A computer whiz from Stonehaven was celebrating today after taking on the cream of Silicon Valley at a major competition in San Francisco.
Philippa Christie, 26, surprised her boyfriend Dan Chapman for his 30th birthday with a trip to DeveloperWeek Conference and Festival in San Francisco.
The event includes more than 60 sub-events with workshops and talks from industry leaders like Google, Facebook and Tesla.
During their time at the event, Philippa and Dan entered a “hackathon”.
Featuring 28 challenges and more than 180 teams, the hackathon doesn’t actually involve finding security flaws or breaking into computers and websites.
Philippa, originally from Stonehaven, explained: “Within the tech community it’s understood to mean rapid prototyping.”
Working with a fellow developer, Qi, Philippa and Dan competed in a challenge hosted by Clover, which is a cloud-based payment platform for businesses.
The brief asked developers to use Clover’s API (application program interface) to expand on what the platform can already do.
Solutions had to be beneficial for merchants, solve a real problem and be viable enough to become a business.
The trio’s solution, an app called Unifi, came out on top beating 18 other teams.
Inspired by other San Francisco tech companies like Airbnb and Uber, which focus on customer growth and retention, the winning idea was a peer to peer referral app that acts like a loyalty scheme.
The couple, who both work for ideas agency Equator in Glasgow, were shocked by the scale of the tech world in and around San Francisco.
Philippa said: “DeveloperWeek was on a scale unlike anything I’d been to before.
“The main thing that stood out was how much of a huge, engaged tech culture there is in San Francisco.
“Coders take it seriously and there’s a real sense of collaboration and networking prevalent.
“We’re starting to see more of this in Scotland, especially through working at Equator, but I think businesses should be doing more to build the culture even further.”