At DocuSign we continually build and grow our developer community by participating in conferences, events, and hackathons. We were a proud sponsor of DeveloperWeek 2017 in San Francisco, from February 11-14. We were available at our Expo booth to answer questions about DocuSign and our eSignature API, but we also sponsored a challenge for the hackathon.

The Hackathon

To gear-up for the hackathon, we hosted a pre-hackathon mixer at the DocuSign headquarters in San Francisco on the evening of Friday, February 10. The purpose of the mixer was to socialize, eat, drink, and, of course, talk about APIs. The event was co-hosted by DocuSign, Microsoft, and Smartsheet – complete with a lovely view of the Bay Bridge in the background:

Almost 200 people attended the three-hour event; it was a great opportunity for hackathon participants to get ideas for their projects and find hackathon team members. Microsoft was even kind enough to raffle a Surface Pro 4 to one lucky winner named Wendy:

Coding as Far as the Eye Can See

The hackathon took place over the two-day weekend from February 11-12. The turnout was incredible! More than 800 hackers packed the Galvanize building – on all five floors.

DocuSign sponsored a $500 challenge with one simple objective; Build the best implementation of the DocuSign eSignature API. Ten teams decided to accept this challenge and present their hacks to the judges, comprised of DocuSign engineers and members of the developer marketing team.

Top Three Hacks

Team Persist

Tied for 2nd place is a four-person team, named “Persist,” which was comprised of Reuben Brandt, Megan Heskett, Don Lang, and Camille Villa. The team created an app that enables civic engagement by electronically signing (eSigning) petitions or voting ballots. It allows for organizers of a campaign or petition to upload documents that need to be eSigned using DocuSign templates. It also allows for constituents in a district or region to see what petitions or ballots are available to be eSigned.

For the hackathon demo, Team Persist created a working version of their web app that enabled a user (constituent) named Bob Ross to login and see the recommended petitions. Clicking Petition to Fund Public Arts Programs in Alameda County brings up the petition to be eSigned, as shown here:

Using the Google Civic Information API to lookup contact information for applicable government officials, the app passes that information to the DocuSign eSignature API to email the completed document to government officials.

The team selected Ruby on Rails because it had all of the built in functionality to quickly and effectively get the project off the ground. Megan focused on implementing the DocuSign API, while Don worked on the Google Civic API. Camille designed and developed the front end and also worked with Don to interface the Google Civic API. Reuben focused on creating the Rails backend, integrating it with the DocuSign API, and managed the project.

This was an amazing effort in less than two days. The team sees much benefit in their app and believes it has the potential to change the way politicians and their constituents interact.

Team DocuFlock

Also tied for 2nd place is a two-person team, named “DocuFlock,” that presented a working integration between DocuSign and Flock. The team members, Hanu Kunduru and Piyush Makhija, saw the need for Digital Transaction Management (DTM) within chat apps. Enterprise teams are using chat apps, such as Flock, more than ever to manage daily communications between team members. Therefore, incorporating DocuSign’s DTM with Flock was a logical integration to Team DocuFlock.

At first glance, the DocuFlock app looks like a standard Flock implementation, but is customized in two ways. First, during any chat session, a document to be eSigned using DocuSign can be sent to any chat recipient automatically using a custom bot the team calls FlockSign Bot. The FlockSign Bot calls the DocuSign eSignature API to create envelopes, insert documents, and monitors the status of the envelopes in the right-rail. Second, Team DocuFlock took this one step further by also embedding functionality to view and sign the documents from within the Flock UI, as shown here:

Piyush focused on back-end services and database management, while Hanu worked on the front-end interface and API integration. They selected NodeJS and ExpressJS for rapid prototyping on the backend and a MongoDB database. For the Flock front-end, the team used HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and the Mustache template engine to render an interface in an iframe. Both Hanu and Piyush are self-taught, full-stack developers from India currently attending Coding School 42 in the San Francisco Bay area.

The team sees a shift in traditional communication channels from email to new chat interfaces and other team collaboration tools. Because enterprises are becoming increasingly digital environments, the team sees a tremendous opportunity to merge these two areas into digital document workflows. Their excellent work with the working DocuFlock prototype is only the beginning in achieving this goal.

Team TaskGlide

The 1st place winner of our $500 hackathon challenge is a five-person team, named “TaskGlide.” The team members, Ashley Vernon, Emanuele Pagani, Yan Min Hong, Michael Huh, and Tal Globus, created an innovative working app that addresses a common problem with getting paid for services rendered. Their goal with TaskGlide was to make it easy to eSign contracts and to request, manage, and disperse funds based on specific milestones (tasks) being achieved or performed.

While TaskGlide works for any contracted services where signed agreements govern payment milestones, for the hackathon, the team demonstrated wedding photography services and the tasks associated with such an event. Here’s the beautifully-designed Android app they demoed during the hackathon:

The TaskGlide platform uses the DocuSign eSignature API to create the initial contract between both parties. They used PubNub for managing real-time events, Clover for financial transactions, and FlowRoute for text messaging to ensure users always have up-to-date notifications. Piecing these technologies together enabled the team to perform rapid development in the limited time allotted for the hackathon. TaskGlide opted for two platforms to start: Web and Android.

Tal worked largely on TaskGlide integrations, data storage, deployment, general development, and project management. Yan Min worked on the DocuSign integration using the eSignature API, PubNub integration, and general development. Ashley built the website and splash page of TaskGlide. Lele was responsible for the entire visual design of the project. Mike was responsible for developing the Android client app to respond and interact with the web and backend.

Within one day of creating the TaskGlide hackathon project, the team had spoken to several freelancers, along with a company that showed strong interest in the project. This convinced the team that TaskGlide is worth pursuing. The team is continuing to develop this into a full-fledged product as soon as possible. Congratulations to Team TaskGlide for their outstanding and innovative project. We can’t wait to see where they can take this.

The Expo

The hackathon wasn’t the only exciting thing taking place at DeveloperWeek. We had a steady stream of traffic to our booth to talk about DocuSign and our eSignature API. In each of the two Expo days, we raffled a Phantom drone. There was no shortage of people wanting to win one:

Even a Corgi named Cooper stopped by to ask about our API and our Director of Developer Evangelism, Aaron Liao, was happy to oblige:

After the encounter with Cooper, Aaron headed onstage to present to an audience eager to discover the benefits of our eSignature API and integrating DocuSign into apps. Cooper didn’t attend because he already learned all about the API.

Our Shiny New Devies Award

We’re proud to win and accept a DeveloperWeek Devies award for API Services. We’re in good company with Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat, and others who won in different categories. Here’s our own VP of Developer Marketing, Marie Huwe, accepting the award:

In Case You Missed Us

If you missed us at DeveloperWeek, you can attend our DocuSign Momentum conference from May 3-4 in San Francisco, where we will have more than 25 beginning and advanced sessions for the DocuSign eSignature API. You can even compete for exciting prizes in our on-site hackathon. Developers can attend free by registering here.

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