Dev Log: Q&A with Kush Patel and Christal Wang, PhotoSinc

Since Kloudless’ API has been available, it’s clear that our developers are awesome! Dev Logs are the stories of developers who have created some sweet hacks using Kloudless and other technologies. Know of a hack or smart dev who should be featured in Dev Logs? Email an@kloudless.com for next steps!

This Dev Log features the remaining members of PhotoSinc, Kush Patel and Christal Wang. They’re sharing their story of how they ended up at the Emory Hackathon, Spring 2014, building a Google Glass App.

PhotoSinc Christal Wang and Kush Patel

PhotoSinc’s Christal Wang and Kush Patel

Tell us a bit about yourself — who are you and what kind of problems do you like solving?

Kush: I’m a second year Aerospace Engineering Major at Georgia Tech and Emory Hackathon was my first one. My roommate, Chris, has been to so many and has tried to bring me along to one, but I was never able to make one until this one! I am a starter programmer, just learning to do it on my own via small projects and attempting to learn it via a MOOC. Even though I have yet to finish one of these MOOCs in its entirety, I still feel like I have learned so much. Coming to this hackathon probably multiplied my knowledge tenfold! The problems I like solving are ones that apply to me in everyday life. Most of the time, it just involves chats with Chris that usually start with “What if…” Now that I’m starting to learn to program on my own, I can start going to more hackathons and implement some of these ideas.

Christal: Hello! My name is Christal Wang, and I am from Saint Louis, Missouri. I just graduated from Emory University with a degree in economics. I aspire to be a lawyer and currently work in promotions for Radio Disney. I like to discover ways to be more productive, including streamlining processes, without losing quality. You can check me out on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/christalwang).

What inspired your project at the Emory Hackathon?

Kush: Chris and I are best friends who love to do many things together but we’re not big on posting things to social media. While some people take photos and share it via Facebook, we prefer to keep our photos offline. But a lot of times, people forget to even post any pictures or only post a few of the hundreds taken. Our app would automatically take any photo taken, upload it to the cloud, and send a link of that photo to anyone in that photo.

Christal: My teammate and younger brother, Christopher, thinks it is ridiculous to post every good picture on social media. Our application provides a way to share photos automatically and privately.

How / why did you decide to use the Kloudless API?

Kush: Kloudless was our choice because it allowed us (and therefore potential users) of our hack, to choose which cloud storage they wanted to use. (ed. note — this is usually the first use case we see from developers building on the Kloudless API. Keep an eye out for new features that will enable more complex operations on cloud files!)

Christal: Our Emory Hackathon application sends pictures to the cloud using the Kloudless API, which is easy to use.

What do you plan to build next? Does it include Kloudless? Why or why not?

Kush: I’m not sure what I’ll create next! But I have all summer to figure that out before the next hackathon. 🙂

Christal: I am still learning how to code, so I am practicing by building silly beginner apps! Christopher and I are also working on improving our application from the Emory Hackathon. Photosinc, since ‘PhotoSync’ was already taken, definitely utilizes Kloudless, which is user-friendly.

Thanks for spending time with us, Kush and Christal! Interested in integrating cloud storage services + features into your application? Sign up to get your own Kloudless developer account, swap tips and ideas in the comments below, or ping us at hello@kloudless.com!

Dev Logs: Getting to know Matt Green

Since Kloudless’ API has been available, it’s clear that our developers are awesome! Dev Logs are the stories of developers who have created some sweet hacks using Kloudless and other technologies. Know of a hack or smart dev who should be featured in Dev Logs? Email an@kloudless.com for next steps!

Matt Green is featured in today’s Dev Logs —
get to know him!

We met Matt at Hack(bright) for Good Hackathon in San Francisco last month. He built a cool hack using the Kloudless API, won a sweet drone and took some time to catch up with us about what he’s been up to since we last met!

photokloud_hackbrightforgood_kloudless_api

Tell us about you — who are you and what are you currently working on?

I’m a software engineer who moved out to the Bay Area last October from the east coast (Virginia). I really enjoy hacking around with hardware and have been having a lot of fun with the AR.Drone you guys gave me for winning the hackathon (right now, I’m trying to make it automatically track people’s faces). I’ve also been working on some hybrid app stuff with Ionic and Cordova and just recently joined some friends in building out a product using these technologies. I try to do write-ups of interesting problems I’ve solved or things I’ve built on my blog at http://blog.emgeee.com/. As always, I try to post as much stuff to my github account as well: https://github.com/emgeee.

Why did you choose to build the hack you built?

Save images to the cloud storage services of your choice, from anywhere on the web!

Save images to the cloud storage services of your choice, from anywhere on the web!

The image uploader hack I built was an idea I stumbled upon after a friend expressed frustration with how hard it is to easily share different pictures with different people. The idea in its current form came to me after thinking about how tedious it must be to amass the large collections of GIFs that Redditors seem to have in order to have an appropriate image representation for every occasion.

