Codero Developers ROCK 24-hour App-building Challenge, Building a Personal Assistant Robot that Lets Users Send Emails, Texts, Search, and More
Codero veteran developers Tom Martin and Stan Antov were more than up for the 24-hour app-building challenge presented at the Compute Midwest Hack-a-thon last week. The event was part of the Compute Midwest conference held in Kansas City, Kansas Nov. 10-11. The two-day event brought together an all-star lineup of tech leaders and creative developers.
The first step to winning a hack-a-thon challenge? Brainstorm, get creative, and decide what to build….Tom and Stan came up with a brilliant app: arb.io (pronounced r-bee-o). What is it? It’s a personal assistant robot that allows users to send emails, texts, search, perform conversions, get the weather forecast, etc.― all from an instant messenger application. Essentially, think of arb.io as iPhone’s Siri, via chat. How cool is that?
Ready… set… code!
To start, Stan and Tom drew up a story board and created milestones for the 24 stretch. Then, they discussed how to implement everything, including how to make sure users could connect to the service. The duo started getting their environments ready and frameworks in place. Then, they began the development of arb.io, the coolest, friendliest, robot ever.
They needed to make sure the application could connect to APIs and send requests. The team selected Twilio and Sendgrid as the APIs. The integration with the APIs went smoothly, sending texts and emails without a hitch. While Stan wired up the functionality to send requests from chats to the arb.io backend, Tom worked on the back-end to setup the functionality to log, validate, and perform the requests.
After dinner, the team wrapped up the basic requests for sending texts and emails. This was a little more difficult as the night wore on and fatigue set in. About 12 hours in, Team Codero had about 50% of the project milestones complete, and several bugs fixed.
Burning the 2AM Oil
Around 2AM the team had about 85% of arb.io complete. From 7AM to 10AM the team fixed bugs, made UI improvements, and drew an image for arb.io. At 10 in the morning, tired, caffeinated and a bit delirious, Stan and Tom submitted arb.io to the judges for review.
Judges Meet arb.io – Each team was given three minutes to demo their app. Other app entries were impressive, but the Codero team was confident. The team was anxious… awaiting the results…
After a L—O—N—G night, now sitting in their seats with sweaty palms, a judge from Sendgrid announced that Codero’s arb.io won! Arb.io was selected as the BEST APPLICATION for utilizing the Sendgrid API. Amazed and excited, the team was again honored with an honorable mention by Twilio developers.
Thank you to all who attended the Compute Midwest two-day conference and the first-ever hack-a-thon challenge! Questions about arb.io or any of our other events? Follow Tom Martin – @twoflowers, Stan @__daemon , ar.bio @im_arbio and of course @Codero on Twitter today.