(…be there before 9am, make it 830am, the breakfast and rocket fuel is on us!)
HackMTL is on Saturday! That’s tomorrow. Race Day Baby! I hope you are all as excited as we are! Here is everything you need to know about the day’s schedule and logistics:
Registration is still open but will be closing shortly as there are just a handful of spots left. You don’t need a print out of your confirmation, an email receipt is just fine.
Bring your own mug
A reminder: HackMTL is a disposable cups free event! So that means you will need to bring your portable mug, thermos or whatever! If you don’t have one, well you still have time to head to the store and get yourself a fancy one. Make sure you can use it for both cold beverages and hot ones and you will be set for the next decade! Help us reduce and reuse! And now on to what you really have been waiting for.
HackMTL Sat. June 9th
Location: HackMTL will take place at Cossette’s offices in downtown Montreal, located at 2100 rue Drummond, between Sherbrooke and de Maisonneuve. Doors will be open at 8am for you early birds. The closest subway station is Peel, just two block east of the office.
|9:00 a.m.||Breakfast and introductions. Meet your HackDays organizers and all the developers, get acquainted with the space + final schedule. Grab a breakfast of champion and claim a spot for the day.|
|9:30 a.m.||API Presentations. Each API provider will have 5 minutes to present their API to everyone. They will discuss the salient features of the API and try to get you excited about using their API. This won’t be your only opportunity to learn about the APIs. All API providers will be on hand the entire day and will provide additional instructions and support.|
|10:15 a.m.||Open Planning. Come up with an idea for an application and build your team. If you already have a team and an idea, you go ahead and skip this step. Otherwise: make sure your idea is something you will be able to build in a few hours, write your idea on the whiteboard and see if you can find a developer to join you in building it. We will make introductions and will assist in this process.|
|10:30 a.m.||Let the hacking begin! Claim a table and get to work! The API sponsors will be available to answer questions all day long.|
|12:00 noon||Lunch. Grab lunch or skip lunch. It will be there for you|
|1:00 p.m.||More hacking! You’ve got until 5:30 p.m. to finish. FINISH. Don’t get distracted! Help yourself to any drink you need, coffee, energy snacks. And let us know if you need anything at all.|
|5:30 p.m.||Presentations. To present, you will need to have completed your application. Incomplete applications don’t get a spotlight. Every team gets 3 minutes to present. Make sure you test your connection to the projector in advance of your presentation. 3 minutes goes by fast if you are battling the projector in front of the judges.|
|7:00 p.m.||Judging and prizes. Our awesome judges will select the winners. Good luck!|
|7:30 p.m.||Post Hack Beer-up at a nearby pub.|
Frequently Asked Questions:
Am I allowed to use third party APIs (APIs not provided via HackTO) to build my application?
Yes. But your usage of the third party APIs needs to be in addition to the HackTO APIs. Also keep in mind that judging is partially based on utilization of the provided APIs, though, so their use should be prominent. You can use any API you wish to use during HackTO as long as you use at least one of the provided APIs.
What if I don’t know anyone when I get to HackTO or if I don’t have any ideas as to what to build?
Oh that’s an easy one: if you don’t know anyone, that will last about 10 seconds once you join us. Seriously. And as to ideas: not to worry, there will be plenty to choose from. The better question: will you have enough time to build your application and showcase it to the judges at the end of the day. We will do our best to connect you to other developers. Have a look at the API provided, the API gallery for each provider and do some research ahead of time on the APIs and what other developers have previously built.
What if I have an idea and a team already?
That’s a great start. Bring your team. Bring your idea. And get working as soon as you get to HackTO. Perhaps we will be able to witness the birth of your startup right then and there!
How large can my team be?
Teams can be as large or as small as you like. Solo is okay, too. A 2-3 people team is ideal typically.
What to bring:
- Your Guestlist receipt. You don’t need to print it, an email you can show us is fine. HackTO will be sold out and there will be no registration at the door
- Your laptop.
- Your mobile device if you are developing a mobile app.
- Cables, chargers and connectors for any of the above.
- A power bar – there are never enough power bars to go around!
- Your data stick if you have one – could come in handy if our network gets overloaded
- Your sense of humor and your ability to get along with everyone while in tight quarters!
- Your portable coffee cup – we try to keep disposables to a minimum in our events.
