The following guest post is from Ketan Majmudar, an active Titanium developer and organizer. He recently helped organize Titanium appCamp, a mashup of a traditional barcamp and hackathon. The details of the event are in this post.
Ketan and other Titanium organizers have been instrumental in hosting several recent community-led Titanium events (see also ticonf, titokyo). There’s a strong interest for more of these events where developers can share and learn from the amazing projects that others in the community are working on. If you are interested in organizing an event, contact community@
The World’s first Titanium AppCamp Unconference/Hackathon kicked off in London, England last month!
February 2-3rd 2013 marked the launch of London Titanium’s flagship event. It was designed to be a mashup of your traditional barcamp style event and a typical hackathon. I’ve been wanting to run an event like this for a long while.
Last month, we had over 100 people attend the event which was held at the amazing Mozilla Space in central London. With its rock-solid wireless internet, comfortable working space and cool refreshment area, Mozilla Space is an ideal location for hosting such an event. We welcomed attendees from all over Europe, including different parts of the UK, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Hungary, Cyprus as well as the US. We even had interest from as far away as India!
I envisioned an event where both experienced devs and complete newbies were able to learn; share ideas, tips and tricks with each other; and attempt to get to grips with real-world hacks without feeling intimidated. I’ve attended a few hackathons and barcamps over the years, and have also run Titanium sessions at them, so I wanted a run a mobile/Titanium-focused event. London Titanium seemed the perfect vehicle for that!
An organisation team was assembled. I was knocked out by the approach everyone took and the energy given to make this happen! The team (in black t-shirts on the day) worked tirelessly behind the scenes for months beforehand to make the event happen — designing t-shirts, organizing breakfast, lunch & dinner, catering to all diets, and making sure kick-ass coffee was available all weekend! All of this had to be at no charge to the attendees, and on the day, we relied on a bigger team of Titans & volunteers to help us pull it off.
We had a larger number of newcomers to mobile development than expected at the event. This just proves the power of the unconference. We quickly mobilised the attending Titans (in special green expert t-shirts so you couldn’t miss them!) and ran 2 large Titanium bootcamps, helping Mac and Windows newbies install all dependencies and Titanium Studio on everyone’s machines. Thanks must go out to all the Titans — it is not surprising that the feedback was that they did an excellent job!
The volunteers (in special blue t-shirts) helped us all day, and late into the nights, making sure there were great talks — and plenty of coffee and food. Thanks go out to them all for giving up their own weekends to make everyone’s experience awesome.
Two of the biggest interests during the weekend came in the form of the new Alloy framework and Blackberry support for Titanium. Appcelerator was kind enough to send Tony Lukasavage, the project lead on the Alloy Project to speak and support the event. He joined us and selflessly shared his knowledge and remained approachable all weekend. His attendance was so popular! Attendees were scrambling to see Tony’s talk on Saturday afternoon. Blackberry Native BB10 devs and Titan Jeff Antram were around all weekend to help developers install and configure their Titanium Environments for BB10 development. Generously, Blackberry provided us with 5 Playbooks as prizes for the hackathon.
Dinner came in the form of burritos from local outlet Chipotle. They went down a treat, but were so filling. One of the hardest things to judge are catering numbers, and I was determined not to throw anything away. Attendees scoured the web, tweets were sent out, and eventually, in an attempt to find a way of not throwing away perfectly good hot cooked food (we had missed the pickup deadline for a local food charity that operated in Central London), myself and 4 volunteers walked out onto the streets of London at 11pm and distributed burritos to the homeless community. Nothing went to waste.
Day 2 kicked off early with bagel breakfasts for everyone and the day was quieter, yet more focused. We welcomed the hack entries and were suprised at the number of ‘Game themed’ hacks. This fit in nicely with the prizes from our Startup Sponsor, Lanica, who generously provided 5 prizes to hack winners, in the form of early-access beta to the Platino engine, as well as codes to use their Animo spritesheet tool.
The hack entries were a lot of fun and as usual, had their mix of humour, polish and frustration! Some of the entries included:
Eng Wei Chua who built a “BB Bieber app” using the Appcelerator BB10 pre-release. His intention was to build an app that connected to an image gallery API, such as Flickr. Eng has been developing an app for the past 12 months which utilizes a single code base, but outputs to iPhone, iPad, Android phone and tablet.
Gergely Cziva built a demo called “Space Game”. He used Alloy and the Websocket module for the iPhone app, and HTML5 canvas + websocket + node.js server for the game. Gergely has been using Titanium since version 1.5 and has developed a series of apps on the platform.
We would like to once again congratulate our hackathon winning apps (in no particular order): BieberView, SpaceGame, One pound fish, Get It Sorted, Best Effort, Stalagtweets, SnapADish and Who stole my beer? Our sponsors generosity means they won one of five BlackBerry Playbooks, five Lanica Software Packs for game development, or an Amazon or iTunes Gift Vouchers – not bad while having fun writing code and being fed quality food from local restaurants!
Watch the hackathon demo’s here (courtesy of Kosso):
A couple of weeks following on from our event saw another User Driven conference kick off in Valencia, Spain, tiConf EU! Boydlee Polentine (the main ticonf organiser) helped us out during the Saturday at our event as one of our resident Experts.
Finally, we would like to thank our sponsors: Appcelerator, Mozilla, BlackBerry, Lanica and Multizone. Community-driven events would be impossible without them! Please follow us and them on twitter, and thank them if you can.
All in all, AppCamp was a great success! We learned a lot from the event and will most definitely be running another one in the future. Watch this space.
More about Ketan:
Ketan Majmudar is a Titan and TCAD certified. He has been involved with the organisation and running of the London Titanium Meetup group since its inception in May 2011 (the group was co-founded by Liz Myers & Betty Tran). Ketan has been helping to organise the meetups since the group’s launch. and has been running the group with co-organiser, Joe Lee since May 2012. Ketan has published and worked on a few cross platform Titanium Apps, including the SCI-FI-LONDON Surrey & Tayside Police and the CuppaCoffee app (for Blackberry 10).
London Titanium has 320 members of the meetup group, and we are growing each month. Please consider joining our group if you want to be kept informed of new meetups talks and events –http://www.meetup.com/London-