What an API ‘hacking’ time!

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At Esendex we’ve really impressed by how our customer have come up with innovative new ways in to use our SMS APIs. So we wondered what our own developers would come up with if we let them loose for a couple of days?
So last Thursday we held our first Esendex Hack Day, with our developers taken off their day-to-day work and allowed just two working days to create a new product from scratch.  There were just 2 simply rules: they had to use the Esendex APIs to solve a end user problem and they had to complete it by 3pm Friday.  They succeeded in producing a wide range of new products in the very short timescale, proving how flexible and powerful our APIs are (as well as how clever our developers are…).
By utilising our Location Based Services and Google Maps, Darren, John and Alex built an SMS messaging based directions finder, called “GetMe2″.  The service allows customers to text in the place they want to get to (e.g. ‘London’, ‘coffee shop’, etc) and get directions back via SMS. This is perfect for the 70% of the UK population who do not have smartphones – and for those with smartphones who sometimes struggle for 3G reception.
John and Neil created an appointment booking service, which used SMS to text appointment requests, updates and confirmations to both the calendar owner and the customer. This is ideal for businesses that do not use Outlook or Exchange – but by interfacing the Google calendar with the Esendex SMS API,
Jonathan created a product called ‘Atlas’. This used a council’s car parking data stream to cleverly allow drivers to find out how many parking spaces were free in each of the city’s car parks by SMS. Drivers can choose a town, a zone or even a specific car park and find out in real time the best place to park.
Finally, Scott took the festive season as his inspiration and created a Secret Santa Organiser!  This is a great way to cut all the admin for organising the event – and it works totally anonymously. So you’ll never find out who bought you that unusual gift …
The Hack Day was such a great success we’re going to run a similar event next year for the wider development community, so if you’d like to join in please get in touch. And the team will be showcasing their work on their own blogs shortly.
hackdayAt Esendex we’ve been really impressed by how our customers have come up with innovative new ways to use our SMS APIs. So we wondered what our own developers would come up with if we let them loose for a couple of days?
Last Thursday we held our first Esendex Hack Day. Our developers were taken off their day-to-day work and allowed just two working days to create a new product from scratch. There were just 2 simply rules: they had to use the Esendex APIs to solve a end user problem and they had to complete it by 3pm Friday.  They succeeded in producing a variety of new products in the very short timescale, proving how flexible and powerful our APIs are (as well as how clever our developers are…).
By utilising our Location Based Services and Google Maps, Darren, John and Alex built an SMS messaging based directions finder, called “GetMe2″.  The service allows customers to text in the place they want to get to (e.g. ‘Melbourne’, ‘coffee shop’, etc) and get directions back via SMS. This is perfect for the majority of the population who do not have smartphones – and for those with smartphones who sometimes struggle for 3G reception.
John and Neil created an appointment booking service by interfacing the Google calendar with the Esendex SMS API. This used SMS to text appointment requests, updates and confirmations to both the calendar owner and the customer. It is ideal for businesses that do not use Outlook or Exchange.
Jonathan created a product called ‘Atlas’. This used car parking data streams to cleverly allow drivers to find out how many parking spaces were free in each of the city’s car parks by SMS. Drivers can choose a town, a zone or even a specific car park and find out in real time the best place to park.
Finally, Scott took the festive season as his inspiration and created a Secret Santa Organiser!  It works totally anonymously, so you’ll never find out who bought you that unusual gift. And it cut out all the administration too.
The Hack Day was such a great success we’re going to run a similar event next year for the wider development community, so if you’d like to join in please get in touch. Meanwhile the teams will be showcasing their work on their own blogs shortly.
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Andy

Marketing man at Esendex.