'Hackathon' Event Sparks Creation

Auctiva team investigates seller applications for the iPad.

by Auctiva.com staff writer
- Apr 23, 2010

While a "hackathon" might sound like a bad idea to the everyday person, to a developer, it's an exciting event filled with endless possibilities.

Recently, six Auctiva employees had a chance to explore iPad technologies to create an app for merchants on the go during the Hackathon Competition at iPad Dev Camp in San Jose. During the competition—which was the conference's culminating event—the Auctiva team worked for 17 hours to develop Seller Dashboard, an app that would allow merchants to manage orders from their iPads.

"If you're on the go, this app would definitely be helpful," says Auctiva Vice President Kevin Kinell, who had the chance to step back into the role of developer for this competition. "With it, you could go out to you your warehouse and manage your orders from there if you wanted to."

Seller Dashboard would allow sellers to retrieve orders from marketplaces, view order details, prepare shipments, enter tracking numbers, and view payment and buyer information. Auctiva also explored the possibility of adding message notifications so sellers would know when they had a new order or had received payment. To view a demo of the Seller Dashboard, please visit Powered by AMP, or read more details on the Auctiva Blog.

The Seller Dashboard was one of 54 applications demoed at the Hackathon Competition. Entries ranged from gaming, to educational, to media and commerce apps.

Conferences like this one allow Auctiva to explore new technologies

It was a weekend of exploration and collaboration, notes Mark Montgomery, content writer for the Auctiva Marketplace Platform.

"It was all about developers getting together and helping each other create new apps for the iPad," he explains. "It was really community based. Someone would grab the microphone and say, 'I need help with…' and another developer would help out."

Many of the applications developed during the contest were gaming apps, and while Auctiva's team didn't go into the conference with a commerce app in mind, the group ultimately settled on Seller Dashboard because it could be beneficial to Auctiva users if developed to completion, Kinell says.

Experimenting with development for the iPad makes sense given the device's popularity. According to experts, 1.3 million iPads are expected to be sold by June. Some sites are reporting that more than a quarter of their online traffic comes from these devices, which have only been on the market three weeks.

Seller Dashboard proved to be an ambitious endeavor, and the Auctiva team only had time to develop a basic concept to demo for fellow developers, but Auctiva could revisit the app in the future, Kinell adds.

Overall, the experience was beneficial, he says. Attending conferences like this one allows Auctiva to explore new technologies and stay up to date on software development trends.

"When you work in a new venue, it gets your mind thinking in different ways," Kinell explains. "I walked away feeling like it was a fun event. It really showed a different way of getting projects done, and we took a lot away from it."

To see the results of the Hackathon, visit Powered by AMP.

About the Author

Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.

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