Image Uploader in action! Choose Save to Cloud

Image Uploader in action! Choose Save to Cloud

What was most challenging for you about the Kloudless API?

Probably the most challenging issue for me when implementing this extension was actually authenticating the user to a cloud storage provider. Because chrome extensions are served from the local computer, there’s no easy way to verify that the authenticating application actually belongs to the owner of the API key. Fortunately, Vinod outlined a solution to circumvent this and after tweaking it a bit, I was able to build a solution that works pretty well. This is a somewhat unique issue that exists for good reason but fortunately the majority of developers won’t run into it.

How would you improve the API (features, documentation, support, etc)?

The Kloudless API was actually really pleasant to use and for the most part the documentation was spot on. I like the honesty in the docs about what features exist, and which features have yet to come. While I didn’t end up using the interactive docs Kloudless provides, they too look pretty well put together.

One thing that was pretty confusing to understand was how the client, Kloudless’ servers, and the cloud storage provider’s APIs all interact together. I think a diagram or two explaining the authentication flow and the file manipulation flow would go along way in helping a developer understand the flow and make decisions accordingly.

A feature I think would be pretty cool to have (and I’m not entirely sure if this is possible) would be to have an embeddable iframe version of the authentication popup box. I think it would give designers and developers more flexibility in how they build their app flows and would overall make for a better experience.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

I really like Kloudless’ logo and website design. I also found the engineering staff both knowledgable and helpful (unfortunately I’ve forgotten the names of the guys who helped me at the hackathon (ed. note: probably Timothy Liu, David Thorman and Leo Zhang) but shoutout to Vinod for taking the time to write my authentication for me). Of the things you guys have planned in the future, I’m probably most excited about EC2 integration, though I’d also like to see you guys integrate with some of the self-hosted file storage platforms like Ownloud and Aerofs.

 

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Matt! Come back next week for more Dev Logs, or sign up for your own Kloudless developer account. Swap tips and ideas in the comments below or ping us at hello@kloudless.com!

Dev Logs: Quincy Larson and Noah Kaplan, Twitter Explorer

Since Kloudless’ API has been available, it’s clear that our developers are awesome! Dev Logs are the stories of developers who have created some sweet hacks using Kloudless and other technologies. Know of a hack or smart dev who should be featured in Dev Logs? Email an@kloudless.com for next steps!

Quincy Larson and Noah Kaplan are featured in today’s Dev Logs —

check it out!

This week, Dev Logs catches up with not one, but two cool developers — Quincy Larson and Noah Kaplan. They created a pretty sweet mashup using Kloudless, Twitter and Readability. Check out this a little demo video of Twitter Explorer, which gets readable articles delivered straight to your cloud:

Twitter Explorer – Grab readable articles by the hashtag, delivered straight to Dropbox from DoneLiner on Vimeo.

Quincy Larson, co-founder and CEO of Course Forward, is getting ready to go into open beta. Course Forward asks people one question: What job do you want to do next? It then parses their LinkedIn profile to recommend a personalized sequence of online courses to help them get the skills they need to get that kind of job.

Noah Kaplan is a software engineer, working in full stack web development as his main gig, with side projects in hardware such as an interactive animation with sensors and a wearable device prototype. You can learn more about Noah from noahkap.com, GitHub, or LinkedIn profile.

When asked why they created this hack, Noah shared:

Quincy had the idea to take the articles relating to a hashtag and take them offline to give you relevant reading for when you’re riding a subway or airplane. The Kloudless API offered a perfect way to use synced cloud storage systems.

Quincy added:

Because Kloudless integration was easy and of obvious merit. I plan on using it in the future, and this was a nice opportunity to get familiar with it.

They each shared challenges they faced and worked through, with regard to the Kloudless API. Quincy hit a small roadblock when he tried to successfully post through the Ruby SDK. Ultimately, he just resorted to using a curl command, which worked. Noah’s perspective on the most challenging part was just getting configured with the API. For such a quick hackathon, he thought they took too much time getting their curl post statement to work, but that was due to a missing curly bracket in their metadata JSON. Overall, the Kloudless API was simple to use and had great documentation, and it was nice not having to worry at all about which cloud storage system users wanted to send their files to.

Both were free with their feedback, with Quincy pointing out that an example ruby app that developers could quickly plug into would be helpful for a quick start while Noah would like to see parts of the documentation explanations more explicit, with examples given. For example, they thought “@filename” was using an instance variable (as they were working in Ruby), when it really meant that they had to put an @ sign before the path to the file. But overall, Noah thought it a solid idea and very helpful for using cloud storage systems.

