I went to the Uplinq Codefest the other day. I was impressed by the resources Qualcomm invests in developers. $50,000 was given to the winners of the contest! Applause to Qualcomm!!! I expected a fierce battle and it was interesting to see it unfold. I came with my 10 year old daughter who is a developer and she has won alone and as a part of a team several hackathons. It was disappointing to hear she was not allowed to compete in the Qualcomm challenge (you have to be 18 or older) but it was understandable. We both decided for me not to compete this time- we were sorry for it later though. If you are a developer and you are around, you should compete. At least we both enjoyed being part of the hackathon and seeing the action in person.
The hackathon challenge went till 11:30PM. The participation of Windows Phone developers in the contest was overwhelming. Let’s say that half of the participants were Windows Phone developers and one of the 5 categories was for Windows Phone. The total number of participants was around 30! I was proud to say the Windows Phone developers’ demos were great.
I liked that the demos were timed and limited to 3 minutes! Thanks Heaven! It was shocking that half of the presentation time was spent in PowerPoint. I understand that the apps don’t need to be completed but I believe PowerPoint should be banned from hackathons. If the PowerPoint use cannot be limited, band it, give paper and crayons to the kids that are learning the SDKs. It’s purely ridiculous to compete on a PowerPoint presentation, especially when you can win $5K and you are one of 3 or 4 competitors in a category. One more change I would do if I’m a hackathon organizer- you have to compete on a new application each time. Be nice to all of us, we come to many hackathons, we don’t want to see the same app and hear the same pitch over and over again.
Overall it was a great experience. I learned one thing- never say no to participating when the prize is right! Qualcomm technologies rock, Qualcomm is a big sponsor and I pray the day will come when they will allow young developers to participate and learn. We all need to invest in the future.