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JazzHub visits North Carolina State University

Not only did I get to return to NCSU, I met two of my co-workers in person for the first time: Brianna Smith & Adam Archer

When I was asked if I wanted to help out at a hackathon at North Carolina State University (NCSU), I enthusiastically said, “Yes!”  As a former Wolfpacker myself, I didn’t need to know any of the details of what technology we’d be using or how the event would be run; I was simply thrilled to be returning to NCSU.

Luckily, the technology for the hackathon turned out to be really cool.  Participants were asked to use IBM BlueMix, IBM’s next generation cloud platform, to develop social data applications.  My JazzHub teammates and I were at the hackathon, because participants had the option of using JazzHub while they were developing their applications. JazzHub provides a great experience when pushing your application to BlueMix, so we were excited to show off this option to them.

In case you’re not familiar with JazzHub, it’s a place where where you can collaborate with others to plan, track, and develop software in the cloud.  You can code in the JazzHub in-browser editor, based on Eclipse Orion technology, or in the Rational Team Concert client for Eclipse IDE or the client for Microsoft Visual Studio IDE.

Adam Archer and I gave a tech talk on how to use JazzHub to kick off the hackathon week.  Because the hackathon participants were given access to BlueMix, we focused on how they could use JazzHub to develop their applications in the cloud for the cloud.

One of the ways JazzHub really shines is for web application development.  Users can use the in-browser editor to code their applications and then, with the simple click of a button, push those applications to BlueMix so they are running live in the cloud.  Check out the four and half minute version here:

Pushing to BlueMix is so simple you can even do it from your phone:

About fifty students attended the tech talk, and we were happy to give out tons of information about JazzHub as well as tangible things that are important to students like pizza and t-shirts.

Gotta love collaboration!

On Friday of that week, we participated in the official IBM BlueMix Hackathon kickoff.  Thirty students divided up into seven teams and began working.  We stuck around to make sure all of the teams were able to successfully push a sample application to BlueMix.  The participants were not required to use JazzHub, so we crossed our fingers that they would give it a try and enjoy using it.

We were happy to hear from one of the participants, “We started out using a Node.js sample application, and it was amazing how easy it was to use JazzHub.”

The hackathon participants worked all night, and I returned to my hotel room to get some sleep.  We reconvened the following afternoon to watch the student presentations and find out who had won the hackathon.

The award for most original idea went to Team Alpha (Alexandria Vail and Joseph Wiggins) who created Tweet Heat, an application that runs sentiment analysis on a user’s followers to gauge their opinion on a given topic.  Team Alpha used the JazzHub in-browser code editor to develop their application.

Team Alpha

The first place award went to Team Cloud Powered (Charles Hensley, Aaron Pope, and Shashank Chandre Gowda) who created SMS4Twitter, an application that automatically sends tweets as text messages based on a keyword or user id.  Team Cloud Powered used the Rational Team Concert client for Eclipse to connect to their JazzHub project and develop their winning application.

Team Cloud Powered

We had a great time meeting the NCSU students!  We were thrilled that students found the JazzHub in-browser code editor so easy to use.  We identified some areas where we can improve the user experience and are excited to begin implementing those soon.

For more pictures from the event, visit the JazzHub Facebook album.  For more details about the event, check out this press release.

The Hackathon Participants and the IBMers

The Hackathon Participants and the IBMers

Lauren Schaefer
Web Developer, JazzHub
Social Media Lead, and JazzHub