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Collaborative Coding Tool Wins HTML5-Themed Silicon Valley Hackathon

A group of five Carnegie Mellon University-Silicon Valley (CMU-SV) software students won the school's first HTML5 Hackathon this month with their "Collaborative Coding Dojo" (CoCoDojo) app, which they designed and delivered within the competition's eight-hour window to aid in collaborative coding for software engineers in different locations.

Team CoCoDojo comprised CMU-SV Masters in Software Engineering Students Sky Hu, Lydian Lee, Clyde Li and Sean Xiao, along with Software Management Graduate Student Dan Fortner. The team netted $500 and $200, respectively, from event sponsors Yahoo! and Microsoft, along with other sponsored gifts, for their winning app, which was designed to allow several users to simultaneously program together and featured a virtual whiteboard for brainstorming.

"We wanted to make it so that even if you were 3,000 miles away from your team, you could participate in developing the software pretty seamlessly," Fortner said in a release. "We have tried programming like this in the past using Google Docs, but there were serious limitations."

The app also won the contest's Audience Favorite Award, thanks in part to features such as seamless communication via chat box and a shared coding screen with support for familiar styles such as TextEdit and Sublime.

"As a developer, I think I would legitimately have a use for it," said guest judge Alex Nobert, director of technical operations at Minted and a guest judge at the competition, in a university release. "The feature set seemed like the team really thought through how this would work as a commercial application."

Second place and a $400 prize went to the team of Michael Cai, Jonathan Wu, and Arthur Leung for their "Vision Board," submission, which allowed users to manipulate photos and text collaboratively. Third prize, worth $300, went to the sibling team of Yuri de Souza, a MS Software Management degree student, and his brother, Boris de Souza.

About the Author

Kevin Hudson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached at sportswryter@yahoo.com.

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