Jens Nockert

TBD 2012, Malmö, Sweden

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I spent the weekend at the TBD 2012 Hackathon at Djäkne Kaffebar in Malmö.

It was a great event full of great people. And even though it was the first event in the series, it was a really well organized event in almost every way, the food was great, the location was good, the wifi was not too bad etc.

I really hope that it can become a regular event. From my perspective Malmö and Lund seems to be getting a lot hotter when it comes to software development, and these kinds of event are a really nice way to meet people and brings a lot of value for all developers in the region.

During the event I mostly worked on Youtify, a service for being able to consume music from the cloud in a more structured manner. I added an backend for it, and fixed some small bugs.

Meeting the Youtify guys was a wonderful opportunity, both the service and the team are great, and it felt great to be able to help them a bit, and I am excited about being able to meet them again at Music Hack Day - Amsterdam.

During the time not spent coding I mostly talked to other people, and one of the most interesting conversations during the weekend was with filmmaker Simon Klose, who is currently finishing a documentary about the Pirate Bay called The Pirate Bay: Away From Keyboard, but at TBD he was instead trying to revolutionize the way documentaries are consumed.

The proof of concept that his group produced, called the 'Linkontrol' intended to improve the experience of the film by combining the film and hypermedia in a really slick way and was quite awesome to say the least. It used popcorn.js and you can read a bit about it at his blog.

A mere textual description does not really describe the concept, or demo, and if you meet any of them, do try to get a demo, it was quite exquisite, and took the audience award of course (they really deserved it.)

But there were two small things that were a bit odd, making the atmosphere a bit tense.

First, during the presentations, one team called 'Tunafish' forced us to take down the stream and 'sign' a verbal non-disclosure agreement since their idea was 'secret'. The other thing that annoyed me was that the big prize was money.

I do not really mind people working on commercial projects on hackathon, I do not even mind if they just move their work there. But I kind of expect people that work on secret stuff to keep any secret details secret by simply not telling anyone about them instead of holding a presentation about it, and then force people to not tell others.

About the money, I wish they had just converted it to some kind of token or luxury that you usually do not buy. A nice bottle of wine, chocolate, medals, t-shirts, or maybe some sort of experience for the winning team. When you do something for money, it feels a lot like work, and I am not at a hackathoon to work, I am there to have a good time.

In the end, it was a great time, and I will most likely be there if it is repeated, but if those two small things got fixed, then it would be most awesome.