Hackathons are making headlines these days but one cloud provider’s contest is coming with the largest single hackathon bounty ever. Salesforce .com is turning heads with a $1 million #salesforcehack during its Dreamforce event.
Here’s the deal: Developers will create the next killer mobile app on the Salesforce Platform for a chance to win a cool $1 million.
Salesforce has noticed a trend: with social networks rising -- and with the simultaneous proliferation of mobile devices -- developers are looking to capitalize on the potentially lucrative technology shift to create a new class of enterprise apps.
How Serious is Salesforce?
“We’re in the midst of a mobile app renaissance,” said Adam Seligman, vice president of Salesforce Platform developer and partner marketing. “Developers are reinventing how business works, and how companies connect with their customers. With the Salesforce Platform, they have the proven mobile, social and cloud services to create exponentially more productive apps for the enterprise.”
Developers have to be on site at Dreamforce to participate in the hackathon, so Salesforce is offering a $99 Hacker Pass that will give them access to a Developer Zone, as well as the main Dreamforce keynote. The deadline is Nov. 19. The winner will be announced at Dreamforce, Thursday, Nov. 21.
We caught up with Kevin O'Brien, Enterprise Solution Architect at information security firm CloudLock, to get his thoughts on the hackathon. He told us three key points are embedded in the announcement: Salesforce is serious about courting developers; the company wants mobile to be a key part of that; and the CRM provider is willing to work with development environments that are most relevant today -- such as Heroku, ExactTarget and Fuel -- in order to get there.
Attracting Force Multipliers
“The focus on mobility especially is a strong indicator of how the ‘social enterprise’ message of 2012 has evolved, as well as a clue to where and how Salesforce will be connecting end users with their data ,” O’Brien said. “What is most significant about how Salesforce is approaching this hackathon is that it exists at this scale: they are clearly making a play for the app space, and see a tremendous upside in it that far outstrips the cost of the event, prize, or Developer Zone.” (continued...)