Summer of Express Contest Winners Announced!

After some really tough judging, we officially have the Summer of Express contest winners! There were some awesome applications in the C# category, I was really impressed by the work and level of effort put in by all the entrants. You can download the projects on Channel9's Express Page.

 We definitely want to do this contest again, but we're thinking about changing things up and wanted to get your feedback on what makes a good contest. Here's what I've been thinking

  • Get Better prizes - This one requires a good amount of legal work far ahead of the contest, but it is doable
  • Have prizes for 1st, 2nd, 3rd for a given category - I wish I could've given prizes to the top 5 C# entries ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Change the categories - Rather then be product focused, I would imagine categories like - Best Game, Best productivity tool, Best utility, Best use of the network, Best use of SQL Server, Best Web app

What do you think makes a good contest?

Comments (7)

  1. Tim P says:

    Unfortunately I was unable to compete in this contest, but I would love to see future competitions. Maybe rather than awarding multiple genres in each contest, give each individual contest a theme, for example, "Best Network App" or "Best Web Service". I also like the idea of having runner-up prizes. Keep up the great work!

  2. Minh Tran says:

    On the subject of better prizes – How about to be Bill Gates’ Apprentice for a year? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Or more prominent recognition. I mainly entered the VWD competition for resume material. Would be nice to have professional critiques of at least the winning entries. And links to the winners off of the main msdn site.

    Other than that, it was a fun competition.

    Best Regards,

    Minh Tran

  3. Julie Lerman says:

    The tablet team had a good concept for their contests. Not only did htey up the ante (hey, how about $100,000? ๐Ÿ™‚ ) but the increased the level of knowledge required at each level. So that helped encourage people first to start playing with the sdk, then go deeper and deeper with each contest. But maybe you can come up with some parameters with the mission of encouraging those same people who just entered the contest, to push themselves a little farther.

  4. Good feedback, what do you all think about also adding a "People’s Choice" category? We’d have to setup some code to do the voting, but I think it would be fun to see what people think ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. Bjoern Graf says:

    I’d planned to compete in the VC++ category to check out C++/CLI and MDX (yep, it would have been a game :]) but time was against me…

    Anyway, I suppose categories based on application type rather than on the tools used would make voting easier – e.g., how to decide wether the uberapp is better than the ubergame? – and would show off the freedom of choice the developer has when he targets the .NET framework.

    "People’s Choice" would be definitely interesting ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. ZippyV says:

    Some suggestions for future contests:

    – The relation between prize and duration of this contest was very good. The longer a contest will take, the higher the value of a prize should be,

    – The Summer was an excellent choice to hold the contest (because I had a vacation),

    – There should be more prizes. The chance of winning will be higher so, hopefully, more people will participate,

    – New award: Most original/creative app,

    – New category: business applications,

    – I wouldn’t like a People’s Choice category, because there will be some users that cheat on the voting system. I would rather like to have a "Programmer’s Choice" category, where every submitter can vote (but not for himself),

    – Better upload utitily,

    – No third party libraries allowed: I’d rather have an application written from scratch than a 3D game with only a newly written physics system,

    – Finally: Everybody should be able to participate (like with this contest). I think with the previous tablet pc contest you had to be an ISV, which is unacceptable if you are an amateur dev or a student.

    Overall, I had a very good experience with the Channel 9 Summer of Express Contest. I hope to see such an initiative again in the future.

  7. Minh Tran says:

    People’s Choice would indeed be interesting. But you would have to worry about people creating multiple accounts just to vote for a particular project or having their friends/co-workers doing the same. Perhaps slightly modify People’s Choice to Entrant’s Choice? Allow all the entrants to vote for their choice in the categories they did not enter?

    As a side note, why not extend the competition past the Express line & into the regular Visual Studio line for professional developers?

    You could have a pre-determined goal. Present a Use Case Scenario and allow the entrants to solve that particular problem. Only issue there is that you would have a bunch of similar projects. And so judging would be based mainly on style.

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