Team GlassWorks Cracks the Best Code at Angie’s List Inaugural Hack Day

A group of engineers calling themselves GlassWorks took home first place in the inaugural Angie’s List Hack Day event, a 12-hour competition that pits engineering talents against the clock and each other.

GlassWorks, named for the Angie’s List building in which they work at their day jobs, earned $1,000 and bragging rights for creating a software mash-up that combines the best of Google Glass and the Angie’s List SnapFix app. The team was comprised of S.J. Singh, Cliff Helsel and Manny Singh.

Thirty-five engineers, including teams from Indiana universities, local technology companies and internal engineering employees, took up the Angie’s List challenge to craft innovative new software prototypes.

Judging followed the format of ABC’s SharkTank entrepreneurial reality television show, requiring teams to convince the panel that theirs was the most marketable and useful new virtual tool.

“We had a great time and more importantly, we’ve made great connections with some folks who just might come up with the next big breakthrough in tech,” said Angie’s List Vice President of Engineering John Hurst. 

Fifteen teams competed. Shelly Towns, Angie’s List Vice President of Product, said she hopes to at least double that for Hack Day 2.0.

"We'll definitely have more of these,” she said. “And you can bet we’ll be scouting top talent as thoroughly as we judge the software products.”

Second prize ($600) went to Daniel Qin, Luijia Zhang and Joe Lee AKA Team Rose representing Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind. Team Rose developed a mobile app that allowed remote control of a personal computer using gestures on an Android device, which essentially would turn mobile devices into desktop computer trackpads.

Third prize ($400) went to another Angie’s List internal team, The Crunchwraps, comprised of Brent Sandquist, Ed Gonzalez and Trent Ferry. Their contribution was software that evaluates Twitter feeds to help market e-commerce deals to consumers posting about their needs or interests on the micro-blogging site.

Other participants included student engineers from Ball State University, DePauw University, Indiana University Purdue University (IUPUI) and Purdue University, alongside professional coders from Angie’s List, Apparatus, Boosterville and One Click Ventures.

Serving as judges were Andy Harris, senior lecturer at IUPUI’s Department of Computer and Information Science; Pat Brady, president of Angie’s List Marketplace; Jingyu Shan, Chief of Staff for Angie’s List Engineering Department; Alex LaPrade, Associate Product Manager for Angie’s List e-Commerce.

Angie’s List sponsored the event as part of its effort to heighten Indiana’s reputation as a great place to find top tech talent. Angie’s List is part of a TechPoint initiative called IndyX, which seeks to attract and retain skilled individuals by connecting them to the Indianapolis community and thousands of open jobs in area technology companies.  

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