Posted by & filed under Testimonial.

Triptography is an app created for the 24-hour Photo Hack Day NYC.

Team member and full-stack developer, Jacqueline Williams, had the idea of building an app for travel. The rest of the team, which includes full-stack developers Eric Kramer and Maria Schettino, thought that it was a great idea to build an app that allows users to plan their day in a new place using locally-sourced photos.

“When I’m traveling, I’m always trying to find things to do,” explains Eric Kramer. “Our target user is someone who likes to travel and doesn’t like using guidebooks or reading extensively about a place. I felt that the quick image-based response was such a good idea.”

The Triptography team really likes working with APIs, so they knew that methodology would be a big part of the app’s development at Photo Hack Day. They ended up using 14 different APIs from Ajax to PostgreSQL to Balsamiq to Google Maps. In only 24 hours, the Triptography team came up with a slick travel app where users can search for local suggestions for a city and get image-based results. Not only that, but they were also the winner of the Photo Organization Prize, Best Foursquare Hack, and Best Filepicker Hack.


How Filepicker Got Triptography Up To Speed

“We chose Filepicker, because its ability to import from a different social network sources is really cool,” says Eric Kramer. “One of the other sponsors of the event was Astra. We looked at it as well, but realized that we needed a file handler application, so Filepicker was a no-brainer. We added the widget at the hackathon, but also want to delve into its JavaScript and integrate it into iOS with the developer kit in the future.”

One reason that Filepicker was chosen by the Triptography team to integrate into their app is that they could customize the widget with dozens of sources. The Filepicker widget will allow users to have a record of their trip on the app by inputting photos from Facebook and Instagram. They’ll also be using it to take pictures and videos.

Filepicker Delivers The Unexpected

Future plans for Triptography include an image carousel like a randomized landing page, and creating a social network where you can share your trip with different activities in a photo album. For example, if you’re going to Paris, other Triptography users who are also going to Paris can check out your itinerary and add some of the things you’re doing to their own itinerary. As well, you’ll be able to choose other users’ previous activities and add them to a map plan for your own trip.

Eric Kramer“We all thought that Filepicker was a great addition to Triptography,” explains Eric Kramer. “We really like how our users can take a picture, then access their own camera through Filepicker. Filepicker allows Triptography users to take and upload photos, then use them to create a map of places they visited and enjoyed. I think it’s so cool and so easy to use. It adds another dimension to Triptography that was totally unexpected.”




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Company: ClassDojo
Industry: Education
Use Case: Thousands of image uploads
Why Filepicker? Saves on developer time and resources and enhances user experience

  • Quick and easy implementation of Filepicker tool and reduced developer time
  • Ease of uploading files encourages users to sign-up to service
  • Images are configured to ClassDojo’s guidelines while ensuring conformity across the platform


About ClassDojo

ClassDojo is one of the fastest-growing global education technology companies, with over 35 million teachers and students using its platform in more than 80 countries.

Liam and Sam ClassDojo

Liam and Sam from ClassDojo

Founded by Sam Chaudhary and Liam Don in 2011, ClassDojo is a behavioral feedback platform that allows teachers to use their smartphones and tablets to record and notify parents of a child’s in-class behavior and performance.

Teachers spend, on average, 50% of their time working on improving student behavior and this real-time feedback tool aims to solve this issue by opening and developing the lines of communication between parents and teachers, as well as being a positive and motivational tool for students.

For example, teachers can record incidence of good behavior, notify their parents and reward the students with ClassDojo points accordingly. Teachers, on average, award over 5 million points every school day to students.

According to ClassDojo, ione teacher in roughly one out of every two schools in the U.S. use their app.

The educational software market aimed at students – from pre-kindergarten to high school – is now estimated to be worth $7.9 billion. ClassDojo recently claimed the coveted Crunchies Award for the 2015 Education Startup.

Class Dojo in action

ClassDojo needed an easy uploading service to entice ‘non technical’ users

The profile image is the most important element for a teacher using ClassDojo. It has to be professional in every aspect, as it is one of the only ways parents can verify that they are communicating with the right teacher.

Unfortunately, as co-founder Liam Don explains, not all teachers are “super technically savvy” and so may be dissuaded from signing-up to the service if they feel out of their depth.

“They may not be necessarily that comfortable handling a photo file, or have a jpeg of themselves on their desktop.”