What we will provide:
- APIs, API support
- Coffee, tea, juice, pop
- Snacks and beers @ beer o’clock (sponsored by CloudOps)
- Wireless internet access
- Display for presentations, with HDMI and SVGA input (we recommend you bring your own connectors, but we will have some handy as well)
- An awesome developer community!
Post Hack Beer-up (7:30 PM to 9:30 PM - location TBD)
We are getting together at a pub/bar near the HackMTL location, post hack and prizes. Come and join us for a couple of pints and to meet other developers. This will also be an occasion to present any hacks that perhaps didn’t work or weren’t ready for the final presentations but we still would like to recognize the effort placed during the hack. We can all chat at the pub and organize as needed.
Anyone is welcome to join us at the pub, so please bring a friend.
If I have questions whom do I get in touch with?
Of course this is not just about glory, it is about prizes as well! Stay tuned for our prizes!
Good luck everyone and see you soon.
Shopify is a hosted ecommerce platform that powers over 25,000 shops across the web. If you’re thinking “WordPress.com for shops”, you’ve got a pretty good idea of what we do.
What makes us a big deal for developers is our API. Through the Shopify API developers can basically do anything a merchant can from their regular shop admin. Products, orders, customer data, static content, shop themes, and a host of other data can be harvested and updated. The possibilities for extensions are endless: We have apps that provide everything from cart recovery to automatic sale scheduling. There are integrations with existing services like Twitter, Facebook, MailChimp, and Amazon as well as new functionality built from scratch specifcally for Shopify. Best of all, merchants are willing to pay for all of this.
There are already 150 apps in our App Store but we’re not stopping there. Take a look at our Fund page for frequently requested integrations/functionality. If you have a killer idea you want to work on that’s not on that list, let us know!
To get started with our API, visit our developer wiki as well as our tech docs. You can also ask any of the Shopify representatives at Hack Montreal. We’ll have a $500 Apple gift card for the best Shopify app on the day. See you June 9th!
The Shopify Team
So, here’s the scene. It’s a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Montreal and you’ve just finished a delicious lunch at Cossette HQ, courtesy of HackMTL. Your team has been hacking since around 9 in the morning and, as far as you’re concerned, you’ve surely got a winning hack on your hands. And the best part? It’s all going to plan and you’re going to finish in the nick of time. But wait! You totally forgot to setup email for your application and there’s not much time left. Do you just forget it? No way! With SendGrid, you’re going to have it up and running in no time and finish up right on schedule.
SendGrid is a cloud-based email platform that gives you, the developer, access to every email API you could ever want. Outgoing, incoming, stats, events, newsletters. We have open-source libraries for most popular langagues and frameworks (which you can find under their Github account). If there isn’t a library for you language / framework of choice, don’t worry. Using their SMTP API, you can integrate with most default mail libraries out of the box. Take a look at their full list of getting started tutorials here.
You can find more information about all of SendGrid’s APIs on their documentation page, but here are some that will be useful during the hackathon:
- Send Emails (HTTP and SMTP)
- Receive Emails (set up the domain and DNS record before the event)
- Real-time Stats (requests, bounces, clicks, opens, unsubscribes, spam reports, etc)
- Newsletters (create, schedule, manage)
SendGrid will be giving away a Sphero to the best hack using one of their APIs. Sphero is an amazing plastic ball that you drive around with your iOS or Android device. Check out the Sphero website for a video demo and to see all the amazing things Sphero can do.
Primus is using this event to launch our new VoiceAPI and developer eco-system to the public. The Primus VoiceAPIs return a lot of data, so to help you get started with the API we figured we would provide you with a few ideas you could use for building an app using our API at the HackMTL event.
Google Maps / Call Log Mashup
Using the ActionsAPI to get the received Enhanced Call Logs for a user, we mashed up the calling number (NPA-NXX) with LocalCallingGuide.com and Google Maps to return a visual representation of where people are calling you from. Note that since this is only based on calling number it only shows the location of the central office that originated the call; however, it’s still a rough geographic indicator of where people are calling you from. This could be enhanced further with other data to really help a business “Know their callers”. To expand on the simple example below, you could build a “call tracker” app that categorizes, tracks, and creatively visualizes incoming calls to various category buckets e.g. by geography, time of day, day of week. This would allow the user or office administrator to analyze the distribution of incoming call traffic and, for example, fine-tune their incoming call interactions and personnel resourcing.
