When we launched our 2009 Silverlight Coding Competition back in June, we didn't quite know what to expect. Silverlight was still relatively new and participation required real effort on the part of contestants, so we weren't sure if we were going to get enough signups to make things interesting.
Well, to our delight, the submissions started pouring in shortly after the official launch. However, it was not just the number, but the quality of entrants that really impressed us. We saw such high profile entries as the awesome Project Tuva (by none other than Microsoft Research), Microsoft Local Impact Map, or the impressive Windows4all.com.
We had a real competition on our hands! It was clear that – in order to win – one would need to produce something special.
Selecting The Winner
We had a total of 98 applications of all shapes and sizes from virtually all over the world. Our method for selecting the winner consisted of three stages:
Stage 1: The first step was to tally up all the points generated by community votes. That was easy – it was done automatically by our vote tracking system.
Stage 2: Since we had more than 50 entries, we had to invoke our "Quota Exceeded" contest rule: "If more than 50 Entries are submitted, ComponentArt judges will select the top 50 semi-finalist Entries (taking community votes into account). The semi-finalist Entries will then be judged by the remainder of the Expert Panel."
Stage 3: The Expert Panel judges proceeded to mark each of the 50 semi-finalist apps individually, awarding 0-10 points in five categories: Technical Merit, User Experience, Performance & Stability, Originality, and Effective Use of Custom Controls.
And the Winner Is...
When all the Expert Panel marks came in and the community points were added up, there it was, right at the top: PuzzleTouch Online Jigsaw Puzzles. My first reaction was: "Great! I really liked that app." We then moved on to get more information on the company/team/individual who built the app. Somewhat surprising, the winning app was the work of a single developer: Tim Greenfield from Oregon:
I proceeded to call Tim immediately to congratulate him personally. Speaking to Tim on the phone was a really nice experience for me. He told me that he created PuzzleTouch app on his own time, in an effort to take advantage of the power of Silverlight and build something that would have been impossible with other web development frameworks.
Nice. Tim decided to build on the advanced Silverlight features, took the time to polish every aspect of his application and ended up winning the contest! His prize? $10,000 in cash, a subscription license to all ComponentArt products (including our new Silverlight Chart and Visualization controls; hopefully they'll come in handy in his future projects). But perhaps most importantly, he gets some major bragging rights for singlehandedly winning such a competitive contest!
That Was Fun
Just like we hoped, hosting this competition has been a blast! I would like to thank all who participated:
1. The remaining four finalists:
- Battle Billiards, by Daniel A. James
- Flowr, by Johan Van Hoye
- Windows4all, by Taras Shavkonyuk
- Zleek, by Stephen Commisso
Great applications guys! Congratulations to all of you. As the runner-up award you will receive full UI Framework subscription licenses.
2. All contestants: thank you for participating. There are many great applications in the contestants area, check them out!
3. Finally our Expert Panel: Tim Heuer, Laurence Moroney, Mike Snow, John Papa, Dino Esposito, Steve Smith, Milos Glisic, Phil Tucker and Corey Cahill. Thank you for volunteering your time; we couldn't have done it without you!