Koding Launches 2nd Annual Global Virtual Hackathon

Sponsored by IBM, the event is expected to bring together more than 100,000 developers worldwide to compete for $150,000 in prizes.

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Koding, a San Francisco-based cloud development organization, this week announced its second annual global virtual hackathon, set for Dec. 12 and 13.

The event will be sponsored by IBM and is expected to draw more than 100,000 participants worldwide, which is expected to set a new Guinness World Record—surpassing last year's inaugural event, which set the record for the largest-ever virtual hackathon.

"Last year, we set a new record for the largest virtual hackathon," Devrim Yasar, CEO and co-founder of Koding, said in a statement. "Koding's cloud-based software development platform enables this type of collaboration at scale. We plan to double last year's participant count in 2015. In parallel, we're introducing our upcoming product, Koding for Teams, to the hackathon participants. This new product builds on our current platform and allows teams to create and manage their own unique development environments with ease and to do it all in the cloud."

IBM's sponsorship of the event is part of the company's strategic relationship with Koding, a developer community and cloud-based developer environment that enables users to easily collaborate to write and run apps on a Web browser. Confirmed hackathon participants will receive an invitation for a free trial of IBM Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service offering based on Cloud Foundry.

"We are working with Koding for this virtual hackathon as part of our commitment to promote open-source technology and support the talented community of developers who are dispersed all over the globe," Sandy Carter, general manager of Cloud Ecosystem and Developers at IBM, said in a statement. "Cloud-based open-source development platforms like Koding make it easier to get software projects started, and hackathons are a great place to show how these kinds of platforms make software development easier and more fun."

Registration for the event is now open, and teams of up to five developers from around the world can sign up for this year's hackathon here. Applicants who meet the acceptance criteria will be notified on a rolling basis.

During the event, participants will have 48 hours to hack their way into $150,000 in cash prizes. This year's themes include educational games, enterprise productivity and data visualizations.

Yasar said Koding was inspired to tap the minds of developers all over the world for a second year after an overwhelmingly positive response to last year's event. Koding's 2014 hackathon had more than 60,000 participants from a total of 900 total cities, and more than 500 projects were completed and submitted within 48 hours.

Hackathon teams, which will be separated into two categories, students and professional hackers, can begin brainstorming, planning and building wireframes for their ideas upon acceptance. However, to ensure a level playing field for contestants, all code, design, art, music, SFX and assets must be created during the hackathon, which kicks off on Dec. 12 at 12 a.m. PDT and ends Dec. 13 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.

Hackathon submissions will be sent through two rounds of reviews, and winners will be chosen by a panel of judges. Applications will be evaluated using three criteria: the technical difficulty; originality of the idea, and ability to articulate and present the idea.

IBM puts on and sponsors several hackathons or developer competitions each year. In February, IBM announced a collaboration to work with developers and build the next generation of financial technology (FinTech) through the Citi Mobile Challenge. IBM provided mentorship, tutorials and access to Bluemix. Citi Mobile Challenge is a global virtual competition that launched in 2014, first in Latin America and then in the United States to bring together innovative developers and leading technology sponsors to build a global developer ecosystem. Through the Challenge, Citi has worked with more than 165,000 developers across six continents in 62 countries. From the inaugural Challenges, Citi has selected 23 top innovations.

Then in April, IBM and NASA announced that they are collaborating on a global code-a-thon where developers were tasked with building solutions that bolster space exploration missions and help to improve life on Earth.

IBM provided its Bluemix platform for the NASA Space App Challenge Virtual Event to help developers rapidly build applications that contribute to space exploration and solve global challenges. IBM also said it would work with NASA Space Apps Challenge events globally to offer mentorship, guidance and tutorials for participants. Big Blue granted free access to more than 100 cloud-based services, such as Watson Analytics and Internet of things (IoT) tools through Bluemix.

Later, in July, IBM announced a series of industry hackathons, expected to reach tens of thousands of new developers. This came as part of a set of new initiatives aimed at bringing more developers to the IBM cloud. At the same time, IBM released 50 projects to the open-source community to help speed enterprise adoption and spur a new class of cloud innovations around mobile, analytics and other growth areas.