Originally written on JAN 7, 2016 via Codepen here.

I had the chance to attend this year’s Developer Summit hosted by AT&T and had a great time! I went to last year’s event as well, and found this year to be even bigger in terms of people attending, prizes, amount of sponsors, and of course, the swag! 🙂

There was a hackathon over the weekend from Saturday to Sunday that you can compete in the following catergories:
-Smart Cities
-Connected Home

Besides creating an app in under 24 hours in those categories, there were also additional prizes for implementing certain sponsor API’s (which are too many to list here!) I believe it is one of the biggest hackathons in the world, if not, the U.S. So, as a local, I consider myself pretty lucky to have this annual event take place literally in my backyard of Las Vegas!

The interesting and unique part about a hackathon of this size is that AT&T really makes everyone feel like a winner through their numerous amounts of swag offered throughout the event. I happened to have the right colored band that allowed me to go into the swag room in the afternoon, and redeem 2 prizes. It was hard to choose what to get! There were Amazon Echo’s, Harmon Smart Speakers, Platronic headsets, GeekFuel box gifts, and much more. I ended up choosing an awesome, new Samsung Gear S2 Smart Watch and bluetooth iFrogz portable keychain speaker. So far, I’m loving the smart watch and it’s been helping me keep track of my calendar or easily text/call from my wrist! It’s also connected to Samsung Pay and can be used to purchase things in a store accepting them. Did I mention, it’s also a pedometer and keeps track of water intake? Pretty neat!

Samsung Gear S2 Smart Watch menu

The last two days from Monday to Tuesday consisted of workshops and social/networking type of events. I was able to attend a workshop on Monday morning on ReactJS. Although I was on the waitlist, I was able to get in by waiting in line early enough. Needless to say, the entire room was packed when the lecture started! The instructor was a Pluralsight course creator and teacher in ReactJS and GraphQL. I learned a lot about how to read this library and the intricacies involved when creating apps in React. Let’s just say that the more competent you feel in vanilla Javascript, the easier it is to pick it up (it’s using HTML in Javascript.) 🙂

Workshop venue – class in session

GraphQL is also something to be excited about as a database query language that simplies database structures down to JSON elements. It’s a simplied way to query for information and was created by Facebook engineers – the Github repo can be found here.

Overall, I learned a lot new things on the direction of the industry, met some developers working on interesting projects, and got to reconnect with familiar faces. Thanks AT&T for the awesome and engaging event – each year keeps getting bigger and better!

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