It’s in a small plastic pouch, comes in various colors, and with the tagline “Because app developers deserve protection too!” Go figure 🙂

Day 3 – Sunday 8/2/09

Bagels, Muffins, Pastries, ...

Bagels, Muffins, Pastries, ...

Back to Y! campus by 9am.  Staked out at a table near the food and coffee and continued hacking away.  Warren started integrating his MapKit Annotations and Core Data models into the UI I built (and fixing the bugs I introduced last night, thanks, man!).  Got the streaming photos working.  Got the photos zoom UI working. We kept the UI very simple so we can get the application working quickly.  And instead of pulling data off the network, all the map pin drop annotations are bundled into the application.  Alexa and Seth worked on the presentation (which was so good that it wow’ed the crowd, but none of us have seen until demo time) while constructing the data set we use to seed the application with interesting pictures and geo-locations.

Sunday lunch: tasty tacos

Sunday lunch: tasty tacos

Aaron was debugging with Warren.  Seth called for help, at Warren’s direction, from the mic on stage for various Core Data and Map Kit issues several times.  Helpful helpers showed up faster than you can say “911”. Pretty much all of us worked on the application non-stop and skipping lunch.  Seth brought us tasty tacos so none of us fainted at the keyboard.

iPhone apps is the new web site

Phone App is the new Website

We signed up online for the demo before the 1pm deadline. Completed our demo-able application on the iPhone. Completed our presentation slides. Then we relaxed and watched other Hackathon Demo presenters.

Foodspotter Hackathon Team Photo

Foodspotting Hackathon Team Photo

Then it’s our turn.  We were slightly delayed after hitting into some snag with hooking up Alexa’s MacBook Pro to the projector.  But we finally got started with the demo.  (Lesson learned: Let Mac OS X take care of video switching.  Instead of manually setting the MacBook to 1024×768 to match the projector, just leave it alone, plug the video cable in, and Mac OS X will takes care of it. If not, you lose.) The slides were great.  The demo worked perfectly.  Crowd cheered. We knew there are bugs, but we were careful enough to only do things that are “safe”.  It’s my “machéte a path through the jungle” demo philosophy at work.

Out of the corner of my eyes, I saw Robert Scoble sneaked up towards the stage and took a picture of us.  I asked him afterward what he thinks of Foodspotting application. He said he likes it!

Then comes the nail-biting time of waiting for the judging.  We just hung around talking to people and networking.  When the winners announcement comes to Best Social Applications–It’s Foodspotting!  We jumped up and down and went up to claim our loot which includes: 8GB iPod touch, Elgato H.264 HD encoder, and MobileMe family pack.  We also picked up several other small prizes with our blue “helpful” tickets. Here’s the list of all the iPDC3 Hackathon winners.

The Foodspotting team went out to Shanghai Flavor in Sunnyvale for our celebration dinner and get to know our weekend Hackathon teammates a bit more.

6 Responses to “iPhone Dev Camp 3 Weekend Recap”

  1. Alexa Says:

    Thanks for helping with @foodspotting! Couldn’t have gotten this idea off the ground without your dedicated coding!


  2. adaptive path » blog » Alexa Andrzejewski » How to Design an iPhone App in 48 Hours Says:

    […] We asked for help. One of the best things about iPhoneDevCamp was the culture of openness and sharing (reinforced by the blue raffle tickets that organizers handed out to everyone demonstrating these values). Whenever the developers hit a snag, we asked for help using the open mic, and “Helpers showed up faster than you can say ‘911′” (as my teammate Peter put it). […]

  3. This Week in iPhone News - August 7/2009 Says:

    […] iPhone Dev Camp 3 Weekend Recap Summary of the events at this year’s iPhone Dev Camp at the Yahoo headquarters this past weekend. […]

  4. This Week in iPhone News – August 7/2009 | Oh Wow ... a Blog Says:

    […] iPhone Dev Camp 3 Weekend Recap Summary of the events at this year’s iPhone Dev Camp at the Yahoo headquarters this past weekend. […]

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