IBM Bluemix & Xamarin Xhacknight 2.0 experiences!

Ooops… I know I am very late to write about my experience at the second Xhacknight conducted by Xamarin Enthusiast group Xhackers and IBM Bluemix.

Let me tell the long tale of our journey. If last time it was Faheem who motivated me to attend the event taking decision last minute, this time I was ready to go at the moment when Nish messaged me they are going to announce Xhacknight.

This time it was my duty to bring more members to the world of Xamarin and motivate them. So I asked my friends to come with me.

The best of my friends ‘geeks’ and ‘jokers’ joined us, Thanks Shabeeb, Farshan, Sabeer, Athul, Yoonus, Marzook for joining me! After all having lot of friends at Hackathons helps to keep awake and have fun whole night! Also we made new friend Yash from Bangalore who joined with us ‘Mallus’ for ultimate entertainment!

  Reached IKP Eden, the venue for Hacknight. I have no words to praise the venue, thanks IKP Management for providing us a wonderful and peaceful atmosphere to learn and hack. The event started exactly at 10:00 am with a Introduction to Xhacknight by none other than VidyaSagar, our friendly #gamedev who now works at IBM. Followed by Naveen Gupta, Head – Asia pacific Mobility group, IBM who introduced the range of IBM Services intended for developers. I was a firm believer that IBM always focused on their enterprise customers and did nothing for the normal developers out there. Naveen’s introduction corrected me! The part which excited me much was Ajay Chebbi’s ReImagine who works at IBM. The amount of energy in his presentation was high, the IronMan, Hololens and such stuff are not science fictions anymore, but reality. Introduction to Bluemix which covered what all services IBM Bluemix provides like Watson, Alchemy, Text to Speech, Speech to text, Personality Insights, Visual Recognition, etc. Complete Catalog of IBM Bluemix Service is here which was explained by Rajesh Jeyapaul. Next was Nish (Nishanth Anil), about whom I boast to my friends that he is one of the greatest Xamarin developer, and one who helps me always when I end up with errors in  my application.

His introduction to Xamarin and all its features was awesome and expectation given to my friends was met :D. Again VidyaSagar came up with Xhacknight’s challenges, Rules,the Rules & Code of conduct. We were split into three groups. We came up with an Idea, and got it approved by Nish and Vidyasagar. IMAG0937Assisting Visually impaired people to understand what is in front of them using IBM Bluemix Visual Recognition and Speaking out the result in order of priority was our idea. Started building the app, opted for Xamarin.Forms so that I can target all 3 platforms atIMAG0906 once, More detail on how I developed the app will be published in coming blog posts. Being awake for about 30 Hours, developing application, debugging with help of  Anubhav (one who helps me always), helping other hackers out there, and getting help from them, It was result time.  Nobody can forget the awesome food and drinks sponsored by DropKaffe  and others. Indeed the Redbull gave us energy to stay awake overnight!

Time to submit our app, presented our project to panel of judges out there.

It’s result time. Finger Crossed.

3rd prize goes to the CodeJunkie for his awesome IOT project.

2nd prize goes to none other than MY TEAM FANTACODE 🙂 Yea It was the awesome android phone One Plus One. Thanks Xhackers & IBM judging panel for selecting us.IMAG0952

1st prize goes to Match.AI, seriously it was a great project that nobody other than them can complete overnight.

I thank the awesome support team, who provided us Internet (Network Guy 😛 we named him) and rest of them for keeping all the hackers comfortable.`Looking forward for next Xhacknight!


Xhackers Hackathon – The best event I ever attended!

This is the day when I understood the saying “Programmers are machine who turns coffee into software”.

I express my gratitude to Nishanth Anil, Vidya Sagar, Vic, Anubhav, Senthil Kumar, KirtiSagar, Abhishek, Pooran Prasad, Sagar Bhanudas Joshi and all the other Xhackers out there at the event.

I thought of not attending the event till the last night, because of exams at my college. But my partner at XhackNight called me and forced to attend the program, who knew that was for winning something great.

Finally I took a decision, Tirur – Bangalore train, General compartment ticket, traveled in sleeper class (Shared the seat with our friends Jaseel and Ramees).

Reached early morning there at Bangalore, and went to Microsoft R&D Center in no time.

The event started with few Keynotes by Nish, Pooran, etc. As usual they covered about Xamarin, its history and all. The Motivational stuff by Nish at his initial Keynote was awesome. (The only thing I hate about him is he is an Apple fan :P). He was the rock star of the event till afternoon sessions.

Yeaaah! It’s Lunch time, had Fried Rice, etc. (No matter who sponsored it, thanks to them :D).  It was prayer time, started hunting for Prayer area at Microsoft R&D campus, didn’t find, they redirected us to Microsoft Main Building, went there, after a lot of security check-ins, and search finally done with prayer behind the beautiful Badminton court there. (I don’t know whether I can share this secret stuff inside Microsoft Campus Bangalore :P).

Reached late to the afternoon sessions, Nish was handling session on developing app for iOS using Xamarin. (Least interested being a windows phone fan boy :P).

Finally the great guy who ‘stole the show’ came up with his Game development sessions, using CocosSharp and related applications. He was handling the last session, where all the audience were bored like anything, but he started his session by motivating all of us! Thanks Vidya Sagar for that awesome session :).


Then the session, we waited for long officially began. The xHackNight.

Me and my team mate Faheem, came up with an idea for helping those who are in search for Blood, and those who are interested to donate. Yes we sketched a blood donation app in my notebook (MicroProcessor Based Designing) which I took for studying. (I knew that I wont, but still!).

Getting fresh ourselves
Getting fresh ourselves

It was like 7 pm, finally we started designing UI, initially targeted for Windows Phone, same time Faheem was designing Android UI. Slowly covered the UI, and some basic stuff in like 4 hours. We had endless fun in between like squeezing into sleeping bag for ‘selfie’, fun in restroom for keeping us awake whole night.

Yes me and Faheem was coding even after midnight. Started doing the backend, Connection to Azure services, and all other features. But when I looked to clock after implement all these, and finalising Windows Phone part, the time

Still no sleep because of Die hard Coding.
Still no sleep because of Die hard Coding.

was 11 PM. I didn’t sleep whole night! First time in my life coding whole night. It was the countless coffee, chocolate milk, espresso, Cappuccino, Lime tea, Cardamon Tea, and all other stuff they had there which made us awake whole night and  finish the works. Thanks Microsoft for sponsoring all those hot drinks.

Coffee Coffe Whole night, thanks Microsoft
Coffee Coffe Whole night, thanks Microsoft

Whole night there was Anubhav, Nish, Senthil who helped me to accomplish the task, I don’t have words to appreciate their helping mentality by not sleeping the whole day 🙂

Finally when we tried to implement the backend to the android UI we designed, our Xamarin started to crash 🙁 . After a lot of research and time wasting, we understood that the Xamarin version and SDK we used was old, we started updating. But the time fixed for Hack was over.

We presented our finished Windows Phone app, and half baked Android app to judges. It’s lunch and judgment time.

Results announced, and YEAAH we won for the best Windows Phone and Azure Implemented app. Thanks Microsoft and Xamarin for Lumia 925!

Our gift Lumia 925 for best Windows and Azure app at hacknight.
Our gift Lumia 925 for best Windows and Azure app at XhackNight.

This might be a long writing, but I just wanted to thank all those Xhackers for attending, helping and collaborating to learn and develop apps.

End Note: I miserably failed in the exam next day, 9/50 :P, but my teacher congratulated me for the achievement at event.