Cloudinary Blog
Once a Hackathon Participant, Now a Judge

Over the past several years, I've had a chance to participate in hackathons, as part of teams that developed a social payment app and helped users decide meals to cook. But it wasn't until last month that I got to experience a hackathon from the other side, as a judge.

The event was the Women Who Code Silicon Valley Hackathon 2018, which took place on September 29 at Google headquarters. Cloudinary, along with Flutter and Pluralsight, sponsored the hackathon, which required participants to use the Flutter platform as the basis of their projects.

When one of my colleagues - who is active in Women Who Code – had a conflict that prevented her from attending, she asked me to step in for her. I was excited because this was the first time I've had the opportunity to do something like this, and was looking forward to watching participants create interesting projects from scratch, then present them to us.

Women Who Code Silicon Valley Hackathon Judges

The hackathon kicked off around 8 a.m. I got there later in the day for the judge's meeting, where we talked about the criteria we would use to evaluate each of the projects. Not long after that the project presentations started. There were so many interesting ideas - from apps that helped you remember to water your plants and connect volunteers to organizations needing help, to others for dating and finding music that fits the users’ moods based on a photo of their face.

I anticipated it would be hard for the judges - who were a mix of project manager and developers - to agree on the top projects. But to my surprise, we all quickly agreed which ones rose to the top - they just stood out, based on their use of Flutter, the design and the technicality.

The winning projects were:

1st Place - Team Acorn.

1st Place - Team Acorn
This team developed an app that enabled users to input a word, then learn how to say it and better understand its context. Throughout the week, then, the app would remind the user of the word, to help support recognition and understanding of the language. The team had never used Flutter before, and they did a great job integrating it into the app. They also had an impressive user interface and were able to integrate it with other APIs. We were impressed, too, with their vision for the future, which entails adding AI, so the app could suggest additional words that the user may also want to learn.

2nd Place - Memage.

2nd Place - Memage
Using Cloudinary’s Amazon Rekognition and Flutter, this team created an app that enabled users to take a picture of an object, then do a search for that image as a meme and get funny quotes. Of all participants, this team probably integrated the most technologies, leveraging the camera piece of Flutter, Cloudinary for managing images and a database for looking up memes.

3rd place - SayCheese.

3rd Place- SayCheese
The SayCheese app was a really cool concept, which enabled you to play an audio clip (one that you downloaded or recorded) that makes the subject of your picture look toward your phone before you snap the shot. In their example, they used a dog barking, so a dog would be enticed to look at the camera. The app integrated the camera with an audio library.

Honorable Mention - Team Happy Hour.

Honorable Mention- Team Happy Hour
This team developed an app called Beer Me, which let users choose from a list of their favorite beers, then be notified when that beer came on tap at a bar near them. While I still question whether this is doable - since you'd need to get involvement from a lot of bars - the concept was great. They integrated Flutter for notifications with Google maps to help users find the location of their favorite beer.

The four top teams were awarded some cool swag – Google Home Max, Google Home, and Google Home Mini devices.

Being a judge, and watching the process from a different perspective was fun and inspiring. It was an honor to see the great ideas and meet the teams who developed them. More importantly, it motivated me to participate in more hackathons to learn about new technologies while exploring my creativity.

Recent Blog Posts

Top Five Web-Video Formats of 2021

By William Imoh
The Five Most Popular Web-Video Formats and Streaming Protocols

Over the past 15 years, the video industry has undergone a significant change in video formats on the web. In particular, in the early 2010s, the 3GP format, which the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) created for 3G-enabled mobile devices, went nearly extinct. The advancement of mobile devices and cellular networks has brought about the need for pioneers to build better formats for a faster user experience.

Read more
Cloudinary Introduces Integration With SAP Commerce Cloud

We’re excited to announce Cloudinary’s integration with SAP Commerce Cloud, through which the latter’s customers can significantly boost the visual media experience on their website or app.

SAP Commerce Cloud powers some of the largest e-commerce sites (B2C, B2B, and B2B2C businesses), complete with building blocks like storefront design and order management. Reinforced with Cloudinary’s laser-sharp focus on optimizing, managing, and delivering images and videos, the new extension will enable SAP Commerce Cloud customers to create unique and engaging visual experiences effortlessly.

Read more
Personalizing Video Email for Marketing Campaigns With Cloudinary

As critical as it is to engage with shoppers in order to succeed in e-commerce, old-style, boring emails are far from being effective. In fact, they tend to be annoying because no one likes to read formulaic, generic messages that are sent en masse. For better results, rethink your email marketing campaigns and try out creative strategies.

Read more
Muted Videos and Subtitles

The bane of our existence is the lack of efficient ways for tackling the plethora of recurring tasks in our lives. One of those tasks is surfing the internet. We consume a lot of web content daily, of which a large percentage are images and videos. We’re constantly quickly scrolling through 30-second videos or checking out pictures of cute items we’d like to buy in our free time.

Read more

Building a Roommate-Matching App With Cloudinary and Jamstack

By Marcelo Ricardo de Oliveira
Building a Roommate-Matching App With Cloudinary and Jamstack

Roommate matching can be a pain—especially during the COVID pandemic when people don't want to meet in person. Matching apps like Flatmates, Roomster, and roommates.com are helpful, and if you're in the roommate-matching space, you know that great video is essential for those seeking roommates. Fortunately, Cloudinary can help.

Read more