2012: The Year In DevNet. A Year of Applied Geekdom.

hack

Doing your 2013 planning does force you to revisit the past. In our case, working on SMART DevNet’s 2013 events calendar has gotten us nostalgic for those heady days of 2012, when we were just in the midst of forming our fledgling community. So a quick wrap up of events is probably in order so we can focus on the year ahead.

The proposal to create a SMART Developer Community was floated in late 2011. Global operators like Telefonica, AT&T, and Vodafone had shown the potential of crowdsourcing product innovation through developer communities, and it was high time that Smart had its wn developer program. Thus the “Developer Community” initiative was born and for a brief time we called it “SDN” (for SMART Developer Network) before settling on the snappier name “SMART Devnet.”

It was really in 2012 that Smart DevNet grew quickly from an idea to a full fledged community energized by periodic events and online interaction. It took quite a few fits and starts to figure out the task that lay ahead but by May we were ready.

One type of developer event that we gravitated to the most was the “hackathon“.- The hacks we had experienced as observers were intense, compact affairs (from concept to coding, to presentation and judging in a highly compressed timeframe) that were more exciting than the developer competitions of old.

So our first public foray as “Smart DevNet” was a hackathon we produced for the Ideaspace Foundation during the first run of the Ideaspace Technopreneur Bootcamp series called “IdeaSpace Ateneo” (held obviously, at the Ateneo de Manila) on June 2.

eric

But it was at our maiden developer event called “HTML5 DevDay Davao” held at the University of Southeastern Philippines in Davao City on July 21 that things really began to fly. It was a whole day event that focused on HTML5 mobile app development. HTML5 is heavily championed by mobile industry associations like the GSMA, mainly for cross-platform development. This event played up the theme, and consisted of a series of tech talks capped with a three-hour hackathon.

By today’s standards, 3 hours doesn’t seem like a lot of time to get an app off the ground,. And maybe it wan’t. But our first hackathon did produce an interesting winner in  Rolly Ruerte  and his team. Rolly, a fisherman’s son whose idea for an Android app front end to the DOST’s Project Noah weather application got him in the papers – eventually ended up with him developing the actual official android app for the DOST.

Project Noah for Android is one of the most downloaded pinoy apps on the Google Play app store, at around 44,500 downloads so far.

HTML5 DevDay Davao can also be marked as the real birthdate of Smart Devnet, because it was on the day of the event, July 21, that we also debuted the SMART DevNet brand logo, and a whole slew of items bearing the logo – such as the first version of the iconic black Smart Devnet “Geek” t-shirt.

cebu

Things moved along at a fast clip after that birth event. Here are the highlights of 2012, from events conceptualized and produced by Smart in partnership with other developer organizations, to support and sponsorship of third party events:

Produced Events:

HTML5 DevDay Davao (July 2012)
Smart Devnet1000 Meetup (Sept 2012)
SmartActs Cebu: A Hackathon for Social Good (Sept 2012)
HTML5 DevDay Bacolod (Oct 2012)
Unity Gamejam: Benilde (October 2012)
IRRI “Bigas” Hackathon (Nov 2012)
Appy Birthday Android (Nov 2012)
Foursquare Hack Day PH (Dec 2012)

Sponsored Events:

Google I/O Extended (Manila, Cebu) – (June 2012)
Google Apps Developer Challenge (Manila, Zamboanga, Cebu, Bacolod, Davao, Baguio) July 2012
Drupal Philippines Meetup – Sept 2012
GDG DevFest Philippines – Aug 2012
Webgeek DevCup – Aug 2012
Form Function and Class – Nov 2012
Rails Girls – Nov 2012

2012 culminated with one of our biggest developer events, Foursquare Hack Day, which brought DevNet together with our partner WebGeek and the team from Foursquare in NYC to produce one big location-based hack, the first of its kind outside the USA. We got a lot of kudos from Foursquare for that one.

4sqhack

Also during our birth year, we setup our online presence – the Smart DevNet website, and as is de rigueur nowadays, our social media community touchpoints on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.

It’s been a helluva year… but having laid the foundations and getting a community going, we’re rolling up our sleeves for 2013!

third

Expect more events produced with our technology partners, a heavy focus on APIs, and advocacies like mobile health apps and game development. As in 2012, we will continue to sponsor 3rd party developer communities whenever shared goals and our budgets converge. And as in the past year, expect more things to take place outside “Imperial Manila” – because we believe a Philippine tech ecosystem covers the whole archipelago, not just one metropolitan area.

We’ve done our bit to contributing to the local tech ecosystem – and we hope we can do more in the year ahead.

As a man named Stan once said, Excelsior!

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