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Boston Hackathon

Boston Hackathon produces three super apps destined for Windows Phone

Events like the Boston Hackathon are the places where the next must-have app are born. If you’ve never been to a hackathon you’re missing out on a great event where you can meet like-minded people with a vast array of creativity and talent. Let’s look at three of those apps you’ll hopefully be enjoying soon on your Windows Phone.

First off, what is a hackathon? It’s an event that usually spans a two or three days with all sorts of creative people coming together to learn and build. You’ll find developers, designers, and entrepreneurs forming teams and competing against one another. The goal is to build an app or service really fast, sometimes those apps are focused around a goal or theme – like healthcare apps or apps that help ‘connect’ you. Most hackathons are a testament to what the willpower of a few individuals working together can accomplish in a short amount of time.

Boston Hackathon Poster

Lance McCarthy is a Nokia Developer Ambassador and works at Telerik (they make some cool controls for developers). He also decided to put together a hackathon in his city of Boston. The event lasted two days with teams working on Windows Phone applications. The first day he took 5 days’ worth of Windows Phone 8 code camp training and compressed it into 8 hours. After that the devs were free to team up and start working on an application for Windows Phone. They hand until 3:30 in the afternoon on the second day to finish. Teams worked through the night, some working for 20 hours straight to start and finish their app.

When it was all said and done, 43 apps were produced and you’ll probably be seeing a handful of those in the Store in the near future.

Everyone who participated was awarded a Nokia Premium Developer Token, which is worth $1500 and includes the following: Windows Phone DevCenter account ($99), Telerik RadControls for Windows Phone ($99), 1 million Buddy API calls a month for 12 months ($1200), and two Nokia support tickets ($198). That’s why you should be seeing most if not all of these apps in the Store, every developer now has an account to publish their app. Like most competitions, there had to be some actual winners. Let’s look at those.

Third Place – RadLibs


“Third place was RadLibs, by Team Hyland (Jeremiah Bryant, Anthony Russell, Kevin DiTraglia and Bryan Stump) who drove all the way from Cleveland, Ohio to participate! The app is a digital MadLib, which spits out some really funny stories from the user’s pre-chosen, random words. They used the Telerik controls throughout the app and even used the speech APIs which made the app even funnier.” 

Second Place – LockMapper


“Second place went to LockMapper, by Jeffrey Harmon (developer of the successful app, Memorylage). This app updates your lock screen with your current location on a map, and also the live tile, with your current location and the route to your destination plotted! Jeff demonstrates his out-of-the-box thinking with this unique featuring of WP8 APIs and Telerik controls and nailed another home run.”  

First Place – VTX (Voice assisted Training and Exercise)


“First place went to VTX (Voice Assisted Training & Exercise by Maneesh Moota and Roman Jaquez). It was a spectacular application that leveraged the power of the Telerik Design Templates and RadControls for Windows Phone. It also integrated speech, maps, accelerometer data, backend for user profiles, RadQrCode to share workout routines and much more.”

The above apps demonstrate what can happen in less than 24 hours. They are a little rough around the edges and the developers will be polishing them out before hitting publish. Personally, I’m most stoked about VTX. Pair this app with some wireless headphones and you might have the perfect workout buddy that isn’t named Ronnie Coleman.

Lance was also on the Windows Developer Show talking about the camp, skip to around the 30 min mark in episode 113 to find out more. Companies like Nokia and Microsoft routinely have coding camps and hackathons like this across the country and globe. A great place to find out about them is here at Windows Phone Central and DVLUP. Any of you guys have an idea for an app? Sound off below.

Source: Boston Nokia Developer

Edit: Fixed the title, wasn't intentional. Apologies and our thoughts are with everyone in Boston. 



There are 61 comments. Sign in to comment

ruthietootie says:

Looks like they'll be some cool apps, in particular the VTX

depeche242 says:

Maybe too soon to use "Boston", " ...athon" and "killer" all in one sentence.
Sorry, first thing that came to mind!
Would be a cool event to see.

mrcraggle says:

First thing that came to my mind as well. I made this face O_O

Alex_Hong says:

Kinda agree on this. That was the first thing that came to my mind too.