Teachers, added Don, needed an easy solution that they could readily understand and easily use. “They might want to take a photo with their webcam or import it from their Facebook account…those are the things they understand,” he says.

Students that use the service select Avatars and not images for their private profiles.


Filepicker solved an issue before it became one, says ClassDojo

To encourage new users to sign-up and actively use this platform, ClassDojo needed an offering that would eradicate this perceived big obstacle of uploading and scaling images.

The variety of different sources that users could grab their photos from was the deciding factor in choosing Filepicker, says Liam Don, as well as its quick and easy integration. “We were just able to drop in javascript and run it…it was super fast,” he says, adding they have been using Filepicker since 2013.

Don says the tool’s ability to resize the images to a consistent format and copy them into a S3 bucket, allowing ClassDojo to also have a hard copy, is also an important element for them.

Earlier this year, ClassDojo updated its mobile app to include messaging features, photo sharing and voice notes to improve communication channels between teachers and parents.



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Wishbone, A Client of Disrupto


Crowdsourcing, Education, Non-Profit

Use Case

Thousands of image uploads

Why Filepicker

Saves on hiring a developer, low monthly plans


  • Facial recognition API for centering and cropping images of faces
  • Significantly reduced development time
  • Delivers on Wishbone’s requirements for file uploads


About Wishbone

Wishbone is a non-profit fundraising platform that gives high school students the chance to pursue their passions by matching them with different scholarship opportunities. The crowd-sourcing tool sends low-income high school students from New York City, the Bay Area, and Los Angeles to summer programs. Students apply for one of the 550 high quality, accredited summer programs featured on based on their interests and location. Wishbone is supported by foundations, corporations, program providers, and individual donors through their website.


Wishbone Needed Thousands of Images For User Avatars

Mike Potter of Disrupto is the lead developer for their client, He’s been working on Wishbone’s crowdsourcing website for the past 2 years. The site required thousands of images, which could mean spending large amounts of time going through those images and aligning and resizing them properly.

The majority of images that Wishbone needed were avatars of users: students and teachers needed to upload their photos onto the platform. The teachers needed to be on Wishbone acting as advocates for the kids by helping them raise money, sharing links to the campaigns through their network, and trying to recruit donors.

“It’s a classic problem. Every project needs images—or, just about every project,” explains Mike Potter. “If you’re dealing with images, you don’t want to have to build your own backend. No one wants to build their own boilerplate code for images that every site has to have. I wanted to focus on what Wishbone needed to do, and outsource the stuff that’s boilerplate and common. That’s always a win.”

Filepicker’s Facial Recognition Feature

Mike Potter heard of Filepicker by word-of-mouth through one of his developer friends. He used Filepicker on other projects, so now it became his go-to utility for uploading, formatting, resizing and cropping images. Since Filepicker already built a back-end for image uploads, it was the obvious choice to use in different areas of the Wishbone site that required different sized avatars.

“When users upload photos, we have a custom uploader and we use the Filepicker API to manage that upload,” says Mike. “All the UI stuff is done through a custom control. Filepicker is nice, because I really don’t have to maintain my own infrastructure for resizing images. We do dynamic resizing through URL parameters. There’s a facial recognition feature in Filepicker where you can indicate what strategy you want to use to resize an image, and it will identify where the faces are and the image will try to center around that.”

Filepicker Saves Time And Resources So Wishbone’s Development Team Can Focus On Its Mandate: Crowdsourcing

mike-potter“There’s nothing Filepicker does that I couldn’t do myself, but the thing is, I don’t want to—I’d rather focus on other projects,” explains Mike. “The core value of Filepicker is that we don’t have to build our own image resizing architecture. That’s attractive no matter what the space is.”

In addition, when the Wishbone platform’s designer comes up with a new layout for a page, Jonathan doesn’t have to do any work in the Filepicker backend to accommodate it. He just puts in different numbers when he fetches the image.

“Wishbone is a non-profit, so any sort of help we can get is always a win for us,” Mike Potter adds. “It’s better to just pay Filepicker a little bit of money than to hire a developer to build our own image-hosting architecture. We’re facilitating scholarships for students, and using crowdsourcing to do that, so we’re busy developing that platform. Filepicker just works. It’s pretty handy.”


Posted by & filed under Events.

McHacks is a hackathon in Montreal, QC, Canada at the William-Shatner building at McGill University’s downtown campus.

