Host Your Own App Bowl

The big football game is just around the corner and now is the perfect time for you to plan on hosting a spectacular techie event with your friends.   You are going to host the first annual App Bowl!   Yes, indeed, hosting such a party will be the talk of the office and become a tradition like none other.   The concept is really quite simple.  Have all of your developer friends over, with their computers, and see who will build a functional app before the end of the game.

Since you are the host, you have to establish the ground rules.  My recommendation is to talk amongst the potential contestants before the event and outline some of the things which might work best to avoid conflict.  Here are some examples:

  • All apps must start with the "Blank" template.
  • No third party libraries may be used  -or-
  • Only third party X may be used
  • Perhaps suggest a sports-related theme
  • All must consume the same data service(s)

If you have enough people, you could break into teams and do some serious pair-programming!  Heck, maybe a great rule could include the developer's significant other 🙂 


Here are some simple guidelines for your success:

Pre Game:

Here is where you establish the ground rules for the game.  Mileage will vary and be creative.  The ultimate goal is to publish an app to the App Store.    The App Bowl is broken down into quarters and will follow the big game on TV.  It is highly recommended to adapt additional rules to enhance the personalities of the participants.  

First Quarter:

It's still early in the game and anything can happen.  This is the App Bowl, after all, and a prize should be awarded to the contestant who has the best progress on their app.  

Half Time:

Are you ready for the half-time show?  The contestant with the most progress by half-time gets first-in-line privileges to the snack table/buffet (You do have a snack buffet table, don't you?) .  Enjoy the break!  Once the game resumes, it will be a mad dash to the finish line! 

Third Quarter:

This is the bragging rights quarter.   The person with the most progress gets the first slice of pizza and/or chicken wings

End of Game:

The winner of the App Bowl is the first person to submit a functioning app to the app store.  The app MUST adhere to the general guidelines for acceptance to the store.  Because of this, the actual winner may not be fully determined until the app shows up in the store.  Don't let this slight delay smother the festivities.  Give the winner a trophy, and be very creative with what you consider a trophy!


Have fun with this event!  Getting your techie friends together and knocking out code is a great way to enhance your skills and gain exposure to technology you might not have at work.  There is also nothing quite like the friendly competition amongst friends!

The end of hockey season is another perfect reason to host another App Bowl.   Perhaps one of your other friends could host, "The App Cup!"


Here are some links to help prepare you for the App Bowl:

Microsoft Virtual Academy

Visual Studio

App Rules and Guidance (MSDN)


If you do host an App Bowl, let me know how it turns out!




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