Samueli School Engineering Student and Alumnus Place Third in Google Hackathon

UC Irvine senior engineering student Sean Burke and UCI alumnus Jorge Zamora ’09 took third prize in Google’s recent Youtube Hackathon in Los Angeles.

A Hackathon -- commonly mistaken for an event where hackers seek and exploit weaknesses in a computer system -- is actually a coding competition where software developers come together in teams to create an application in a short amount of time. 

About 70 people (software developers, CEOs, marketers, presenters) attended the Google-hosted event. The task was to build an application for Youtube and the new Google TV platform, using the Youtube API and/or Google TV API. Fifteen teams came together for 36 hours, and at the end they had designed 15 unique applications. 

“We were competing against larger teams that included marketers, developers and businesspeople,” said Burke. He and Zamora, who met at their UCI fraternity Sigma Nu, were the smallest team in the competition. Their application, VidSocially, won the “Best Execution in Short Time Frame” award, and they each won a $50 Google Play gift card. VidSocially is a timeline for comments on both live-streamed and hosted videos.

“Jorge and I plan to turn VidSocially into a company and grow our base,” said Burke. “In the long term, we hope to partner with Youtube, Yahoo or Vimeo.”