Mobile App Hackathon Chicago #mobileappchi

I spent all day today at the AT&T Mobile App Hackathon in Chicago helping developers build some really cool applications using Sencha Touch (among other technologies). Here’s a recap of what you missed.

The day started with introductions from the various event sponsors: AT&T, Apigee, Sencha, appMobi, Microsoft, Morningstar and Immersion. Short introductions on the respective products – nothing spectacular, but certainly enough to get the creative juices going.

Everyone then broke into groups and started hacking. I was pleasantly surprised to see how many people wanted to tackle Sencha Touch even though most of the attendees had not used the framework previously! James Pearce and I walked around most of the day answering questions.

Lots of free pizza, snacks, beer and swag was available throughout the day. Microsoft seriously had a truckload of stuff to give out… so it was definitely worth the (free) price of admission!

At the end of the day, attendees gave brief presentations with their apps to compete for a variety of prizes. Many of the apps were mashups involving the Twitter API or based on geolocation. The overall winner created a native iOS application utilizing barcode scanning, a live camera feed and a notification system!

Sencha offered an additional prize for the Best Sencha Touch application. I had the pleasure of awarding $250 to team “Test Prep”, who built an app to create online tests. I was surprised to see it using more advanced navigation and customized CSS layouts… plus it was a fairly complete app. Nice job!

AT&T and Sencha will be hosting more of these hackathons around the country, so be sure to attend!


With nearly 20 years of software engineering and operations experience, Arthur Kay offers an extraordinary set of leadership skills and technical expertise to develop meaningful products and high-performing teams. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies, VC-funded startups and companies across a wide variety of industries to build cutting-edge software solutions.

Arthur is a successful entrepreneur, technology professional, and mentor. He is a full-time family man, part-time consultant and spare-time musician. He graduated from Loyola University Chicago and currently lives in greater Chicago-land.

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