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GENBAND's First Kandy Internal Hackathon

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

By Melissa New on May 4, 2015

On April 30th and May 1st, Kandy held its first internal hackathon at GENBAND’s offices in Plano, Texas. This 24-hour event, comprised of 9 teams formed from various GENBAND’s departments including R&D, Marketing, Finance, Legal, Sales and IT.  The teams were tasked with designing applications that embedded the Kandy elements in a functional context that would improve the real-time communications experience.


Many of the teams have never used Kandy’s API’s  to add real-time communications into their applications, but with Kandy’s easy to use SDKs they successfully added the elements such as video calling, chat, PSTN calling, presence detection, online collaboration and more to their applications.

The hackathon inspired the teams to get out of their comfort zones and use Kandy to not only better understand this Platform as a Service, but to implement the Kandy elements in context within the new applications that they were creating.  Brad Bush, one of the hackathon judges, stated that the “energy in the room was like a start-up.” With $9,000 in prizes at stake, the teams took the competition seriously, while having fun along the way.


As the teams collaborated on new application ideas, they found that with Kandy’s SDK applications were easy to create. One team even won the honorable mention award for designing a working Android application that incorporates presence detection and video calling to find and communicate with someone without receiving any coaching from the Kandy mentors.  Most teams implemented three to four different pieces of Kandy within their applications, with one team implementing eight elements. The competition was intense, as the time wound down to finalize their applications and prepare their use cases for presentation.


As a member of the Marketing team, I felt privileged to be part of the winning team Kandy Krushers (Carlos Aragon, Darren Dupre and Lance McCall) that presented a full-service travel concierge application designed to meet customers travel needs, including booking attractions and restaurants with one-touch assistance through the application, My Travel Koncierge. The application featured working Kandy elements of chat, video calling, PTSN calling and with further development would include screen sharing and presence detection. Like many of the teams, we had never used JavaScript before in development, but were able to understand how to embed these features within our application with the SDKs available on and helpful descriptions of use case implementation.


The second place team, IT Super Team (CJ Li, Don Rowley, Nathan Huechteman and Mitch Laman) created an application for targeted ads from real-time communications analytics that could be developed further and proposed as a new revenue stream for GENBAND.

The third place team, Event Logistics (Andrew Pham, Dave Seitz, Jack Ger, Jaime Gibson, Jamie Mulford and Narendra Mandalapu) designed an iOS application designed to allow groups to collaborate and share contact information only while they are logged on at an event preventing their address book from being clogged with contact details they would not use in the future. Their application featured the Kandy elements of presence detection, video call and chat.


This hackathon is a great testament that in the new business world you no longer need to be a seasoned programmer to develop a successful application that works, nor do you need to make a large financial investment to have a business operational in no time – in this case, in just 24 hours!

It is not too late to get in on the hackathon fun, Kandy is sponsoring the Kandy Throw Down Hackathon hosted by ChallengePost with $30,000 in prizes up for grabs. Submissions for the Kandy Throw Down Hackathon are due by June 23.

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