Everyone at the hackathon gets one month free of Filepicker! You should receive the promo code in your introductory package.

The team that has the best implementation of Filepicker will win one year free of the Grow plan, a $1,000+ value! Follow all the excitement at Challenge Post!

If you want Filepicker to sponsor your Hackathon, let us know –


Posted by & filed under News.

Filepicker is proud to announce a new partner integration – CloudApp!

Filepicker’s killer feature is enabling developers to allow file uploads from wherever users store their data. CloudApp is the definitive app for quickly and easily sharing files and screenshots. This makes the integration such a powerful one.

Now that CloudApp is a source, any user of CloudApp can easily connect their files from any site of app that integrates Filepicker.

If you have any suggestions for our next integration, please send them to

Also, be sure to go download the easiest way to share faster: CloudApp.


Posted by & filed under News.

We’ve been on the phone and email over the past few months talking to customers to find what plan structure makes the most sense. We’ve also done data analysis to see what fits best with most of our customers.

With all the feedback we are introducing new plans with higher limits on files and conversions. We’ve also added more clarity around our overages and bandwidth, and outlined them on our pricing page. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Posted by & filed under Thoughts and Knowledge.

No, I did not just say that. I did, however, hear it offhand somewhere and it stirred something in me. Or more so my thoughts on the ‘next big’ media transition that we find ourselves in the midst of.

Don’t roll your eyes, just yet. Just think back to 2006. Crazy. Short-sighted. Stupid money. Everyone had an opinion when Google forked out $1.65 billion for YouTube. It was the kind of stuff you only see in movies – small start-up gets golden ticket from Google.

Did Google’s Eric Schmidt look as serious as Daniel Craig in Casino Royale when considering the YouTube gamble?

It was hard then to see the end game-plan when the cash and perceived ridiculousness of the deal dominated the headlines. Worst acquisition ever, they said. “They” being almost everyone that was not Google or YouTube.

Fast forward nine years. Now, it’s the best deal ever. And all for the sweet price of $1.65 billion. So, was it the best acquisition ever? Yes, I believe so and here are some of the statistical reasons why;


2006 2014
Reported Revenues $15 million $1 billion
Unique visitors per month 20 million 1 billion
Videos uploaded daily 65,000 per day 300 hours of video uploaded every minute


This snapshot says it all. I could go on, but it’s all millions and billions so you get the message. Everyone knew YouTube was gaining momentum back in 2006. But did anyone really anticipate the kind of return and growth Google would eventually enjoy?

Few did. Except Google, of course. We were in the middle of a big media transition then, but no one really noticed.

We are, it appears, in the middle of another big media transition. And once again, nothing really is being said about it. So how do I know it is? Well, here is one insight I have.

At Filepicker, I have the privilege of seeing how assets are being created, consumed, stored and moved around the internet.

It has been a lot of change but nothing compared to the biggest move yet – the transition to NoLoSto. That’s right. No Local Storage.

See, years ago, we had these disks that would go into drives. We’d take these awkward sized disks and put them in our knapsacks. Inevitably, they were either lost or damaged.

Bad experiences with lost data meant only one solution. We (okay, just me) had to put them in hermetically sealed storage vessels and store them in fireproof safes until we wanted the data again. Say, when someone died or we needed to see that thesis again.

Naturally, something had to give. Or more so, something had to be created to solve this problem. Too many tears and tantrums can do that to innovators.

The better solution, it turned out, was to leave your vitally important documents and precious photos on random computers owned by suspicious looking cyber cafes or disgruntled ex-employers. And that’s where I get to see things a bit clearer at Filepicker.

Image 2015-02-10 at 10.04.00 PM

Jack Nicholson gets it. However, we won’t use a gun to convince you of the media transition.


At the beginning of 2013, we saw lots of ingestion activities that started from a local file – something stored directly on your computer or your iPad.

2014 was even better. We enjoyed an aggregate 300% increase in cloud drive storage. Indeed, on several of our cloud drives, such as Google Drive, we had more than a 1000% increase in usage. Can you now see where I am going with this argument for media transition?

This isn’t just because we’ve added tons of super, cool users (on an interesting side note, our last count shows we have users across 122 countries). We see this same correlation on long existing accounts.

So, what’s next for Filepicker as we move with this big media transition?