IM Status Updater
Using the EventsAPI, you can subscribe to and receive HTTP POST notifications whenever a users phone status changes (makes a call, receives a call, goes into do not disturb, etc). Using this data you could create a browser-based client or widget that allows a user to monitor the phone status of a selected set of their contacts also on the same system.
Click to Dial integration
Using the ActionsAPI, you could add click to dial to your application in seconds, allowing a Primus HostedPBX user to simply click “dial” and originate a call. This is a great addition for applications that return phone number data, such as directory lookup tools, address books, and other related apps.
The three ideas above are just a fraction of what the API can do and what you can build with it. I personally will be on hand in Montreal this Saturday to help with any issues and provide test accounts and sample data. Note that if you are planning to use our API’s at HackMTL, please make sure you have a SIP Softphone such as Counterpath Eyebeam or XLite installed on your machine – we will be providing a demo HostedPBX for developers to play with but you will need a SIP client to make / receive calls, generate data, and test the APIs.
We are also offering a special Primus prize for best use of our API, a PrimusCloud Server account with 4GB’s of RAM and 200GB’s of Disk free for 6 months. See you all Saturday!
- Matthew Gamble
(You can read original post on Primus dev blog: https://developer.primus.ca/blog/hackmtl-ideas-what-can-you-build-with-the-api/)
Besides bragging rights and the Code Warrior title belt, there are tons of other awesome prizes and incentives to be won.
(OK, we don’t have an actual Nintendo belt, but you could make one…)
The Official Hack Prizes up for grabs are:
- First place $1,000
- Second place $750
- Third place $500
- Open Data $300
- Apple gift cards
- For the best use of MTL-based open data set (as chosen by MTLOuvert/OpenNorth)
- Must use STM, STL, Ville de Montreal 0r Communauto
- OneAPI $100
- Amazon gift certificate
- For the best use of OneAPI (as chosen by YellowAPI for GSMA)
- Must use http://oneapi-gw.gsma.com/
- Powerful access to network APIs from Bell, Telus & Rogers (access to network location, billing, etc.)
There are also some great API specific prizes, as chosen by that company’s representative, in no specific order:
YellowAPI – jawbone jambox http://jawbone.com/speakers/jambox/overview
Cossette - Best Local Social integration for a national brand - 2 days of white water rafting and 2 nights of camping
Primus – PrimusCloud Server account with 4GB’s of RAM and 200GB’s of Disk free for 6 months
Communauto – Communauto pass for heavily discounted car rentals in Montreal (specifics TBD)
Shopify – $500 gift card
Rdio – 6 months all you can eat, or hear, music subscription to Rdio service (for entire team)
CakeMail - 3 months free of API services for up to 25K emails/month
Atomic Reach – TBD (but last time they gave 2 tix to CN tower Edge Walk, very cool)
SendGrid - Sphero, an amazing plastic ball you drive with iOS or Android device. Check out the Sphero website.
ContextIO – TBD
TinEye – TBD
Freshbooks – TBD
Wajam – TBD
FreshBooks is the fastest way to track time, organize expenses, & invoice your clients! FreshBooks helps people save time managing their business, so they can focus on doing what they really love. FreshBooks is based in Toronto, and as one of the founding companies behind HackDays, has been helping to organize these great events since Day One!
You’ll need to create a FreshBooks system before starting, but once you’ve done so, you’ll be able to build amazing apps with the FreshBooks API that helps you send invoices, track time & expenses, get paid by all your clients.
FreshBooks offers webhooks that you can set up to listen to important events such as when an invoice is created, or when you’ve received a payment. When that event happens, FreshBooks will send a POST request to a URL that you’ve specified, letting you know all the event details.
Looking forward to seeing all the great apps at HackMTL!
Société de transport de Laval (STL) is, of course, the public transit operator for Laval. Proudly one of the first Canadian transit agency to have real time schedules and bus tracking, the STL has a multitude of tools available to its users for them to keep track of their favourite bus departures. From real time informational web sites, both regular and mobile, to smart phone applications (Iphone and Android), dynamic touch screens displays and email / SMS alerts, the STL constantly focuses on innovative ways to release its information.
Last December, the STL decided to join the open data movement by releasing its planned and real time schedule information to developers, respectively in GTF and XML feed format. In March, the STL also launched a developing contest following the release of its data, the same data that is available for the HACKDAYS HACKMTL. All the information on our feeds is available on this page: http://www.stl.laval.qc.ca/lang/en/open-source/files/.
