Monday, April 4, 2011

First ever Android Pretotyping Hackathon at Google

On March 31, 2011, Google's AppInventor and Androgen teams joined forces to put together the first ever Android Micro-Hackathon.

According to Wikipedia: "A hackathon, a hacker neologism, is an event when programmers meet to do collaborative computer programming. These events are typically between several days and a week in length. A hackathon refers not simply to one time hacks, but to a specific time when many people come together to hack on what they want to, how they want to - with little to no restrictions on direction or goal of the programming."

A micro-hackathon is for people who don't have a few days or weeks to spare.  In this case, the teams - with no prior knowledge of App Inventor or Androgen, had 3-4 hours to learn the basics and create a working pretotype.  That's what rapid-prototyping tools like AppInventor and Androgen (which is still an internal tool) make possible.

We can't yet share some of the cool pretotypes that people came up with, but I was impressed with how people took our basic functionality and mashed it up with other Google cloud-based services like Fusion Tables, YouTube and Picasa, to create some convincing and useful (or just fun) working pretotypes.

One of the things we'd love to do is an Android pretotyping hackathon open to non-Googlers.  Stay tuned!

Here are a couple pictures from the event.


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