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Congrats to You Laugh You Lose on Hacking Their Way to NodeConf

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Last weekend Charlie Robbins and I ran Hack Your Way to NodeConf, a 17 hour overnight hackathon to give away our last ticket to the sold out conference. The winner would receive the ticket for NodeConf, airfare, and hotel (bonus: the chance to party with us). It was a huge prize and there could only be one winner.

The challenge:

We kicked off the fun-but-grueling event at Pivotal Labs in NY over beer and artichoke pizza. I stepped up to rehash the rules, Charlie gave a live demo, and Jon Gottfried of Twilio presented the Portal 2 Replica Gun (!!) being offered as a side prize for best Twilio hack.

After that, everyone broke and rushed off to hole themselves up in various conference rooms to code like mad for the next 17 hours. Some formed teams while others were 1 person armies. We made coffee. We drank Red Bull. We cracked jokes. Ideas were spun up and tossed aside. The hours wore on and we all started to get a bit bleary eyed.

The winner:

At 1:30pm the next day, we officially ended hack time. Charlie gathered everyone around for demos and I ran the conference call with our handpicked judging panel: Daniel Shaw, Carter Rabasa, Christian Sanz, Nuno Job (of Nodejitsu), Joe McCann and Visnu Pitiyanuvath. Judging was based on Originality, Completeness, Design, and Fun.

The judges selected You Laugh You Lose (requires either Canary or Opera), created by Francis Gulotta and Michael Shapiro. YLYL used OpenCV for facial recognition and flashes a bunch of funny pictures from internet memes. If you laugh, you’re disqualified. For added fun, you can play against others remotely.

It was great to have everyone involved, and it was especially cool that some folks who were new to node came out and used the event as an excuse to get themselves up and running.
More photos from Hack Your Way to NodeConf can be found here.

Next stop, Portland!