Sencha Inc. | HTML5 Apps


The Sencha Hackathon Recap

November 02, 2011 | James Pearce

The Sencha Hackathon Recap There are hackthons. And then there is the SenchaCon hackathon.

Day three of our awesome conference in Austin last week really reaffirmed our belief in the strength of the Sencha community. I’ve rarely seen such a concentration of talent, enthusiasm, and friendship—not mention amazing productivity—come together so well.

We wanted to stimulate competition and organized a number of prize categories for the event. The Google Chrome team sponsored the event as a whole, and also kindly offered Chromebook hardware as a prize for ‘Best use of HTML5 API’. We also offered ‘Best Desktop’ and ‘Best Mobile’ categories, as well as spot prizes for additional interesting application categories.

Once our introductory pleasantries were over, we decided to make sure that teams could get coding as quickly as possible. The amicable vibe of the whole conference helped immediately, as cohesive groups quickly formed around exciting ideas that community members proposed.

Hackathon hackers. Arthur Kay
Hackathon hackers. Photos by Nils Dehl.

Caffeine, power, and a decent wifi connection are the other ingredients required to keep teams working hard during the day. We just about managed all three, and certainly the arrival of the Red Bull support team helped any flagging programmers get through the final few hours.

By the time we reached 4pm—after over 6 hours of frantic coding, an astonishing 20 teams were ready to jump up onto our vast stage and present the results.

And what results they were: we had news visualizations, signal strength detectors, web-based file sharing, games, database administration tools, collaborative drawing and learning tools, social networks, and many many more. The variety was almost as amazing as the quality.

Hackathon hackers. Andrea Cammarata

After a very tough judging session, we announced the main winners. And they were:

Best use of an HTML5 API: Lamp Post

Multi-user music file sharing using Chrome’s File API, featuring real-time chat and notification of shared directories using a Node JS backend with node-extjs. The team won a Chromebook and $500, kindly sponsored by Google Chrome.

Best Desktop App: Code Cowboys

A crowd-sourced unit testing application for Ext JS and Sencha Touch. The team won an iPad 2 and $500.

Best Mobile / Tablet App: Presencha

Upload slides in PDF form, and present live to any device for collaborative viewing by an audience. The team won an iPad 2 and $500.

The Presencha team have made their code available on GitHub, and are aiming to have their service available soon.

We then had a number of additional categories which teams were gunning for. Each of these teams won $250.

Best Social App: LinkedUp
A mobile social network for entrepreneurs and innovators.

Best Austin-related App: Dirty 6th
Shows bars, clubs and other venues near a user’s location or and in downtown Austin.

Best Educational App: iKnow
A mobile application to learn or memorize anything

Best App by a Novice Team: Doodleshare
A screen-sharing application to allow games such as Charades and Pictionary on mobile and tablet devices.

We also had two discretionary prizes for apps that impressed the judges above and beyond these categories. These were TouchMySql and the German Rockstars team.

At events like this, we hope that every one feels they are a winner! If you were there, I hoped you enjoyed the experience of being able to rub shoulders with your peers and the Sencha teams. It was an awesome way to wrap up the whole conference, and we look forward to hosting you all next year!

There are 12 responses. Add yours.


3 years ago



3 years ago

very good ideas here, with a very impressive framework

Chris Marshall

3 years ago

Impressive use of the framework!  Really shows off some of the potential.  But, what I really want to know is: where can I get one of those slick Sencha stickers?


3 years ago

We had a ton of fun, thanks Sencha for an awesome conference and hackathon!

/Cowboy team

Dan Menard

3 years ago

The hackathon was amazing, thank you so much for hosting it.

I didn’t quite get my app finished in time, but I posted a working version here:

It’s a puzzle game. A video is split into pieces, and you have to drag and drop them back into the right order while the video is playing. Had a blast building it, would love to do this again next year!

James Pearce Sencha Employee

3 years ago

Dan - is a totally, totally awesome entry. I also wish it had been shown on stage!

Jay Robinson Sencha Employee

3 years ago

Updated the entry to include Presencha links. Very promising service, I can’t wait to use it. I’d love to see all of these made into real apps!

Alex Retzlaff

3 years ago

I’m looking for a unit testing framework for ExtSJ (that works)... could someone please provide us with info on “Best Desktop App: Code Cowboys”?

Peter Fry

3 years ago

Thanks James for the great writeup, and thank you Jay for adding the links! We look forward to officially launching Presencha in the coming weeks.


3 years ago

@Alex, we’re releasing “Siesta” in the next couple of days. You’ll receive an email when this happens smile Preview videos are out on YouTube already.

Alex Retzlaff

3 years ago

Thanks Mats


3 years ago

That is cool. I really hope that I can be there, in such a good confrence of a concentration of talent, enthusiasm, and friendship.

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