Developer Competition

  • SB
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Post 3+ Months Ago

It has become obvious to me that there is a desire to see more Coding competitions on Ozzu and lesser design related. I am in complete agreement and it does concern me to see the forum swamped with Photography/Design related competitions. I've mentioned elsewhere that i am taking a personal interest in restructuring the way the competitions are done and including a good amount of coding based competitions in the future.

I thought i'd test the water a bit with a coding based comp by creating the Web Design Competition a few weeks ago. As yet, with just over a week to go until competition closes we have yet to see an entry. I'm trying not to let that be a sign that there is no desire to have a coding based comp. So, this is where i need your input.

What type of coding competitions would appeal to everyone? What do you feel would interest you in taking part in any future coding competitions? Have you any further thoughts on any future competitions for Ozzu?

Let me know what you think. Thanks.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • this213
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well, since I guess I'm the one who brought it up...

I used to like doing japh (just another perl hacker) competitions that were all over the place quite a while ago. The problem with that is most of these have been published online and where's the fun in that?

As far as criteria, it could be most obfuscated, most efficient - 65 is more efficient than "A", 01000001 is even more so (less translation between human and machine readable). Perhaps one for having the most active, unique code for the same output, such as writing a 1000 line script to output a short phrase, but where every line is actually called and has to be completely unique. Or it could be something based on pure efficiency, such as pulling a set number of records from a standardized database, performing some sort of data mangling on them and outputting the results in a standardized manner and then timing everyone's results. I could also see having different ones for PHP, Perl, Python, BASH, C and so on.
  • Hob Bramble
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Post 3+ Months Ago

SB wrote:
I thought i'd test the water a bit with a coding based comp by creating the Web Design Competition a few weeks ago. As yet, with just over a week to go until competition closes we have yet to see an entry. I'm trying not to let that be a sign that there is no desire to have a coding based comp. So, this is where i need your input.


It's worth keeping in mind, I think, that as activity has been a little slow around Ozzu of late, many who would be interested (having expressed interest or not) in this competition simply didn't notice it because they a) weren't on Ozzu recently or b) didn't check their inboxes/competitions forum (not expecting this kind of thing in it). Further, there's always: c) they noticed it, but then got into something else (be it the conversation about updating/reviving Ozzu or something non-Ozzu entirely) and never got around to entering it (due to time constraints in general, or simply not really thinking about Ozzu these days).

I know I, at least, fall into camp C. I noticed it and I planned on entering when the message first went out. Then I just sort of forgot about it, because I just don't think about Ozzu that much anymore (though I'm trying to get back into things again, because when I do think of Ozzu, I miss it).

I won't tangent off too much into the "what is happening to Ozzu" here - it's being done plenty elsewhere (and, to be fair, on a lot of other forums/sites as well)- I just wanted to note that you shouldn't take participation or lack thereof in this competition - the first of its kind, again, in three years (more than enough time to lose an audience - and they don't come back like magic, as you know) as an indicator of interest in this type of competition generally speaking.

That said - I also wouldn't discount this213's desire for other types of competitions. No reason for their to be competition for competition types, eh?
  • Rabid Dog
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Sorry SB but I read that competition and it again seemed more targetted at the graphic artist as opposed to the programmer/developer.

These types of comps are hard. I remember being tasked with this initially. I tried something as well but no one took the bait. Honestly for a competition like this to work you need someone to post a piece of code or solution to a problem and have guys take it to pieces, rewrite it the way they would have done it or improve it and then decide the winner. That is the only way I can think of doing it. Algorithmic challenges jsut don't seem to work were as if someone posts a pice of code that echo's out the song 99 bottles of beer on the wall every one seems to get interested and show how they would have done it http://99-bottles-of-beer.net/

It unfortunately takes a pretty special person to find humour in code :) I might even have the judging be a community thing were by if the community finds it amusing, efficient or any other number of criteria then that person is elected winner. I think it is also important you have a look see just how many seasoned developers Ozzu has. I remember dropping off the radar having gotten sick of "I needz script for school"
  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I would agree with Rabid Dog, in that these are hard. There are a few things we would need to make these competitions successful in that people participate. First we need someone to craft up the competition on a regularly scheduled basis so that members of Ozzu grow to expect them and remember to check back occasionally to participate in them.

Second something to motivate members to participate would help too. If Ozzu switches some day and uses reputation/points for members of some sorts, this could be one reward for winning a competition -- a bunch of reputation/points. People could then use their reputation/points and set "bounties" on topics they post if they need help and want to encourage people to try and help them. So in a way by participating in areas of Ozzu you are not only learning and increasing your own skills, but you are setting yourself up in the future to encourage people to answer your questions when you really need the help.

Another way to motivate would be to offer prizes of some sorts.

Finally the competitions would need to be challenging enough to encourage people to want to try and participate, but easy enough that people can also understand what they are trying to accomplish in that particular challenge.
  • SB
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Bigwebmaster wrote:
Second something to motivate members to participate would help too. If Ozzu switches some day and uses reputation/points for members of some sorts, this could be one reward for winning a competition -- a bunch of reputation/points. People could then use their reputation/points and set "bounties" on topics they post if they need help and want to encourage people to try and help them. So in a way by participating in areas of Ozzu you are not only learning and increasing your own skills, but you are setting yourself up in the future to encourage people to answer your questions when you really need the help.


I absolutely love this idea.
  • this213
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I second that
  • mindfullsilence
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I was extremely interested in the web design competition when I saw it. Very much wanted to be a part of it and even began a photoshop mockup for it. The reason I wasn't able to finish is time constraint. 22 credits this semester (full time is 12). I would have loved to enter but the project was too large.

I realize there are variances, but I think the majority of designers have a workflow similar to this:
  • mock each page (sketch, photoshop, or otherwise)
  • slice (save out needed bits of mockup into images)
  • html
  • css
  • javascript

For me, a home page takes about 2 hours minimum to mock in photoshop and become polished. Subsequent pages take 1 hour minimum. So there's 4 hours minimum for the mockup of the 3 page site in the competition.

html and css takes about 30 minutes per page (rough estimate). That's 2.5 hours.

adding javascript (depending on the amount needed, but usually just a slideshow) is maybe 10 - 30 minutes.

So basically, that's 7 hours for the competition. A full work day. No way it can be done without sacrificing my schoolwork.

However, if it was broken up into smaller pieces - say a "1 page webdesign competition (part 1)" where the task is to design the mockup of the homepage for the site. No coding, just an image of the homepage design. Choose the winner, and then hold the "1 page webdesign competition (part 2)" - html, css, and javascript coding of the winner's homepage. The most efficient/progressive/accurate entry is the winner.

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