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    Challenge Overview


    Welcome to Episode 5 of the Fun Challenge Hackathons and another opportunity to win a limited edition t-shirt!

    Update:  The CEO of Cronofy, Adam Bird will be one of the judges for this challenge!  Getting feedback from the source is an amazing opportunity, so prepare to impress!

    Update 2:  Cronofy has been nice enough to offer a $50 Amazon Gift Card to the winner (and if you live in a country where they do not have Amazon we can work something out)

    The Way It Will Work

    -  This Fun Hackathon will last a full month so that those with jobs will have time to participate if they wish.

    -  All participants will be given the same two APIs and a theme.  Developers will then create an application using any APIs they wish, but the two APIs mentioned in the contest MUST be used in order to have a valid submission.

    -  A panel of judges will review all submissions and pick the winners based off of the judging criteria found to the right.

    These Fun Hackathon challenges are a great way for newcomers to get acclimated to participating in customer challenges, so please utilize the forums if you find that you are lost or if you have any questions about the challenge at all.  The link to the forums are on the top right of this page.  Once you press that link, make sure to press “Watch Forum” on the top right of that page so that you will get the latest updates to your inbox.

    On to the Show!

    APIs to Use:  A Forum API/Software (Multi Choice) and Cronofy API (Calendar API to Rule All Calendar APIs)
    Theme: Topcoder Community

    Time to stir up a conversation!  This month’s Fun Hackathon will potentially help shape the next version of the Topcoder Forums.  Your mission if you choose to accept it, will be to take a forum API (discussed below) and the Cronofy API to create the next generation of forums for Topcoder.  There currently is no Topcoder API available so your data should be mocked when presenting your app through your video.  You will want to think about the current pain points of the forums and how your solution will solve them.  Get creative and maybe even use our current forums to ask other members how they would want to improve the current system.

    About the APIs

    Forum APIs

    The following is a list of potential Forum APIs that you may choose to use.  You are not limited to these APIs, but please post in the challenge forum if you choose to use an alternative.

    Discourse API

    Discourse is a very modern looking forum and has many features.  Some of these features include: dynamic notifications, mobile ready, replying while you read, and much more.  If you are trying to go the modern and flashy route, this API could be for you!

    Vanilla Forums API

    Vanilla is another modern looking forum that has a plugin system to help configure the software to your needs.  Some of the features they boast include: SSO, gamification to create engagement, and easy moderation.


    This alternative of a forum does away with all the flashiness of the previous two options.  This option however gives you near full reign to customize it to exactly how you want it to look and function.  There is a proposed REST API that is documented and that you can use when trying to connect with Cronofy.

    There are many options of forums out there, as this articles shows: Top 10 Best Online Forum Software 2016.  Feel free to choose any of those as well but explain in your video why you chose that specific software.

    Cronofy API

    This API was recently talked about in TechCrunch back in January and they said, “Cronofy’s ‘single calendar API’ lets developers quickly integrate their apps with customers’ calendars, functionality Bird likens to what Twilio has done for messaging and Stripe for payment”.  We love working with new APIs when it comes to Fun Hackathons, which is one reason we chose to use this API.  Another reason is because utilizing a calendaring system with a forum system seems incredibly useful and important.  Cronofy boasts “Calendar integration is hard.  So we’ve made it easy.”  This is the fun and creative part of this month’s challenge!  How will you integrate a calendaring system into your forum?

    What you need to do

    -  Build an app!  This app can be in any format you wish, whether it be iOS, Android, or even a webapp.

    -  App must include the two APIs mentioned above, but you are not limited to just these APIs.  Feel free to pepper in some other APIs if it will help you make your submission all that much more spectacular.

    -  Record a 1-2 minute video of your demoing your project and explaining what it does and how it works.  You will also want to describe how it is solving what you believe to be the pain points of the current system and why you chose your particular forum software.  You will submit the link to this video (Youtube/Vimeo) in a file along with a link to your repository (preferably github).  This can be a simple .txt file.

    Need help getting started?

    Feel free to check out this hackathon starter kit, which is a boilerplate for node.js web apps.  Check out the README file that contains step by step instructions with how to set yourself up with each of these APIs.  It is not required to use this starter kit, but it is here if you need it.


    Oh, did we not already mention what the top 3 winners would receive?  Although this is a fun challenge and meant for learning, we feel like we need to give out something pretty neat for these great apps.  So, without any further ado, we are announcing fun new prizes for the Hackathon Fun Challenges where 2nd and 3rd place will receive a rare grey “2016 Hackathon Winner” t-shirt and the 1st place winner will receive a gold color “2016 Hackathon Winner” t-shirt.  Remember, these challenges take place monthly, so there will only be 12 gold shirts given out in a year!  So remember to compete hard and compete often to get your hands on this super rare topcoder t-shirt and show it off proudly!

    As far as submitting, please see below.


    Final Submission Guidelines

    Submission for this competition is very simple and must be completed exactly in order to have a valid submission.  

    1. Your textfile should be named <your topcoder handle>_hackathon5.txt, so for example my textfile would be named nick.castillo_hackathon5.txt.
    2. In this textfile should be two links.  
      -  Link to your code in Github
      The other link will be to a youtube or vimeo video in which you are showing off your application.  It is recommended to record your voice over the demo so the judges can fully understand what your application does.

    If you need help figuring out which url you should be using, click here to view the document explaining what we are expecting to see.

    Reliability Rating and Bonus

    For challenges that have a reliability bonus, the bonus depends on the reliability rating at the moment of registration for that project. A participant with no previous projects is considered to have no reliability rating, and therefore gets no bonus. Reliability bonus does not apply to Digital Run winnings. Since reliability rating is based on the past 15 projects, it can only have 15 discrete values.
    Read more.


    2016 TopCoder(R) Open


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