TADHack Review

tadhackTADHack is the only global meeting place for developers who want to learn, share, code and create across the breath of telecom tools and technologies. All telecom technologies and platforms were present at TADHack.  Its a broad and open event with the focus on how all developers regardless of telecoms knowledge can use telecom technologies. Hacks can focus on humanitarian issues, regaining our privacy, really solving any problem that interests / excites.

A question asked is why use the term telecom application developer as telcos really have a bad rap. The question is fair. Adding telecoms to applications, services or business processes creates amazing experiences and as you’ll see in this list of hacks below has massive potential. TADHack is a grassroots initiative to ‘reclaim’ the word telecom from the corporate suits as its no longer under their exclusive control.

We kicked off the event in Madrid with two keynotes from Mark Shuttleworth and James Tagg; the asian satellites had really started given the time differences. We broadcast over the internet the HD video stream from Madrid, so everyone could join in. To minimize risk we simply broadcast from Madrid, for TADHack 2015 we’ll look to broadcast from multiple satellites to run keynotes across the world, and better connect all TADHack locations. We wrapped up the morning in Madrid with a panel session discussion on how “Telecom Application Development is changing the world as we know it!” and from the videos below you can see this is not an exaggeration. In the afternoon we broke into streams focused on the sponsors technologies, the presentations from the keynotes and sponsors will be available here.

Just a few numbers on the event:

  • Global registrations: close to 700
  • On the day global attendance: close to 500
  • Hacks Generated: 60+
  • Satellites: 5 (Sri Lanka, Philippines, Malaysia, Pune India, Chicago USA, and your own home).
  • Simultaneous video streams of the live viewed: 126

Back in Nov 2013 the idea of TADHack germinated, and since then its grown beyond the expectations of everyone involved. We were thinking perhaps 150 people in the end close to 700 registrations and 500 attendees on the day and ended up with over 60 hacks. We thought perhaps 1 or 2 satellites and drew the line at 5, we had many more requests but not the bandwidth to manage the integration. We’ve learned much, and will make TADHack 2015 bigger and better for everyone involved.

Here are all the playlists:

On Twitter you can see buzz from the events using @TADHack, #TADHackKL2014, #TADHackSL, #TADHackPH, TADHack Pune and TADHack Chicago. In Sri Lanka they had karaoke, traditional dancers, and drummers to keep the energy high in their 24 hour hackathon. We purposefully made the format of TADHack open, and as you can see in the playlists above we have a great diversity of winners include several student teams.

A theme in some of the hacks was WebRTC, it was like a gateway technology. A hack would start with WebRTC as its a popular and accessible technology, then from there developers would explore other telecom APIs and capabilities that can reach any of the 6B people connected by a phone. The diversity at TADHack is reflected in many ways; across the problems solved by the hacks in the different markets, the ages of the developers involved, the composition of the teams, the way the hack was created etc. Check out this great review of TADHack Sri Lanka.

The diversity of the teams I think is important, those that included user experience and product people were more likely to win. Technology can do amazing, but is of restricted value without the people who can translate it into a compelling proposition with compelling experiences. It was inspiring to see more than software people involved and winner at TADHack.

If you want to be involved in TADHack 2015 please contact us to sponsor or to be kept up to date on the email list. TADHack will be running around the world and on the internet in early June 2015.