apps4good

Apps4Good Hackathon 2012

While most of the working world was taking it easy over the weekend (perhaps enjoying the last snow-less days Saskatchewan will be seeing for a while), a small group of Saskatoon’s tech community met at VendAsta’s office to participate in the Apps4Good Hackathon. Among them were entrepreneurs, freelancers, mobile developers, web developers, and a PhD student — certainly a wide range of skills.

Apps4Good Hackathon

The Apps4Good event started in 2009 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It aims to build re-usable open source mobile apps for civic engagement and to help out local and charitable organizations.

Yudi Xue says: “We started by web-conferencing with two other teams of hackers [from Regina, SK and Zambia, Africa] and situation briefing. Then we began brainstorming ideas and narrowing them down to three ideas that were executable … After that, we broke up into three teams for those three different projects.”

The three projects were:Apps4Good Hackathon

1. Brandagram: a simple camera app to brand photos with a watermark or a border for an organization or event. (Mobile iOS)
2. Social Dashboard: aggregated Facebook, Twitter, iCAL, and RSS data that allows for easy sharing via social networks (Mobile iOS)
3. Local Heroes: a way to thank people in the community for being awesome (Web-based)

All three teams were able to finish their projects on time and demo them at 5pm on Sunday, October 21st. Their source code can be accessed from https://github.com/apps4good.

For more information on Apps4Good, visit their website at apps4good.ca. It’s a great event, so we encourage everyone to learn more and get involved.

The next tech event that’ll be held at VendAsta is BarCamp on Saturday, November 3rd. For more infomation, check out their Facebook Group or Twitter page. Look forward to seeing you there, it’s gonna be big!

VendAsta developers geek out for a worthy cause.

This past weekend we turned over our offices to a bunch of scruffy hippies dedicated to “helping those in need by doing what they love”.

“What they love” is designing software, and their specific method of helping those in need is to build iPhone apps, sell them for $1.99 at the App Store, and give the proceeds to local charities.

This whole freaky idea was dreamed up by ex-VendAsta developer Dale Zak, who helped get it off the ground in Halifax last year. At that first iPhone Hackathon 4 Charity, fifteen developers donated their weekends to help create the apps Meet Me Here and Wish You Were Here, with proceeds going to the Halifax charities Feed Nova Scotia and Phoenix Youth Programs.

In the wake of that successful Hackathon, Dale and his Halifax buddies incorporated a company called Apps4Good and set out to spread their idea around the world. Now Dale has expanded the event to a second city, with over fifty developers participating this year in Halifax and Saskatoon. The Saskatoon group, which included Phoenix, Krystian, Jordan, and Allan from VendAsta, divided into three teams to design:

I’m not sure what the “twist” is and I’m excited to find out…but I’ll have to wait a few months for the bugs to be ironed out and the apps to be officially released. Hopefully they’ll be hits and generate a little revenue for the charities in question. We’ll let you know when they’re available for purchase.

So good job, Dale and everyone. Some photos below, with more to see at the Apps4Good Facebook page.

Dale, Phoenix, and Jordan in the blounge.

Dale and team in the VendAsta blounge, with Halifax on the projector screen.

Krystian Olszanski

Krystian slouches for charity.

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