I have been developing some APIs with Grails lately as opposed to traditional web apps. I’m going to be giving a talk at GR8CONF US this summer about this topic too.

So, I thought it would be fun to create a screencast with some tips for getting started building APIs with Grails! The screencast covers content types, API URL mappings, customizing JSON output with marshallers and even Rob Fletcher’s GSON plugin. I unfortunately recorded this screencast on a MacBookPro as opposed to an iMac and there’s some background noise because of the MBP fan. First and last time I use a MBP for a screencast, ha! Hopefully it doesn’t distract from the content too much. Thanks for watching!

The sample app built in the screencast is located on GitHub.


As you might have already heard, Target will be hosting a hackathon as part of the GR8CONF US 2013 conference! If you are not aware of GR8CONF US, it’s a technology conference focused on the Groovy ecosystem (Groovy, Grails, Griffon, Gradle, Spock, Geb, GVM, GPars, Gaelyk, Ratpack and CodeNarc). It will be hosted at the Minneapolis Convention Center on July 21-23. Today, I would like to share some details about the hackathon! It will take place Sunday night after the workshops on July 21st from 6:00pm to 10:00pm at the new Target Plaza Commons at 1011 Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis and all conference attendees are welcome to join at no additional charge!

This isn’t just a regular hackathon though as it will instead be a competition with Target gift card prizes for the top GR8 hackers! The competition will be focused on two categories with $2,400 in total gift card prizes (1st place: $500, 2nd place: $400, 3rd place: $300 in each category). The official contest rules for how the entries will be judged will be published closer to the event. Here is a quick overview of the two categories though:

  1. The first category is a bug race on the various open-source GR8 technologies. There will be various points awarded for the types of bugs found, solutions identified, pull requests opened and of course commits made! The judging for this category will be very quantitative and the winners will simply be the ones that get the most points.
  2. The second category will focus on utilizing Target APIs with GR8 technologies. This event will mark the first alpha release of public Target APIs and we are excited to gather feedback from the GR8 developer community! These APIs are used by various applications at Target today. The judging for this category will be qualitative and the Target API team will select the winners based on creativity, APIs used and potential relevance to Target guests.

Target will be providing appetizers and refreshments for participants throughout the hackathon as well as have representation from various Target teams if anybody is interested in learning more about technology opportunities at Target.

Target is very excited to be a sponsor of GR8CONF US for 2013 and to host this hackathon as part of the conference for attendees! I look forward to providing you more details about the hackathon as we get closer to the event. I also will publish an official registration form soon! I hope that as many conference attendees as possible plan to attend and hack at the GR8CONF US hackathon!

Disclaimer: You must be registered as a conference attendee before Wednesday, July 17th at 5pm CST to be able to enter Target Plaza Commons for the event. There will be no exceptions. As per Target policy, all attendee names need to be known before the event. Target employees are welcome to participate in the hackathon, but are not eligible to win the gift cards. All participants will need to fill out the registration form and agree to the contest rules. The contest for gift cards starts and ends with the hackathon: July 21st from 6:00pm to 10:00pm.