Hackdays: Playgrounds for the Imagination

One of the best things about working as an engineer at LinkedIn is the monthly hackdays. This is an amazing opportunity that feels a lot, to me, like playing the lottery – it’s a time I can set aside to let myself imagine the possible, to think about what people might want to do, play with, or learn.  Think of better ways to accomplish the things that frustrate me, or to share things I love with other people.  Individuals and teams of LinkedIn employees take the day (and sometimes the weekend afterwards) to create mockups, prototypes, and sometimes complete applications to demonstrate the ideas bouncing around in their head.  Our company benefits by getting tons of new ideas, and our engineers benefit because… well, because play is fun, and this is play.  And we get to present our ideas to the executive team, and earn Apple gift cards for our efforts.

Not wanting to keep all this fun to ourselves, on July 29 LinkedIn will be hosting our first ever Intern Hackday – we’re offering cool prizes and free food, and the opportunity to collaborate with a bunch of other inspired and inspirational interns for 24 hours.

But that’s not all!  The open source developers among you know that OSCON is coming up at the end of the month, and Jeremy Johnstone and I will be there all week talking to developers and helping them started with the LinkedIn platform.  We’ve just teamed up with Mashery, Urban Airship, and a host of other fantastic companies to help put together the API Hackday PDX on Saturday, July 30.  I’ll be there to give a presentation on our APIs and help people with LinkedIn platform questions, and LinkedIn is going to give 3 $100 Apple Gift Cards to the best applications using our platform – whether it be brand new applications, multi-platform mashups, or integrations into existing systems. Come show us what you’ve got, get some LinkedIn shwag, learn about our platform and win some Apple dough!

If you want to get a jump on the competition, head over to our Developer Portal and start playing with our APIs. We’ve got a Javascript API and a REST API, along with some plugins you can use for quick integrations.  We’ve got cool tutorials, documentation, and a very active community in our forums.

Here are some links to code walkthroughs you might find helpful:

Posted in API, Geek Stuff, JSAPI and LinkedIn here.  Posted in Friends and Open Source in G+.

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