Published on October 19, 2013 by Alex Palcuie, Marius Ungureanu
Tagged: facebook, hackathon, live, blogging, coders


Ladies and gentlemen, fast hackers and coder perfectionists, web developers and mobile app creators, we present you the first edition of the Facebook hackathon in Romania. Organized by your favorite open-source community ROSEdu, the volunteers have been busy all morning preparing the workspace for the 15 participating teams. We have pizza, beer and a mountain of bean bags for people who move fast and break things.


People have started their IDEs (or text editors for more hardcore people) and started installing their gems (Ruby guy here sorry). After a quick intro from the organizers about the rules, the Facebook engineers presented their skills and their expectations: it’s fun to code, but it’s awesome to ship. So happy shipping hackers!


A brief pause and all the keyboard presses have stopped. The Facebook representatives have given out a random prize! One Facebook T-shirt. Congratulations to Andrei Duma! People are now back to coding and making their ideas come to life: done is better than perfect.

First team

Only 4 hours in the event! We have interviewed some of the participants and they’re coding, designing and implementing their application basis! The first team we interviewed is 3_awesome_guys_and_a_llama. These students from the University “Politehnica” of Bucharest are writing an Event Planner. From what they told us, it’s an application which tries to help people organize events for them and their friends for their night out. It’s more focused on location, than being focused on time, so they can make it a planned drink-up or dance-off. They integrate it with the Facebook Places API and would like to have bars, clubs and restaurants use their app so people can make reservations. As technology stack, they have Python on top of Google App Engine. One of the devs said that he learned about it on a Udacity course which I recommend it to you. They also plan to use Twitter’s Bootstrap library because they do not have enough frontend experience.

Be green, recycle

You are a human, walking down and you see a big pile of garbage. It’s a scenario common here in Romania. But what if you have an app for cleaning it? That’s what sudoRecycle is trying to do with their Android idea. You see the junk, take a photo, tag it with the GPS location and send it to their servers. Using their backend written in PHP, they will send teams of robots that will clean the area. Because we human beings are really lazy, they plan to use the Facebook API for gamification, so you could level up in cleaning the world.

Explore the underground

We’ve all endured the lack of knowledge of moving around Bucharest, if we haven’t lived here. But dark_side_of_the_moon is going to remedy this with their offline mobile subway connection app. You want to get from X to Y using the shortest route. It also wants to tell you what ground-level public transportation is there and what you can visit. Furthermore they want it to tell your friends where you’ve been after you used its functionality to check-in at your destination. Under the hood, it’s using Android 4.0+ API and they want to integrate with the Facebook API to see the places your friends have visited. The coolest feature they want to code will tell you when the next tube will arrive.


Did you know that in the year 2013, if you apply to MIT, you must send the papers by fax or postal mail? And after you send them, a person will manually go through them and tell you that the papers have arrived? Or if you get into a university you must write 6 papers with about 60% redundant information? That’s what GRails, the only team made entirely of girls, is trying to solve, fighting bureaucracy with Rails 4. Now with 100% less paper involved!


Everybody knows that Romania has some of the best hiking routes, beautiful views and mysterious mountains. And who doesn’t want to know what trips you can make in the wild nature? Well, you can now check out a map and see what is available for adventurers! The map also shows you elevation, so you know if it’s a long road and also an abrupt road. A Django platform by saltaretii should be enough to support this paradise for nature’s explorers!

I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike

2 wheels, foot power and long distance travelling made easy! These two guys are achieving the awesome tool that brings bikers a dream app come true! Using complex algorithms, they want to give bikers many possible routes from one place to another. You can choose your own type of road, either abrupt and short or longer and less steep. The point? You can choose which kind of road you want and which is fit for you! If that is not enough, these 2 guys are doing this client side with ClojureScript… yeah, it’s the new functional kid in town which tries to solve the event driven callback hell. FlatRide on, people!

Jackson Gabbard

From an English major in Tennessee, to the 300th Facebook employee, to the 4th one to move in the new London office. He works on developer tools for the engineers and oversees some of the most important components like Tasks which devs open daily to get their job done. He is a self-taught hacker and he had an enlightment moment about the power of programming the first time he used the array structure.

He was really communicative and willing to tell us of his opinions, about the event, mentioning that he’s amazed about the main focus of students. ‘Transportation’, ‘Finding things’ and ‘Group organization’ are recurrent themes. He said some of his coworkers are Romanian and he thinks Romania is a land where lots of engineers are being created. Proud to be a full-time hackers around here!

We also asked him about the Bootcamp in London, which is about learning to code. And guess what? Even executives go through these preparations to get into Facebook. The engineering team has lots of fun hacking in that period of education. It teaches you how to love the company, you get to learn the ropes while communicating and interact with other mind-like people.

Finally he has participated in lockdowns each year. These are periods of time when teams gather in a room and stay there for several days (usually 30) and ship a big feature. Pretty hardcore, but that’s life at Facebook.

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