A lot, in one word. New drives will continuously be added to our service, such as Amazon Cloud and CloudApp. And thanks to growing international demand, we are making Filepicker available in over 12 languages. And that is just the stuff I am allowed to disclose…there is plenty more.

So, now do you believe me that we are in the middle of a media transition?

Image 2015-02-10 at 10.12.55 PM

“If you ain’t first, you’re last.” A true motivation quote that keeps us going at Filepicker. Thanks Will Ferrell.



Posted by & filed under Thoughts and Knowledge.

When does one decide to become a programmer? Some people may do it on the side just for fun, some people may decide to go to school for it, some people just use it as a solution to a certain problem.

But for all programmers we find techniques and chunks of code that we find work well – that we become used to – and implement them. Sometimes like a child with a Shape and Sort it out toy.

The following list comes from a few of our devs at Filepicker. There is a different approach to this list: some of these are a bit off the beaten path, whereas others are tried and true methods and practices that we find effective and continue to use.

Interesting fact: the Ada programming language, which might sound a little obscure, is still used today in projects that need to be quite secure. Some examples include: software for the Boeing 777, Air traffic control systems, rail and metro systems in Paris, London, Hong Kong, and New York City. Recently it was used to help with the Rosetta/Philae probe that landed on a comet. See a full list.  Hat tip to Slawomir for the Ada suggestions!

If you have any suggestions for us, please leave it in the comments!

Craftsmanship, Programming Practices

Code Craft: The Practice of Writing Excellent Code by Pete Goodliffe
Code Reading: The Open Source Perspective by Diodimis Spinellis
Code Quality: The Open Source Perspective by Diodimis Spinellis
Practices of an Agile Developer by Venkat Subramaniam, Andy Hunt
The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master by Andrew Hunt, David Thomas

Project Management

Agile Software Development by Alistair Cockburn
Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management by Johanna Rothman, Esther Derby
Manage It! Your Guide To Modern, Pragmatic Project Management by Johanna Rothman
Ship it! A Practical Guide to Successful Software Projects by Jared Richardson, William A Gwaltney

Programming Language Guides

The C++ Programming Language, 3rd ed. by Bjarne Stroustrup
Programming in Ada 2005 by John Barnes

Software Design

Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software by Erich Gamma, Richard Helm
HOOD: an Industrial Approach for Software Design by J-P. Rosen

Distributed Systems:

Concurrency in Ada, 2nd ed. by Alan Burns, et al.



Posted by & filed under Working with Filepicker.

I remember the first time I opened the new Photoshop 7.0 in the computer lab in high school. This is back when there was only one room in the school that had computers, and there was only one computer that had a Photoshop licence.

I booked time on the machine, and cracked open some photos that I took, and wanted to upload them to the school website. I was in yearbook class, and that’s what we were tasked to do. Yes, I was in yearbook class, and yes, I’m a nerd.

Those pictures were way too big from the schools D100, being a whopping 6 megapixels. New in Photoshop 7 was the ability to create a web gallery that would automatically create thumbnails and “web ready” “large” images.

Nowadays, image compression is much more advanced, and thankfully, much easier as well. With Filepicker there are over 18 options to modify images once they have been uploaded – and all these conversion methods are done in the cloud, quickly, and programmatically.

Filepicker uses two key open source libraries to optimize your images: JPEGtran and OptiPNG.


JPEGtran does lossless compression for JPEGs by optimizing the Huffman tables to increase compression without degrading the quality of the image. It also removes any application specific data that is sometimes unnecessarily inserted by image programs.


Based on pngcrush, OptiPNG is lossless compression utility which means it’s goal is to have an identical quality image with less file size.

It uses multiple different algorithms with five different filters to reduce the size of the image. Since it has many different configurations, OptiPNG runs various different compression options in memory for speed, and outputs the smallest iteration.


Below are photos from Startup Stock Photos. We downloaded all the pictures and they came in at 285MB and after using our conversion tools, it’s down to 70MB. Here’s a few examples below:


Original: 5.7Mb Compressed: 578KB 10x Smaller

Original: 6MB Compressed: 718KB 8.5x Smaller

Original: 7.4MB Compressed: 833KB 9x Smaller

How to:

Using Filepicker’s Image Compression is actually very simple. You can add /convert?compress=true to any image URL, or use our convert method in the javascript API: {compress: true}