BattleHack Austin: Video!

I don’t have the video of my pitch for PayPup, but here’s an overview video of the BattleHack Austin event – I actually gave three or four interviews to the video team throughout the course of the event. PayPal did a fantastic job with video production – I think a lot of these developer events benefit from having a video recording.


BattleHack Austin: PayPup Writeups!

One of the best things about winning PayPal’s BattleHack Austin was to get the word out there about using PayPup as a mobile fundraising platform for animal rescues.

I’m happy to work with animal rescue groups who want to adapt PayPup for their own needs – it shouldn’t be too much work to get this into your organization – you just have to maintain the donation goals for the dogs and cats that have special goals.

My little hackathon app got featured in the AustinStartup – Q&A Wednesday :: PayPal BattleHack Winner Jeff Linwood – one of the most interesting things about this hackathon for me was that I hadn’t built a Windows Phone 8 app before – just a Windows 8 Store app, and that was in HTML and JavaScript. C# turned out to be very straightforward, and adding events to buttons in XAML was so easy compared to Android (iOS is somewhere in the middle).

PayPal also has a great writeup on their blog – Austin Showcases Top Talent in Global Battle Hack – with a great picture of me and my “Austin Winner” battle axe.

Laura Lorek wrote a very nice piece about me in the Silicon Hills news – PayPup Wins PayPal’s Battle Hack in Austin – I was actually talking to her before I presented, and it helped me from getting too nervous before my presentation.

The Austin Business Journal also wrote up my PayPup hack here – Austin app developer is top dog – they might get the prize for wittiest headline.

Overall, I’m thrilled with how BattleHack Austin turned out – I think that if there were easy to use apps out there that you could use to view available shelter and rescue dogs, and encouraged you to help fundraise for the dogs, there could be a lot fewer animals that need to be rescued.

Hackathon iPhone Development Windows Phone 8 Development

BattleHack Austin: Won First Place with PayPup!

I won first place at BattleHack Austin – PayPal’s hackathon for developers. BattleHack is a series of competitions all over the world, in places like London, Berlin, and New York. Austin’s was held at TechShop, a great maker space up in Round Rock. PayPup Home Screen


I ended up building a screen scraper in Ruby, an iPhone app, and a Windows Phone 8 app. Because I made the only Windows Phone 8 app at the hackathon, I also won the Nokia app developer competition. Instead of building a server, I used Windows Azure Mobile Client Services as the backend for the app, as they were one of the sponsors, so I knew I could bug Microsoft’s developer evangelist whenever I got stuck. This worked out really well for what I was doing, especially with the cross-platform support.

The PayPup iOS app is open sourced on GitHub at ( – you’ll need to set up your own PayPal and Windows Azure Mobile Client Services accounts and use the corresponding client IDs in the app.

Here’s a link to a story about my app over at the Silicon Hills News.