Pixels Camp is a supercharged update to the popular CodeBits events Celso also founded and led since 2007, and it’s inaugural edition was a huge success, bringing together well over 1,000 of the best developers in Portugal for 72 hours of non-stop talks, workshops and coding challenges.
For 3 days, Unbabel’s developer team moved into the LX Factory space that Pixels Camp took over.
We hadn’t really ever done a proper exhibition booth in the past, so we took a different approach to our stand, ditching the traditional standing desks and roll-ups and opting for some bold branding and a sofa so we could have close conversations with developers and understand how we can work well together.
Plus, we took our latest office toy, the HTC Vive VR setup with us. Fábio from Unbabel was on hand to walk dozens of people through their first experience in virtual reality.
Most popular activity at Pixels Camp? Perhaps!
Unbabel’s developers have many other talents beyond programming, from surfing to doing amazing magic tricks with cards. Miguel Ribeiro brought his deck and did a few tricks for those passing by our booth.
In that moment, with a tweet, magic happened.
— Unbabel (@Unbabel) October 7, 2016
José Castro joined Miguel and a crowd quickly gathered, and was hypnotised by his many decks of cards, swift movements and incredible storytelling for a whole hour. I will never forget the mind-blowing “time machine” illusion.
Thank you José!
Talks by Unbabel’s CEO and CTO
Vasco Pedro, Unbabel’s CEO, opened the main stage on the second day of Pixels Camp. His presentation, Unbabel API: Enabling Multilingual Conversations, explained our vision as a company and as a platform for developers to work with.
Later on that day, João Graça, our CTO, also took to the stage to present Unbabel: AI Powered Human Translation, which went into far more detail on the API’s inner workings, and how we bring together a unique mix of artificial intelligence and a global community of post-editors in order to deliver human-quality translations, at scale.
And although he didn’t talk about Unbabel specifically, our own Afonso Graça also gave a talk at Pixels Camp. Check out “FRP My Swift”.
The Translation API challenge
For many in attendance, the Hackathon is the highlight of the whole event, running for 48 hours non-stop from the second day until the finish, with teams competing for fame, glory and some pretty cool prizes.
We sent sandbox keys to every developer in advance of the event and challenged them to use the Unbabel API in any way they saw fit. 18 devs took us up on the challenge during the hackathon, with many more experimenting with the keys in the month that’s passed since.
For me, the highlight was a WordPress plugin that Henrique Mouta and Francisco Esteves built, enabling any WordPress user to translate blog posts using the Unbabel Translation API.
We were all hugely impressed with what they pulled together in a short span of 48 hours, and are now working with them to ensure it can become a full-fledged product that they can make money from.
Winners and prizes
Unbabel was a proud sponsor of the event, and as such, contributed to the prize pool with what we think were probably some of the best prizes on offer, including a DJI Phantom drone, a PS4 and giant gummy bears. Oh, and free surf lessons with the team in Costa da Caparica or Carcavelos (dependent on where the best waves are that day).
Congratulations to the 10 winners and to everyone that entered the Hackathon. Our own André Silva won 8th place with his project Friends with benegits (Tinder for developers). Well done André! Now back to work.
So, what’s next?
Pixels Camp was just the first in a series of activities we have planned to connect with the dev community. We want developers to be able to build, grow and monetise apps with our multilingual translation API.
With our email and chat-specific APIs delivering great results for big businesses like Pinterest, Oculus VR and MyFitnessPal, we’re sure that developers can surprise us with their own use cases.
Got a great idea? Get in touch, we’d love to hear about it.