A few of us popped along to Facebook’s new London office last Friday.

Facebook’s original London office was the first outside the US in 2007, and the new building houses the first engineering-team office outside the US, so – to celebrate this fact – Developer Advocate Simon Cross put together this “Hackathon” at their new premises in the heart of Covent Garden, just off Seven Dials. The challenge: for coders from across the capital to help build the next generation of mobile and social apps, in a one-day Platform Hackathon.

Cohaesus was present in the form of Matt, James, and me. Other than sampling the delights of Facebook’s catering service – providing the finest of Mexican, Italian, and British foods – we were there to have a crack at building new apps with Facebook Open Graph APIs and mobile platforms.

There were prizes including Facebook-ad credits, service subscriptions and apple TVs and iPads up for grabs, with 150 hackers across 32 teams being given just seven hours in which to create their apps from scratch and present them to the panel.

Facebook’s company motto is “Move Fast”, and they certainly encouraged us to do just that.

We took advantage of the Pusher and Deezer APIs to create a real-time multiplayer music quiz, consisting of separate rounds, song-playing capability and multiple-choice answers. Players were to be given 30 seconds to guess the song from four choices (A,B,C,D), and awarded points for the fastest selection. Players were also able to see other users answering questions in real time.

The prize categories:

  • Best use of Twillo API
  • Best use of Pusher API
  • Best use of Deezer API
  • Best use of Open Graph
  • Best Game
  • Best Mobile
  • Best Overall

Our demo didn’t win any prizes, alas, but we were pretty pleased with what we managed to come up with in the seven hours of coding. And even outside the coding, it was a great experience – with a number of interesting talks on development for Facebook, and API Demos from the event sponsors, Twilio, Deezer and Pusher.

If you want to hear a word from the winners, they’ve blogged about the event too. And you can check out some of the official coverage of the Hackathon – in the form of press, pictures and the hacks themselves – at the official Facebook group page.

Author: Graeme Maciver

Image: borrowed from the official Facebook Hackathon group page