Yup... I thought the same thing...

Ah yeah, poor choice of words in the title

SAYSteez says:

I never understand why..
I'm pissed about the bombings but I could care less if those words are in the same sentence.

glassadam says:

Nah, I don't think so. That's us just being overly and unnecessarily sensitive, like people who try to be too politically correct and start claiming to see racism everywhere where there is none. Now if the title had been something about "explosive apps" then there might have been an issue.

ggonzalez777 says:

Please change this, its too soon.

armagezon says:

You are being overly politically-correct. 

gladbecker82 says:

NO ITS NOT TOO SOON!!! The Hackathon was before it so why change the event title? Only because some people are sensitive about it, makes no sense. Yeah, its bad what happened and all that but as if this would change something smh.

It's called tact and respect.

Curtieson says:

It wasn't the "Hackathon" part, it was the saying that they were "killer" apps. You got hung up on the wrong part.

ilabene says:

I would love to play RadLibs!

benrp says:

Wow, I thought for sure the tital was some bad joke.

Alex_Hong says:

VTX looks amazing! Can't wait to try it out.

DJCBS says:

My first thought was also that putting "Boston" and "killer" in one sentence in the title was an unhappy choice. And I'm not even American.

MacDaMachine says:

Terrible title.

mdscj4 says:

Boston..killer..your services are no longer needed Sam

Sam Sabri says:

Chill out.

It wasn't intentional at all. These apps ARE killer/awesome/amazing/super. I was focused on highlighting hard work and talent from the developers.

I think it was meant as more of a sarcastically gentle prod than an outright attack Sam. Kinda like how when everyone is a kid and your parents have to tell you not to do something you were unaware wasn't appropriate ^_^;

calfee20 says:

You ever wear orange on St Paddy's day.  I never knew until a girlfriend of mind did and she had a poor day indeed.

Trust1421 says:

The title blows jerks!

NaterBater says:

All is forgiven. Apps look cool. Will check them out when available.

aitt says:

Although tragic (RIP) stop being extra sensative. SMH

vinnyvin says:

There u go, much better

MSFTMatt says:

Calm the F down. Maybe if people actually read the FULL title they wouldn't cry and sh!t themselves for no reason. Just like if people actually listened better and were tolerant of other people we wouldn't have problems like this and idiots that focus on the negatives of everything and actually think like intelligent adults... maybe I expect too much from my fellow WP community. perhaps I should post this on Fandroid and iSheep forums to get more whining than practical thought and intelligible conversation that, surprising, happens more often in the WP.

I enjoyed the article Sam. Rest of you grow up and calm down.

MSFTMatt says:

And he promptly changed the title, so stop crying

depeche242 says:

Hey I wasn't meaning for a backlash. Just title was first thing that came to mind. NOT a bash at Sam.
If your mom was killed by a drunk driver and you read an article that Budweiser was selling beer and sponsoring NASCAR, I'm sure it would at least remind you of what happened. Wouldn't make you an "idiot" or one that you'd needed to "calm the F down".

MSFTMatt says:

I could care less if my mom died, she abused me emotionally and psychological when I was in my youth because I grew up in a strong Mormon household and since adolescence had no desire of my own to continue in that religious practice. Do I refuse to befriend Mormons? or Christians? or just in general condemn all those who practice a religion? Nope, I am intelligent to observe and understand people despite my personal biases, but appreciate what they offer. What I will state that I dislike is ignorance, and perpetual ignorance of mankind and the mob.
My comment wasn't also meant to be an attack on those of you who IMHO massively overreacted (not you dépêche your comment was appropriate), but as a call to calm the f down as we should be the more enlightened species on this planet to be able to discern an insult and an honest mistake and not ostracize an awesome individual for a harmless mistake.

depeche242 says:

I agree. Life would be a lot easier if people could look past things. Harmless things taken out of context can be blown WAY out of porportion. Cheers Matt.

theonedunn says:

Way too friggin deep for a phone forum. Good Lord.