We are hoping you can use our feeds with other APIs available and have the opportunity to offer Laval transit user tools to enhance their transit experience by telling them what is “near by” or other services of that nature.
See you on Saturday!
The STL team
(Pssst - HackMTL and YellowAPI will be offering a $300 prize for the best use of Open Data this Saturday!)
Open Data is a BIG part of the upcoming HackMTL. We wanted to cast a wide net, get as many local developers building local apps as possible so have partnered with the local open data community.
Open Data is the idea that certain data should be freely available to everyone to use and republish as they wish, without restrictions from copyright, patents or other mechanisms of control. The goals of the open data movement are similar to those of other “Open” movements such as open source, open content, and open access [source Wikipedia].
We are fortunate to have many “open” players in the Montreal market, along with a couple of very active groups, namely Montreal Ouvert and Nord Ouvert/Open North, who are also supporting upcoming HackMTL. Check out a few of the Montreal-based apps that have built using the City of Montreal data:
- Resto-Net.ca – make informed decisions about a restaurant’s sanitation and avoid food poisoning
- MaMairie.ca – track and interact with local politicians in the City of Montreal
In addition, we are fortunate to have a few very important open APIs also sponsoring HackMTL. We thank our partners at STL, STM and the Ville de Montreal for being a part of this event. The links to their open data can be found at:
- STL - http://www.stl.laval.qc.ca/lang/en/mobile-stl/open-source/
- STM - http://www.stm.info/English/en-bref/a-developpeurs.htm
- City of Montreal / Ville de Montreal - http://donnees.ville.montreal.qc.ca/
- Communauto - http://monstyledeville.net/
Again, HackMTL and YellowAPI will be offering a $300 prize for the best use of Open Data this Saturday. We are looking for all developers to embrace the open data movement and find ways to integrate Montreal specific data into your apps.
The Rdio API at HackMTL??!? That’s music to my ears!
Hack Montréalers meet Rdio API.
Rdio is the premier digital music service started by the creators of Skype and the newest addition to our API roster at #HackMTL. The Rdio API was created to enable you clever people to invent great new ways for people to discover, collect, share and play music.
In addition to being one of the best music API’s out there, Rdio is the best place to plug in and hack to your favourite tunes…with over 15 million songs to choose from! In fact, we’ll be working with all of you on June 9 to help build out the #HackMTL playlist on the HackDays.ca Rdio account to bring some musical inspiration to the other coders who weren’t able to make it (and a little something to help you remember the day too).
But for now, let’s get down to business – what can you do with the Rdio API? Glad you asked.
Rdio API set the stage for Anthm, a great app that puts the remote in the hands of the people for collective collaboration to control music played at parties or just hanging out with friends.
On the Live at Squamish festival website, the Rdio API was used to make it easy for fans to preview the festival’s line-up.
Rdio’s platform is the destination to discover what friends, people with similar tastes and recording artists are listening to in real-time and across other channels, such as Twitter and features a great Facebook Open Graph integration. With more than 15 million songs, it’s easy to build a digital music collection that’s available everywhere – on your smartphone, computer and tablet, on TV, at home and even when you’re offline.
Armed with this knowledge, we’re excited to see what the Montréal community can do with Rdio. See you June 9!
The Rdio API Team
Atomic Reach is excited to take part in its 2nd HackDays event. We come baring gifts again for the coolest use of the Atomic API like the Metro inspired Windows 8 App AtomicSearch that netted Terry from Toronto 2 tickets for the CN Tower EdgeWalk.
Our platform features an easy-to-use workflow that lets brands and publishers manage and select the content they want to publish. They build customized communities – that they call “tribes” – featuring bloggers who contribute their high-quality content. Atomic Reach’s publishing apps enable brands and publishers to quickly distribute content to the most popular reader destinations, regardless of media platform.
Check out our latest brainchild allowing users to easily ingest content into the platform using the “Atomic Reach It” Bookmarks Bar tool. You can also see how others are exploiting Atomic Reach to get inspired such as Bud Light Lime Mojito, GanzWorld and Werthers.
Our open API is now available on our web site along with full documentation and sample libraries. We are excited to welcome Atomic Reach as a “Pretty Awesome Sponsor”. You can follow Atomic on Twitter , Facebook & Pinterest. Len Covello (Co-founder) and Dan Shreim (Lead Developer) will all be on hand at present the API and hang with the gang at HackMTL.