Speed Hack -- What is that?

You know hackathons, right?

The Speed Hack Challenge is a hackathon on speed! The participating teams of developers will have to solve various tough, strictly time-limited coding challenges.

The Speed Hack Challenge will start in the morning (11:45am) on the last day (Sept.26) of APIStrat in the Developer Track. The total duration is 3 hours (see also the main conference schedule). The prizes will be awared on the main stage after the last keynote of the main program on Sept. 26 at 04:25pm.

Find details about how to sign up in the Sign-up Section below.


Challenge Descriptions


Now, it's the time:


Download the Challenge Descriptions here !




Challenge Submission

Teams who are ready to be judged please let the judge know via this Submission Form.



We use IRC as a communication tool during the Speed Hack. For this, download an IRC client like Colloquy for Mac (http://colloquy.info/) or mIRC for Windows (http://www.mirc.com/).

The channel is #apistrat on irc.freenode.net You can also use the web interface http://webchat.freenode.net/


Basic Rules

  • We have several sponsors who provide cool APIs (see bottom of this page).
  • Each sponsor will set a coding challenges to solve within about 15 minutes. The challenges will be published on this site.
  • Every challenge is binary: either pass (1 point) or fail (0 points).
  • In addition every sponsor can give away up to 5 points at her/his discretion.
  • Teams can choose which challenges they tackle, in which order and how many.
  • There are extra points available to collect. See below.
  • The team that collects most points at the end of the Speed Hack Challenge will be the winner! 
  • In case of a tie in points, the teams will have to solve a special tie-break challenge on the spot.


Extra Points

  • 2 extra points if a team comes dressed up as something (a clown nose is not enough). 
  • 1 extra point in total for most original and funny team name.
  • 2 extra points for an API song or rhym performed on stage by the team (max 2 points per team). 
  • 2 extra points in total for the team which successfully completes all challenges first.



  • Teams are made up of a maximum of up to three people.
  • We recommend to have your teams formed before you come to Speed Hack. 
  • Please make sure to have a valid APIStrat ticket to participate. We have special "Developer Tickets" available, which give you also access to the main conference.  


How to Sign Up

To participate in the Speed Hack Challenge, you need to do three things:

  1. Register for the APIStrat conference. You need to have a valid APIStrat ticket to be allowed to participate in the Speed Hack. We have special developer tickets available, which you can get here. (When registering, be sure to indicate "Yes" when you're asked if you want to participate in the Speed Hack.) 
  2. Be in the room :) to hack away on Friday, September 26 at 11:45am (APIStrat Developer Track).



We have cash prizes of a total of $2,000 and a couple of cool gadgets, too! Here is the breakdown:

  1. Prize: $1,500 in cash + a programmable Crazyfly Nano Quadcopter + 1 year free GitHub Silver plan
  2. Prize: $350 in cash + electric paper plane + 1 year free GitHub Bronze plan
  3. Prize: $150 in cash + electric paper plane + 6 months free GitHub Bronze plan

And we will have T-shirts, nerf guns and other cool stuff.


Special Prizes

ESRI  provides an additional $500 prize for the team who answers the ESRI challenge most completely (judging at ESRI's discretion). 


Spread the Love

We have set up a dedicated Facebook Speed Hack event page and use the #SpeedHack on Twitter.


Speed Hack Sponsors

Below is a list of the sponsors of the Speed Hack Challenge. You can also find more info about their awesome APIs and a link to their developer programs and API documentation. We recommend to check them out before the Speed Hack. You might not have much time during the hack. We will publish more info here, so make sure to check back soon.

Good Luck!



The Participating APIs

Twilio API

Twilio powers the future of business communications, enabling phones, VoIP, and messaging to be embedded into web, desktop, and mobile software. We take care of the messy telecom hardware and expose a globally available cloud API that developers can interact with to build intelligent & complex communications systems. As your app's usage scales up or down, Twilio automatically scales with you. You only pay for what you use - no contracts, no shenanigans.

Developer Resources:

Twitter API

Created in March 2006, Twitter is a global real-time communications platform with 400 million monthly visitors to twitter.com and more than 255 million monthly active users around the world. It receives a billion tweets every 2 days on every conceivable topic. World leaders, major athletes, star performers, news organizations and entertainment outlets are among the millions of active Twitter accounts through which users can truly get the pulse of the planet.

Developer Resources:

Context.io API

Context.IO, a Return Path company, is leading a new wave of innovation on email. Conversations, collaboration and document exchange happens in email on a daily basis. We provide a unique email API that makes it easy for application developers to retrieve that information and leverage it in applications such as CRM, document management, collaboration, productivity tools and project management. With Context.IO, developers focus on what's unique to their business while we manage the technical details of integrating with arcane email server protocols.

Developer Resources:

Respoke API

You've got a great app. Respoke allows people to connect with each other using video, voice and messaging all while they are using your app. Adding communication and collaboration features to your app adds a social component that brings people closer together and creates community. Giving your app a face and a voice instantly humanizes the experience. It gives your users a stronger connection to your product because they are experiencing it together with their friends, colleagues and family. Respoke brings all the pieces you need together to make this happen in way that is simple and affordable to implement.

Developer Resources:

Traitify API

Behind every avatar is a human being, just waiting to be discovered. Going beyond personas and profile information to dig deep into your users’ psyche, Traitify is the first visual personality assessment that can be completed in just minutes. Users simply swipe through a short series of images, answer “me” or “not me” and voilà! Instant, actionable data. Capture personality information during sign-up, onboarding or profile management.

Traitify is available as an API that can be embedded or integrated into websites, mobile apps, games and more. Various assessments are available to allow for fluid integration with any product.

Developer Resources:


APItools is the most effective way to use APIs and stay in absolute control of API traffic. Troubleshoot, modify and monitor your API traffic by proxying HTTP(s) requests through APItools. Use it in the cloud or in your servers. Built with Lua and NGINX (OpenResty) and it's open-source.

Developer Resources:


The ArcGIS platform includes SDKs for a variety of languages with ready-to-use samples and geospatial web services. Build apps that display your maps and data helping you visualize new patterns, assess trends, and make decisions. Find answers in your data with power spatial analytics and use services like live weather, traffic and demographic information to enhance your app. Add the location awareness dimension to your apps and develop the geographic advantage.

Developer Resources:

SendGrid API

SendGrid is a cloud-based SMTP provider that allows you to send email without having to maintain email servers. SendGrid manages all of the technical details, from scaling the infrastructure to ISP outreach and reputation monitoring to whitelist services and real time analytics.

Our goal is to make it as easy as possible to add reliable, scalable email to your application so that you can focus on building the core features of your product.

Developer Resources: