by Rauf Fadzilla

Pix Credit: Hackweekend
If you would like to take a shot at developing the next hot new program or simply see what all the fuss is about, look out for the next instalment of  the now popular Hackweekend series Hackweekend 3 - "Make Apps, Not War" (cool poster huh?).

To be held on the 31st March 2012 at Pusat Sains Negara, this event will be a 24 hour marathon of epic proportions, featuring creative madness and wanton self-flagellation (just kidding).
Using such a theme, participants of the latest Hackweekend are encouraged to build applications and software that revolve around the theme of love. Whether it’s an app to assist  peace talks between nations, or an app to help match you with single people who have similar  interests as you, as long as it can fit within the theme somehow, participants are encouraged to  build it

Nerds and geeks of all kinds as well as jocks and even a dancing baboon (...maybe...) will be present at the love-themed event. A large mix of faculty members and students made up of the best and brightest computer science and technical students from eight universities, such as Monash, UCTI, UTM, MMU, and KDU just to name a few, will also be participating as well.

The sponsors include usual suspects Mindvalley and Experian as well as some yet to-be-confirmed new-comers to the event.

Local start-ups and technopreneurs are expected to join in on the fun as well and present a challenge to the uni-students. As always, bring lots of coffee (and whatever else you take to stay up all night) as well as comfy blankets and pillows if the need to pass out arises.

For more info log on to or read further to find out what happened at the last Hackweekend that went down:

Pix Credit: Hackweekend

The second Hackweekend installment entitled, "Getting it done!" was held from 12.30pm (Dec 10 2011) to 2pm (Dec 11 2011) at Alt.Space, a cozy cafe that offers a simple and functional private workspace that is perfect for the ever on-the-go roadwarriors. This time round, a twist to the event was included as students from Monash University also took part in this 24-hour crunch work.

The event boasted an impressive line-up of top developers and designers - 71 in all - who brainstormed and hacked their ideas all night into the wee hours of the morning. The "harsh and grueling" session, inter-spread with joyful moments filled with an endless supply of food, drinks, snacks and flavoured shishas, ended with a live demo session the very next day.

Having an event full of acquaintances and like-minded people from the same background in various industries created a rather homely event, which made Hackweekend 2 feel more like a gathering of friends. The organisers, who were never held back in sharing their knowledge, expertise and skills with the participants, kept the participants and helpers fueled with coffee and regular progress checks. 

Pix Credit: Harinder Singh, Hackweekend
Hackweekend's organisers. Aren't they a charming lot?
Of course, there was the tingling sense of underlying excitement that could be felt just below the surface as a large countdown was projected on the main screen to remind all present that time was of the essence.

By the end of 24 hours, everyone got a chance to stretch-out their limbs and 18 new technology apps were ready to be introduced to a panel of judges that included mentors, investors and representatives of prominent corporations. The time before, during and after the pitching sessions were the moment of truth as these new, overnight creations were given a chance to be showcased to all present. Most, if not all, received an enthusiastic reception from mentors and key players in the technology industry, which happened to include a surprise guest: the Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah.

Among the notable projects that garnered mentions were:
Projecker - A friendly web-based project tracker which tracks progress against a timeline.

KL-Train - An iPhone app that allows users to locate the nearest KL train station — making it easy for people to find train routes in KL.

EzyPzy - A mobile application which allows users to Snap (pictures of), Share and Sell items among friends.

Ice Breaker- An application which helps you start a conversation with someone depending on various factors such as situation and gender.

DoneDa! - The done list which functions as an alternative to to-do lists. This application sends an email digest at the end of the day to relevant people.

Taxi Watch - A crowd-sourced application that works via SMS and web to check whether a taxi is dodgy and allows reporting of rigged meters, bad drivers, etc. This application won the grand prize winner for the AirAsia travel competition ( RM2500 cash prize) and was given the Users / Hackers Choice Award, a sub-category that determines the winner via a collection of votes from all the event's participants.

“This is what it is all about! Hackweekend - the best place to come and build new products and services over a weekend - it pushes the limits of participants who are immersed in an environment filled with really talented people who want to make things happen. We even had Microsoft, Nokia and other technology companies partner up with us recently to stimulate their developer communities and source out potential hidden talents that are based outside of the more popular communities that they manage and sustain. With such developments taking place, we're really pumped up to see the kinds of innovations coming out of all our Hackweekends!” said Kal Joffres, one of the organisers for Hackweekend.

According to Hakim Albaswary, Director of Tandemic, the organisation behind Hackweekend, the event is experiencing a surge in popularity. "Online registrations are now over-subscribed and we have been receiving sponsorship, partner collaborations and in-depth inquiries from prominent corporate innovators such as AirAsia,, Telemoney, and even Yes. More are coming in as they find out first-hand how Hackweekend is a highly versatile and dynamic platform that scouts for viable applications, amazing talent, and never-used before distribution channels," he shared.

Hackweekend, in the spirit of promoting innovation, still enjoys support from various organisations that include Doof, Alt Space, Tandemic and Techmaki. 

Look! Here’s a collectible sticker (Right click to save). Collect them all!