South Florida techies battle for $100,000, trophies at PayPal BattleHack Events

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South Florida techies battle for $100,000, trophies at PayPal BattleHack Events

By: Perry “the Inventor” Kaye – Special to Fourth Estate

A ramshackle bunch of South Florida developers met at Nova University to learn battle secrets from Damian Montero, author of The Hackathon Book. Eager and disheveled tee shirt wearing “warriors” took notes, ate pizza and listened for clues to win the $100,000 Grand Prize via PayPal’s Battle Hack Miami later this month (August 24 – 25).

“We want YOU to win but we also would love Miami to win,” said Sanjay Deo the prep events organizer. Battle

Developers with Damian Montero front and center

Hack was not planning to have an event in Miami but we showed them we have over 82 Tech organizations between West Palm Beach and the Keys and BattleHack Miami would be a well attended, he added.

BattleHack is billed as a “A Hackathon series to discover the ultimate hackers on earth”. It is a 10-city event currently running with the winners of each of the smaller events being brought to the main event to fight for the Grand prize. BattleHack began in Berlin (June 8th) and ends in Barcelona (Oct 27th). BattleHack Miami (August 24-25) is on the minds of the techs in the room tonight. They want to know the secrets to win.

Damian tells us his rules are common sense but must be followed. His book lays them all out, he adds, as he points to his website on the bottom of the projected image glowing on the wall.

His rules are simple and he is passionate about them. And since he’s won awards at 6 events everyone was eager to learn from him. Some of his rules are as follows.

  1. KNOW the event’s rules and follow them.
  2. Be nice to the judges.
  3. Go after side prizes, because there are many of them but only one grand prize.
  4. The application must be beautiful (beauty before function).
  5. Always finish, if a function can’t be completed in the time allotted, drop it.
  6. Make sure your presenter can present.

With only about 3 weeks till BattleHack Miami, you can see the coders eyeing each other up. Working to determine who to align with and who to hide from. Each seems to be evaluating their potential to win based on who is in this room. The competition will be strong, we all agree. And then Damian ends his presentation by telling us he too plans to be at the event… with his hand picked team. Maybe he should not have told all of us his secrets to win? It did not seem to worry him.

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