Boston Azure Hackathon

Do you know about the Boston Azure Hackathon to be held at NERD on Wed Feb 16, 2011?

A Hackathon You Say?

Yes, a Hackathon. This is in-person event where folks show up and hack (write code). In our case, we will meet at Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge, MA, and our hacking will be on Windows Azure-related code.

  1. Rule #1: A Hackathon is fun! (Coding is fun when there is a lot of energy in the room… Plus, we’ll have give-aways – which always makes it even more fun, right?)
  2. Rule #2: We learn something! (We all learn better by doing. Plus, we’ll have many book give-aways – another great way to learn!)
  3. Rule #3: Aim to ship! (So don’t be overly ambitious with your idea – try to choose something that you can complete in the allotted time – then enhance it if you have extra time.)
  4. Rule #4: Goto Rule #1! (Yes, recursion abuse. Extra credit at the Hackathon if you employ recursion appropriately.)

(Did you say Windows Azure? Yes, Windows Azure is Microsoft’s platform for writing applications that will run in the cloud.)

A code base that we expect will get a lot of attention is, which is the community’s web site, but is also a real honest-to-goodness-in-production Azure application using features like Web Role, Blob Storage, Table Storage, SQL Azure (with OData), and Azure Diagnostics. (And also an open source project on CodePlex.)

We will break up into small teams based on which subprojects people want to work on and… get coding.

Here’s the approx schedule:

  • 4:00-4:30 PM – Gather, get organized into teams, begin hacking! (We want this to be as efficient as possible so we maximize our time hacking. So please read the rest of this post to see how you can be prepared, such as by joining in the conversation on CodePlex in advance.)
  • 4:30-8:15 PM – Hack! We will break for pizza, but otherwise will crank away.
  • 8:15-9:00 PM – Show and Tell. What did you do? We will have fun seeing what everyone did, and some cool PRIZES and GIVEAWAYS. + +

Where and when?

Location: Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge, MA. Parking available in the building (costs money), or take the T, or find on-street parking.

When: Wednesday February 16, 2011 from 4:00-9:00 PM. If you are late, that’s life, but something we can live with.

Food: Pizza will be provided.

What happens if I come late? Join a team when you get here. You will be “just in time” for something.

What do I need to do?

A few things:

  1. Sign up so we know you are coming
  2. Prepare your development laptop ( is running SDK 1.3)
  3. Join the conversation in this thread on the CodePlex space for the Boston Azure Project (where we can discuss ideas in advance of the event so we can “hit the ground running”)
  4. If you want to have access to a live, honest-to-goodness Azure-in-the-cloud instance of your own, please be sure to sign up A FEW DAYS IN ADVANCE for a Windows Azure Pass (use code: DPEA01). For very clear instructions, please check out Jim O’Neil’s screencast on signing up for Windows Azure Pass. Jim will be at the Hackathon helping out, and in case you don’t know him, Jim is definitely a friend of ours. [Note that an Azure development environment should be fine as well for most of us.]

IF YOU DO NOT HAVE YOUR OWN AZURE-CAPABLE DEV LAPTOP, then plan to pair up with someone who does…

What will we work on?

Here’s the rule: You can hack on anything you want that is either related to Windows Azure or related to the Boston Azure Community. The discussion thread mentioned above has some ideas. Add your ideas too.

This will break into three broad areas:

  1. Ehancing or adding Azure capabilities to (generally speaking, this is what the group calls the Boston Azure Project). This does not need to be limited to .NET or ASP.NET MVC. Post your ideas to CodePlex.
  2. Writing Azure code unrelated to (maybe a file upload utility, for example)
  3. Enhancing the Boston Azure community in ways unrelated to using Azure itself. For example, if you want to build a WP7 app for the Boston Azure community, go for it (though that could have an Azure-enabled back end). If you want to add features to in jQuery or make it HTML5-capable, go for it. If you want to create a favicon or a privacy policy for the site, go for it.

Use your imagination.

Wait – I am not an Azure expert – is that okay?

Yes, that’s okay. We will have some folks in the room who do understand Azure, so we will help you. However, of course, it is better if you get warmed up in advance. Install the Azure dev environment. Learn a bit about Azure in advance. Download the code from to see the code for the site.

Do you have a hashtag for Twitter?

Yes: #bostonazurehack.

The Boston Azure User Group has a twitter handle: @bostonazure. My personal twitter handle is @codingoutloud.

Who do we have to thank for all this awesomeness?

Microsoft NERD Center provides the space and the food (thanks Leah!).

Microsoft people help make it happen (thanks Jim O’Neil and Mark Eisenberg – each is a friend of ours!).

And the following sponsors are providing software and books for prizes:

+ +

The event is organized by folks from the Boston Azure User Group.


3 thoughts on “Boston Azure Hackathon

  1. Pingback: Boston Azure Hackathon « Coding Out Loud « Invitation codes

    1. Fraser

      Not sure what this says about Google Wave, but Novell based Novell Vibe the next generation of their Novell Teaming coriobalatlon product, and a follow-on from another product, Novell Pulse on Google Wave’s protocol and API. Novell apparently feels that with their enterprise background, they can make Vibe work in corporate settings, where Google Wave found no traction among consumers.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.