You sir, I like what your cooking, got fire in your belly.

elyl says:


rodneyej says:

Good point! People always try to make something out of nothing.. These are the same people who believe everything they hear on the news.. I agree with you... Well, anyways, its a fine app indeed!!! Lol!

dalydose says:

I hope WPC keeps us informed when these hit the Store. The VTX could be awesome.

Sam Sabri says:

Of course we will. We're working on getting our hands on the apps before they hit to show them off to you guys. And we'll learn about the other apps developed there as well. 

I am from Boston.. Bad timing for that title

Don't say Boston, it's too soon.

Trust1421 says:

Appreciate the quick change. Good to know guys read the comments.

Apply_Logic says:

There's nothing wrong with the title. Stop over reacting shitbird

NaterBater says:

Actually there was something wrong with the title and that's why it was changed. Not saying it was intentional or anything, but just unfortunate.

Apply_Logic says:

Well no. People thought It was too aggressive because it had [Boston-thon-killer] but we all know it had nothing to do with the horrifying tragedy.

Jf.Vigor says:

lol this was funny

kullkid92x says:

Hmm this is all making sense now, dude i visit the official windowsphone site frequent and lately they've had this banner/counter showing the current number of apps on the store, and no lie every 3 weeks the number jumps by 5,000 :0 (currently at 135k)

So yeah, I see why lol these hackathons are cool. I need 1 more semester of class and I can officially start coding with somewhat experience :) ill deff look into these this summer so please don't stop posting them up!

Sam Sabri says:

Where do you live? Here is a list from DVLUP detailing some Hackathons that Nokia is helping sponsor. See if there is one in your area. 

And if you don't see one in your area, find your local Nokia Ambassador and help them plan one! :)

Sugarnotch says:

Kinda want to try out VTX really badly...

I'm sorry Sam, I feel like you caught unnecessary treatment in this comment thread. I feel for ya Sam, one love, Night Wolf out....

Sam Sabri says:

I... don't even.know .. how.. ..Ok fine. Night Wolf Out!

That was my attempt to show my empathy for you without getting blasted in the comments how I'm now a Nazi or something. I read enough of your articles to know that "if" your verbiage was misinterpreted or deemed offensive, it was 100% unintentional and I respect you changing the title, even though you shouldn't "have" to, but.....I digress.....

I get down to some Pantera every now and again lol

nsg1000 says:

err, I think I really need to take another look at the telerik stuff.
Very impressive apps indeed.

Sam Sabri says:

Reach out to Lance on Twitter. He'll be able to point you into some solid directions for Telerik info. 

Their Tasks app for Win 8/RT is great.

Hi nsg1000,
The best way to check out the controls is to get the Telerik Examples app on your phone. Its a great app that shows different ways to use the controls. When you download the trial, you get the full source code for that app and can use it as a guide for your own development. 
I cant seem to leave a link here, so just search the store for "Telerik Examples"

HaibaneReki says:

This discussion gave me a couple of guilty laughs :) Americans. ;)
More importantly - thanks for the article (like the MapLocker - brilliant idea) and RIP + condolences to Boston from CZ

We're like a double-edged take the good with the bad, or vice versa.

tacofiend says:

VTX would be awesome to use once I get my Fitbit Flex!

MSFTMatt says:

FitBit is awesome! I have been using the ultra since a week after its release and I think the service is a solid one. It links Healthcault, MyFitnessPal, Endomondo, and tons others in one place and the Aria Scale is also awesome. I have already submitted an email to FitBit asking to look into VTX for app pairing, but as there is still not an official FitBit App, not too sure if they will consider. But a closed mouth doesn't get fed right!?

tacofiend says:

I'm so excited to use it. Combined with the unlockable badges for goals I think it'll really help me be more consistent. I really like how it links MyFitnessPal, again I've only been dilligent about keeping it updated about 4-5 days a week. It does suck there isn't an official app yet for WP, I was thinking I'd be good to go with the Nexus 7 I got a few weeks ago but haven't found any solid answers if it will sync with that or not, might have to stick with the computer. You're right, a closed mouth doesn't get fed and I've already made more comments than I should on their Facebook page haha.