A better Hackerbuddy

I built and launched Hackerbuddy at the start of 2011 to be a place for startup hackers to find and help each other out. If you needed a hand with Ruby on Rails, if you wanted a second opinion on the design of your landing page or if you just needed a beta tester, Hackerbuddy was built to help you.

I really loved the idea of startup hackers, coders & designers helping each other out personally, for free - and I built Hackerbuddy to help make that happen. I met some genuinely clever, brilliant people by using Hackerbuddy - people that I still talk to almost a year later and we give each other advice on startup projects we're building or whenever we need a second opinion - of all the things I've built, I'm most proud of Hackerbuddy.

And after I launched it, I was lucky enough for it to make the front page of Hacker News and following that, Mashable wrote about it. Over time more than 2,000 people joined and started helping each other out.

The site was far from perfect though - the server would constantly fall over, the design needed work, finding people based on their skills was slow, awkward and needlessly difficult and the skills that you could choose to list were limited, so less commonly used programming languages like Lisp or Haskell weren't included at first, or less obvious skills like "Project Management". It was fun, and a nice idea, but the execution wasn't great.

I decided to improve Hackerbuddy by starting again, completely. There isn't a single piece of code in the old Hackerbuddy that's in the new version.

Here are some of the new things in Hackerbuddy that should make it more useful, more reliable and more fun:

You can now specialise in any skill you want

If you're an expert in Lisp, or Haskell, or Arc or literally anything, you can add it to your profile - and hackers searching for someone that knows Lisp, Haskell, Arc or literally anything can find you.

You can talk to startup hackers publicly in the new forum

There's now a forum, covering coding, design, marketing, general advice and a section where you can invite others to publicly review your new project.

You can customise your profile by connecting to Twitter

If you connect to Twitter, your Twitter avatar will be used instead of Gravatar - and a button will be included on your profile so people can follow you easily.

You can now choose to accept or turn down requests for help

If you don't like the sound of a request, you don't have to accept it. You can politely turn requests down if you don't think you can help. You can feel free to pick and choose who to help - it's completely up to you.

You can earn badges

You can pick up badges for all sorts of things - and they're displayed publicly on your profile page.

You can recommend people who have helped you

If someone has helped you out and you want to thank them publicly, you can now recommend them, and leave a short note on their profile page.

The new site has been designed to be much easier to use, more friendly and, more than anything, to be fun. If you haven't already and you like the sound of it, you can join Hackerbuddy here - if you have any suggestions at all, I'd love it if you could give me a shout: hckrbuddy@gmail.com.

Thanks for using Hackerbuddy, and if you've given help to other hackers here: thank you for being awesome.

Written by Sharky on December 02, 2011



Instead of useless badges better add location support. I'm mostly interested in people that live near me and I want to search for them as I bet other people want.

By alexplugaru, December 02, 2011


very exciting project. little feedback, on-off switches are not working on iPad. Thank you for this sweet app!

By vigo, December 02, 2011


+1 for location

By tomblomfield, December 02, 2011


Nice, thanks for the feedback guys - it's really useful. I'll get the iPad toggle switches fixed, and the location idea is really interesting, I'll have a think about the best way to include that.

By Sharky, December 02, 2011


+1 for location. And badges are not "useless"

By kingsidharth, December 02, 2011


Will we be able to login via Twitter?

By csjones, December 03, 2011


Hi csjones - I haven't got any plans for logging in purely through Twitter at the moment, although I'll keep it in mind.

By Sharky, December 05, 2011


If someone thinks badges are useless, I suggest asking for a hackerbuddy to help you with "reward systems" and "gamification". When done right, it's magic.

By tiagor2, December 07, 2011


I searched for the app on iTunes but didn't find one?

By subtlehulk, December 07, 2011


Hey, this is a really great idea. Thanks.

By Condensermike, December 08, 2011


Thanks for the feedback guys, I've added a way to search by location.

By Sharky, December 17, 2011


Thanks for launching hackerbuddy. Are you planning to monetize the site in the future? Curious to know how. It is pretty hard to get hackers to pay for anything :-p

By siriusx, August 01, 2012

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