It was very easy to use and had some of the best documentation for an API I’ve seen. – Noah Kaplan

Thanks for sharing your story, Quincy and Noah! Come back next week for more Dev Logs, or sign up for your own Kloudless developer account. Swap tips and ideas in the comments below or ping us at hello@kloudless.com!

Dev Log: Q&A with Chris Wang, PhotoSinc

Kloudless’ API has been available for just more than a month, and it’s clear — our developers are awesome! Dev Logs are the stories of developers who have created some sweet hacks using Kloudless and other technologies. Know of a hack or smart dev who should be featured in Dev Logs? Email an@kloudless.com for next steps!

Chris Wang is featured in today’s Dev Logs — check it out!

Tell us a bit about yourself — who are you and what kind of problems do you like solving?

I just finished up my second year at Georgia Tech studying Computer Engineering, and I’m off to intern at Qualcomm in San Diego. Most of my experience and interests lie in embedded software, but as of this past semester’s hackathon season, I’ve been learning a lot of Java and Android development. I credit the majority of my knowledge and intuition to massive open online classes (MOOC) held through edX, Coursera, and Udacity, and I am an avid MOOC supporter and contributor. I don’t understand why the majority of people with an internet connection aren’t taking advantage of these services, as they are free and are from the most prestigious universities and amazing people in the world… Anyway, I enjoy solving any type of problem that isn’t linear in nature and I enjoy hacking things that make my everyday life easier. My handle for most social media and Github is christopherjwang. Now that it is post-hackathon season, and I’m a lot more experienced, the majority of those Github hackathon projects will be getting a complete overhaul and maybe some cute, snarky comments.

What inspired your project at the Emory Hackathon?

PhotoSinc Christal Wang and Kush Patel

PhotoSinc at Emory Hackathon was inspired by one of the worst combinations—laziness and impatience. I’m tired of waiting for people to upload or share photos and videos on their favorite sites and I’m not even sure what types of pictures there are out there of me. It’s also a hassle to bug people to upload everything and most of the sharing methods aren’t necessarily private, as not everything should be on social media. Now that I think of it, I’m still waiting to get a video that was made about two years ago of me beating my roommate in a game of Starcraft 2 with my feet. Imagine all the other precious moments captured in digital media that I don’t have…I thought this was going to be a relatively simple project, but I was more wrong than my high school teacher yelling at me that “NOTHING IS SMALLER THAN A CENTIMETER!” With that misconception, I really wanted to give my current roommate (not the one I beat at Starcraft) and my sister a little introduction to hackathons and computer science. I like the idea of using hackathons to introduce newcomers to computer science and programming, as I was in the same boat about a year ago. Emory was also local, and didn’t require a bus ride more than ten hours—so I thought this project and the situation would fit perfectly together.

How / why did you decide to use the Kloudless API?

I used Kloudless because I’m a huge Kloudless fan and their support is nothing short of incredible. I had no idea what I was doing, and submitted a support ticket at 3am at Bitcamp (UMD’s Hackathon) the week before Emory Hackathon, and I got a response from Vinod, Kloudless’ co-founder, fifteen minutes later. At Emory, he shot me an email because my account showed up in a single error log. I want him running every warranty company on the planet. I tried using Kloudless’s ability to share uploaded files easily, and used their service in a super hacky way to replace an actual web server for (failed) facial recognition. (ed. note: Vinod is pretty awesome, though we’re happy that he’s running engineering at Kloudless instead of warranty companies.)

What would you like to see created using the Kloudless API?

I’d like to see Kloudless support for Flickr, and have someone make a “cloud storage system” that disguises your files as photos, and utilizes the 1tb of data Flickr gives you. This has probably been done by now, so maybe someone can use Kloudless to remotely backup all of your cloud storage solutions to Flickr, just in case something weird happens.

What do you plan to build next? Does it include Kloudless? Why or why not?

I’m taking a step back and finishing up all the loose ends I’ve made with hackathon projects. My teammate, Pavleen Thukral, and I are looking to polish up two projects in particular—FocusNotes, a google glass note-taking app, and Lockbox, a more secure cloud storage utilizing the cloud storage solutions commonly used (e.g. Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive). Both of these projects utilized Kloudless! I also need to take the time to fill up all the holes in my knowledge of computer science. I think I’m at a stage where I can “make things work”, but that is only acceptable to me to a certain extent. This ability is great in a hackathon setting, but I know it is not sustainable. Regardless, I am heavily involved in projects at the university and start- up scene. I’m the only undergraduate working on the back-end grading system for the physics massive open online course hosted at Georgia Tech and I’m an embedded software engineer and Android developer at Monsieur Co., a fledgling start-up making a robotic bartender.

Chris Wang and Pav Thukral 3rd place, VTHacks

Thanks for sharing your story, Chris! Come back next week to get Pav and Christal’s story, and sign up to get your own Kloudless developer account. Swap tips and ideas in the comments below or ping us at hello@kloudless.com!