Local talent unite to build iPhone applications at two‐day charity event
The city’s pioneering talent—including software developers, graphic designers, social media gurus and marketing experts—will come together on July 25 and 26 at The Hub Halifax (1673 Barrington St.) with a common goal: to build as many iPhone applications as possible in one weekend.
But the iPhone Hackathon has an objective bigger than merely making a dent in the new media and social technology market. Along with bringing together likeminded individuals, the event will support voluntary sector organizations by donating the profits from each iPhone application to a Halifax charity. Building one application means funding for one local charity. Building two applications means funding for two charities. The more applications built, the greater number of charities benefited.
Currently, a dozen local charities have submitted proposals: Caregivers Nova Scotia Association, Joints In Motion, Learning Disabilities Association of Nova Scotia, Imagine Bloomfield Society, Phoenix Youth Programs, Stepping Stone, Leave Out ViolencE Nova Scotia, Entrepreneurs’ Forum, Ecology Action Centre, Ummah Masjid & Community Center, Titz’n Glitz , Street Feat and Feed Nova Scotia.
By bringing together the development community, the iPhone Hackathon 4 Charity will also provide participants with the opportunity to improve and share their skills, as well as to build and strengthen connections, creating the ultimate environment for those interested in developing their abilities in creating for the iPhone platform.
Dale Zak, a local mobile software developer, and the man behind the Hackathon, hopes attendees will benefit from relationships created at the event that could lead to employment opportunities down the road, but his real passion lies in the impact the Hackathon will have on charity. The event demonstrates that supporting charities doesn’t always have to equate to handouts, and can instead be an occasion for people to come together, utilize their talents and reach for a worthy common goal.
“I’m really excited for this event,” says Zak, who recently held a successful Mobile Tech 4 Social Change conference at The Hub. “Just imagine if just one of the applications we build is a hit. It could literally empower one of these very deserving charities.
“Now imagine if a couple of them are hits.”
The inception of the Hackathon has, too, brought together local ingenuity: Tracy Boyer of The Hub Halifax took on the role of co‐organizer and the event’s artwork and promotion were put in place by Nick Brunt and Ian Conrad, respectively, of Say Hi There. The Hackathon is also taking place thanks to its sponsors, including The Hub Halifax, InNOVAcorp, Nova Scotia Economic and Rural Development, The Coast, Say Hi There, Be Massage, Mind Sea, Splice and Huminah Huminah—all local businesses.
The two days of application development will begin on Saturday, July 25, at 9:00 a.m. and the event is open to anyone to participate. During both afternoons, Be Massage will be present to deliver some much needed head and neck massages to attendees, and Saturday evening will feature a post‐supper visit from DJ RICH+NESS, a break to party, and an all‐nighter for those knee‐deep in app development. The applications will be launched at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday as the Hackathon comes to a close.
For a detailed schedule of the weekend’s events, please visit: www.ihackhfx.com, and to register, visit ihackhfx.eventbrite.com. Follow the iPhone Hackathon 4 Charity on Twitter by searching the hashtag #iHackHFX.
About Dale Zak: With over six years of professional experience as a software developer, Zak has helped develop mobile and web applications for large corporate companies like Caterpillar, Ritchie Bros and Pitney Bowes. He holds a Computer Science Honours Degree in Software Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan.
Currently living in Halifax, Zak is working for Metaworks to develop a Windows Mobile application for the company’s Mantis system. He has also been putting his mobile talents to good use by volunteering for two incredible projects: Ushahidi and the Extraordinaries. For Ushahidi, the mobile application Zak is developing will allow anyone with a Windows Mobile device to easily view and create crisis incidents in the field; for the Extraordinaries, he’s helping develop the initiative’s revolutionary micro‐volunteering platform for the iPhone.
Contact: Dale Zak
Founder, iPhone Hackathon 4 Charity
dalezak at gmail.com
Secondary Contact: Nadine LaRoche
Principal, Interrobang Inc.
nlaroche at gmail.com