Team SocialSafe win Viadeo’s London Hackday – October 2011

On Friday we sent three of our developers to the Viadeo London Hackday. The brief was pretty straightforward – each team entering the competition had to either develop a new application that uses the Viadeo API, or integrate the Viadeo API into an existing application. All of the work was to be completed during a round-the-clock programming session starting at 18:30 on Friday 30th September and finishing at 17:30 on Saturday 1st October. Sounds pretty gruelling doesn’t it? Well, pizzas and beers were freely available, so that certainly sweetened the deal!

The SocialSafe team (l-r Heatther, Ben, James) looking fresh as they arrive...

For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Viadeo is a social network used by over 35 million professionals to connect and conduct business with other users (similar to LinkedIn). Anyway, what did our developers come up with? Well, using the existing SocialSafe application, Heather Roberts and Ben Hogan (both SocialSafe developers) were joined by James Christie (a DADapp developer), and between the three of them they set to work on the Viadeo API. Having just finished a normal five-day working week, they worked through the night (and next day) to build a functioning version of SocialSafe incorporating content from Viadeo. If you aren’t aware of what SocialSafe does, it’s an offline searchable back-up journal for social networks, currently supporting Facebook profiles and pages, and Twitter accounts.

Once the ‘hacking’ had been finished by all of the competing teams, there was the option to break for lunch and then the teams had to prepare for their Final Presentations. James Christie took the stage just after 5pm on Saturday and showed the assembled masses what the team had achieved, running a working demo of SocialSafe incorporating Viadeo. After all teams had presented their work, the judging panel retreated to make a decision, before announcing the SocialSafe team as the winners! The first prize was an all expenses paid trip for two to Le Web ’11 in Paris this December.

...after programming all day and night, a rather haggered looking James Christie presents on behalf of SocialSafe

Commenting on the experience, James said “Credit goes to the team at Viadeo; the API was a pleasure to work with, but it wouldn’t have been possible without Ben and Heather… getting the API incorporated in such little time was no mean feat, especially with no sleep! I think we can all be really proud of what we managed to achieve over the last 24 hours.” Ben was thrilled about the win and the prize, until he realised he had a diary conflict: “It was the first ‘hackday’ I’ve ever been to, and to win was fantastic. However I’ve just realised I won’t be able to go to Paris for Le Web as I’ll be on holiday in the Canary Islands – but at least that means there won’t be three of us fighting over two tickets!”

Heather found out new things about herself during the hackday “I liked it, but there wasn’t any tea and I don’t like junk food either. But I did discover that I can now drink coffee! Oh, and I’m looking forward to going to Paris!!”

All in all, we’re very proud of the people we have working at SocialSafe and DADapp, and feel that winning 1st Prize in the Viadeo London Hackday is the least that they deserve for the  massive amount of work they put in on a daily basis. Well done guys, and enjoy Paris (not you Ben)!