#Hackdat 2011 shows the power of 48 hours

Developers and coders are sometimes broadly categorized as anti-social, but we know better. When the organizers of GNOCODE and Ruby Bayou first told us they were putting together a code competition – I knew they’d come up with something good.

#Hackdat went off without a hitch this weekend with a host of developers competing from all around the state. I was asked to judge, and of course I wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to spend time at Launch Pad playing with a bunch of cool new apps.

I’ve never judged a code competition before, so I didn’t really know what to expect. What I got in the end was the opportunity to meet a bunch of new developers, see brilliant minds at work, and the shock of seeing nearly-fully developed products created in less time than most people spend watching TV every week.

Here’s a quick run through of the teams and their final products:

Team Cabbies: “CabDat”

CabDat is a cab management app created by Cade Roux, Brandon Aucoin, Jimmy Buck, and Trent Oubre. Judges were impressed by the three separate sites (one for passengers, one for dispatchers, and one for drivers) and the fact that it just plain worked.

Here are all the URLs: http://cabdat.comhttp://m.cabdat.com – a mobile site for passengers; http://d.cabdat.com – a desktop site for the dispatcher; http://c.cabdat.com – a tablet-oriented site (landscape mode preferred) for the cabbies.

Team Goldfire: “CALLDIT”

CALLDIT, created by Jeffery Kennedy& James Sampson, is an app for betting on individual drives of football games. Participants can select what they think the outcome of the drive will be (touchdown, field goal, turnover, safety, etc) and choose a dollar amount to bet.

The system automatically calculates odds based on what everyone else is betting. After a bet is set, participants can trash talk & chat until the drive is completed and the winners announced. Repeat for every drive and you have a new layer of interactivity on America’s most-watched sport.

Check it out here: http://is.gd/calldit.

Team Close Enough: Close Enough

Close Enough, created by Benjamin Eckel, Dominique Saulet, Brad Huber, and Adam Clarke, is an innovative app that marries event listings with location-based mapping and OCR.

Scan in an event poster and the app will verify the date & location, and then place a pin on the map at the location for that date. Click on the pin to see the originally uploaded poster. http://close-enough.dyndns.biz/

The Best Friends Forever Club: LunchPad NOLA

LunchPad NOLA (a play on LaunchPad) was created by Ben Lavender, Joe Ellis, and Matt Shwery. The team recognized one of the biggest barriers to launching a new company: connecting with the right people.

Lunch Pad allows users to sign up to either take an expert to lunch, or be an expert and get taken to lunch. If you need legal, technical, or general advice, find the right guy (or gal) and buy them a meal in exchange for a little bit of their time: http://lunchpadnola.com/.

The Dreamweaver Catchers: Traffic Light Stories

Traffic Light Stories, created by Earl Carlson, Jay Casteel, and Dan Leininger, attempts to solve the problem of down-time at red lights. The location-based app allows users to leave or listen to stories left at certain stop lights around the city.

The concept is interesting but we’re a little concerned that we’d get stuck behind people too busy listening to stories to recognize that the light has already turned green:  http://trafficlightstories.com/.

Team Dungeon Masters: BardApp

Bard was created by Kurtis Rainbolt-Greene, Cameron Samson, Fernando Ortiz, and Alyson Kilday. The concept was to marry Dungeons & Dragon-like gamification with agile software development and project management.

Kings (clients), Story-tellers (project managers), and Heroes (developers) would interact on the site to complete stories (tasks), epics (projects), and gain experience points along the way.  http://bard-hackdat.herokuapp.com/


Members of the judging group included John Barnette (CTO of Audiosocket), Chris Boudy (co-founder of NewOrleansTech.net), Ross Hinkle (Founder and Chief Fan of Liveset), Peter Bodenheimer (FlatStack, Launch Pad Ignition), and me, Molly Oehmichen (Editor in Chief, Silicon Bayou News).


The judging team thought everyone who participated did an excellent job with limited time and resources. All of the apps had interested ideas and a lot of the back-end work already completed, even if the UI wasn’t perfect or errors tripped up the testing.

But of course, there did have to be actual winners to take home the big prizes, so here they are:

CabDat won First Place receiving a $1000 prize and CALLDIT won Second Place and a $750 prize.

Congrats to all of the teams who participated (and of course especially to those who took home the big bucks at the end). The event was sponsored by: LaunchPadiSeatzFlatStackGNOInc.AudiosocketKickboardZingboard, LaunchPad Ignition, and Federated Sample.