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Getting ready for a Hackathon?

Here is a list of material that we found particularly useful to get hackathon participants up and running quickly.

Sign up for Bluemix

Make sure to sign up here for Bluemix before the hackathon. It's free.

Learn the Basics

Understand how to deploy an app based on Cloud Foundry

Cloud Foundry is an open-source platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that allows you to concentrate on your code without worrying about the underlying infrastructure (like VMs or containers). That allows you to get your apps up and running quickly ... an ideal environment for a hackathon.

Here's a a link to get you started: Creating Cloud Foundry apps

Using node.js? If so, here is a guided experience that will have your first node app running in a few minutes: Get started with Node on Bluemix

Have a look at this IBM Redbook as well, it gives a good overview of how to deploy your first app on Bluemix: Essentials of Cloud Application Development on IBM Bluemix

If you prefer a more structured course, here is a link to a 4-hour online class to get you started with Bluemix: Bluemix Essentials

Go serverless by using OpenWhisk

OpenWhisk is an event-based driven environment that allows you to deploy serverless apps.

Interested? Take this online workshop to dive in.

Drill down

Covered the basics and want to move on? Level up with this in-depth material.

Collaborative coding and CI/CD pipeline

If you're working with others as part of a team, you'll probably want to use a collaborative coding tool like github and maybe also automate and orchestrate testing, notifications and deployments. The toolchain feature is meant to do exactly that. Click here to find out how to use it.

Internet of Things (IoT)

You can learn Node-RED. It's an open-source "visual tool for wiring the Internet of Things" and a great way to quickly become productive in a very short period of time. It also requires very little coding knowledge.

Node-RED can be deployed on Bluemix with a single click.

Next, learn more about our IoT platform service. Once you understand how it works, go to this link here to find step-by-step instructions to connect your physical devices (like a Rasperry Pi, an Arduino or TI Sensor Tag).

Using Watson cognitive services

Here are two detailed tutorials on how to integrate a cognitive service into your app:
- Developing a Watson application in Node.js
- Developing a Watson application in Java

Or (if you prefer Python) take this free 2-hour class on
- Learn the Watson API: Personality Insights

Blockchain technology

Blockchains are all the rage these days and many hackathon apps make use of them. Here are some quick tutorials to get you started.

If you want to dive deeper, here is a full collection of developer resources to get started with the IBM Blockchain service

Online Courses

Here is the link to all the Bluemix online classes from IBM: developerWorks Courses

"Bluemix Essentials" will give you a good introduction and take about 3 hours of your time.

To really dive deep, you might want to take "Cloud Application Developer Certification Preparation", which should take you two or three days: Cloud Application Developer Certification Preparation

Over 400 step-by-step tutorials

And if you're looking for more, here is a link to over 400 detailed step-by-step coding tutorials for Bluemix.

Stuck? Need help?

Make sure to search the Bluemix docs first.

Still stuck? Head on over to and make sure to tag your question with "bluemix". Here is a direct link.

Inspiring examples

Looking for some inspiring examples? Here is a gallery of 20 well documented apps built on Bluemix. All of them with a cognitive capability and based on the Watson technology. Each has a link to the running app and also links to the source on github.

Head over to for more featured samples, most accompanied by an in-depth blog post. And here are almost 500 apps built on Bluemix from previous hackathons, many linking to the source code.


Here are videos. of webcasts and featured services

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