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Facebook Summer of Hack Seattle

July 22 2012

This weekend, Tess and I did Facebook's "Summer of Hack" in Seattle. In general, the hacks were less elaborate (and complete) than at other hackathons, but I still had a good time and met some cool people. We ended up pivoting about 7 hours in, so that was fun (not). However, my parts weren't so bad, because I'd done them all before, so I still was able to go home and get 6 or 7 hours of sleep. (I'd just been sick, so that was one of my requirements.)

For our hack, we ended up building the Significant Other Remote Control, which provides you one-click way to send messages to your significant other to remember the important things in life. (To my readers in the future (haha, right, I know you don't exist), if that link is broken, I apologize, but promise you it was both witty and beautiful. We're probably not going to keep it up forever because texts cost money to send.) We give you a slider to choose from a varying degree of loving to angry messages, and basically make it painless for you to passive aggressively control your significant other. We're using Twilio and Rails on Heroku, as you might expect.

We ended up getting an honorable mention, mostly because (I think) we were funny and polished. Many of the other hacks were only half done, or had features that wouldn't work during the demo. The winners, the Collage App, totally deserved it. They put together a Facebook app that lets you really easily put together collages from photos and post straight to Facebook. They had a bunch of different arrangements for you to choose from as well. Congrats!

To everyone else, I still enjoyed all the demos, even if your hack wasn't finished or if the demo gods decided to strike you down. I hope to see you again next summer! And thanks to Facebook for hosting us!

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Drew writes code for fun and (sometimes) profit. He's currently studying Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He has previously worked at Facebook, Amazon, and a startup called Intersect.