Neither snow nor ice could keep more than 600 student hackers from descending upon in Dallas this past weekend for the inaugural HackDFW event. Attendees from across Texas, the U.S. and Canada set up camp at The Women’s Museum at Fair Park. Some flights diverted to Houston due to weather, so some students rented a car so they could make their way to Dallas. The event, co-founded by Adil Shaikh, was inspired the Sabre Dev Studio hackathon that Adil attended last summer.

Students competed for cash and prizes from sponsors like Sabre, Intuit, AT&T, Microsoft, Intel Mashery, Google, and Texas Instruments. The Sabre DevStudio team was on-site to assist with usage of our available APIs. We also mentored students throughout the event and shared information about internship opportunities at Sabre.

Developers worked for 24 hours straight, building out new tech solutions using the sponsors’ APIs and their own open-source or third party libraries. The hacks ranged from new hardware applications with drones, Oculus Rift or Pebble Smartwatches to new software applications that tackle challenges in travel, healthcare and finance.

Sabre offered a 1st and 2nd place prize for the best use of our APIs to #ReinventTravel. Twelve teams competed in the Sabre challenge by using the REST APIs from Sabre Dev Studio. The first place award went to ROADI, an app that helps budget conscious college students find cheap and easy ways to see their favorite musicians, sports teams, and comedians live. ROADI used several Sabre APIs in conjunction with StubHub APIs to inspire college travelers who otherwise may not have considered taking a trip.

Second place went to the team that built When, an iOS and Android planning app. It integrated several third party APIs to help users make connections between lifestyle activities. A user could view the weather before scheduling a car wash or even booking a flight to attend an away game of their favorite sports team. When was also one of overall top finalists of HackDFW.


Hackathon finalists had the unique opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of esteemed judges, including the Mayor of Dallas, Mike Rawlings; American Airlines CEO, Doug Parker; and Dallas Mavericks owner, entrepreneur, and Shark Tank investor, Mark Cuban.

The event was a huge success, fueled by energy drinks, bottomless snacks, and creative adrenaline. That’s an A+ in our app.