Mashery Gets Into The Hackathon Business

Someone's going to need more Rockstar and Fritos—lots more. Software API clearinghouse Mashery on Tuesday said it acquired the assets of Hacker League.

Mashery, which Intel acquired back in April, specializes in managing application programming interfaces, or APIs—bits of code that allow apps to communicate with cloud services and one another. Hacker League founder Mike Swift (aka Swift) announced the transaction in a round of informational blogs. The acquisition should ensure support for a steady flow of more than 60 hackathons each year, all over the world.

“I’ve been to many of those events and have had the distinct pleasure of witnessing their amazing work first hand,” Swift said in his post. “Mashery has a long history of investing in open source projects and community initiatives like I/O Docs and sample apps. Now they’re investing in Hacker League for the future of developers and hackathon organizers.”

Hackathons are typically 24- to 48-hour contests where developers hopped up on caffeine and sugar come up with an idea and build an application that can either dazzle the judges or impress other developers. While many apps spawned from hackathons can be laughable (a virtual door sock to let your roommate know you have a date), others address significant issues such as Checkup, an iOS app that aims to detect an onset of Parkinson's Disease.

The acquisition means that Mashery will have new event management tools to inform developers and organizers about events, hacks, and prizes.  

By furthering its software development efforts, Intel stands the most to gain. The company has been steadily reaching out to the software community since the advent of x86 processors. Intel has previously acquired McAfee (security), Wind River (virtualization), and Havok (digital media) to build out its software portfolio. 

The computer chipmaker sponsors websites, webinars, virtual events and massive conferences to entice developers to create apps centered on its PC and server processors as well as its embedded chips and mobile processors. Adding Hacker League to its Mashery arsenal could indicate an attempt to reach out to new developer audiences that would have passed Intel over previously.