We managed to make some pretty cool hackathon projects during our last week before Christmas, so we threw down the challenge gauntlet to see what you could come up with. We gave users the two weeks over Christmas to come up with their own hackalong project using import·io, and the results were really impressive!
Winner – Bruno Pedro
Bruno created a product which automatically tracks changes in the documentation of thousands of different APIs and generates alerts of those changes as soon as they happen. To do this, he used two Crawlers to get data from the Mashape API Marketplace Public API Directory. The first crawler grabs the URL of each API available on the list; while the second one reads each API page and grabs the title, logo, description and documentation URL.
Next, he created a nodejs script which iterates through the results of the first crawler; then, for each API found, calls the second crawler. It then makes a request to the obtained API documentation URL, hashes and then stores the result.
The next time the script runs, it compares the generated hash with the one saved previously. If it finds a difference between the hashes, it knows that the documentation has been changed and sends you an alert.
“I did it because I’d like to see how API documentation changes over time and I figured that monitoring a large number of sources would give me a pretty good idea.” – Bruno Pedro
We were really impressed with Bruno’s ingenuity and resourcefulness. In the true spirit of a hackathon he made a project that was both useful and unexpected, making him the clear winner of our first ever Hackalong!
“We chose Bruno as the winner because we felt that his project was the most innovative use of our technology.” – David White, CEO
Runner Up – Wesley Cole
Wes used his Hackalong project to fill a hole in the online bike retail market. He created Bike Scanner to help people find the best price on that new 10-speed they’ve been dreaming about. Wes built Connectors and Crawlers to the UK’s biggest bike retailers in order to pull live pricing and product data on mountain and road bikes. He then used this data to create an e-commerce site where you can compare bike prices to get the best deal!
What started as a project to build a classic online retail website led Wes to discover a big disparity in the prices bike retailers were selling their products for.
“Did you know that some sites charge 70% more than others for the same product even though they say it’s in the sale! Don’t be fooled by those 50% off deals, you could still be paying more than rival websites!” – Wes Cole
Wes’s project is a perfect example of how democratizing access to data can lead to surprising insights!
Follow him on Twitter: @wes_cole
We Want You!
We were so impressed with the results of the Hackalong that we’re going to be doing it again! If you’ve built something cool using our technology send it to us for a chance to win some awesome prizes.