The challenge is actually 5 Challenges, each two weeks long, that when combined will result in an a web application hosted on Azure that uses Azure data services, virtual machines and provides a great mobile experience. Everything a modern cloud based application needs.
As to what the application does - that's up to you. Be creative. Weave a story. Write something interesting, all the while writing about it in an article. You also choose how much or how little you write in your article. If you want to keep your cards close to your chest until the end then that's up to you. However, stage prizes will be judged on the current state of your article so you'll need to keep a balance.
Late Entrants: If you missed out on any one of the challenges then you can jump in at any time as long as you complete the stages you missed.
|1.||First Challenge: Getting Started.
April 15 - April 28 May
|The first challenge is a gimme. You need to
setup a free trial Azure account (super easy) and post an article on
CodeProject (in the
Windows Azure Contest section) outlining your idea on what you'll build
for the remaining stages. Most important: in 2 sentences or less
explain how Azure might benefit or change the way you do things today. You
can keep your article brief if you want to protect your ideas, or you can
write up something juicy if you want to win the prize for this challenge.
It's your move in this game of chess.
|2.||Second Challenge: Build a website.
April 29 - May 12
|Again, not really a challenge for any webdev worth their salt. However, what about packaging it up for simple deployment? What about responsive design? What about the other 9 free sites you can setup under your free Azure account? And how will your web app tie into the next challenge? Remember to write up your work in your article on CodeProject to have a chance at the prize for this second challenge.|
|3.||Third Challenge: Using SQL on Azure.
May 13 - May 26
|Now it starts getting interesting. Use SQL on Azure in whatever way
you wish. Add a little data to season the mix or use it as a backup.recovery
solution. It's not just about data access. Again, write up what you've learned,
what you're doing, and how you did it.
|4.||Fourth Challenge: Virtual Machines.
May 27 - Jun 9
|Never used a VM before? Never spun up a virtual machine from your application?
It's time to try. Maybe you want to host a Windows or Linux application,
or spin up a test environment, or have your own instance of SQL Express
in a VM, or you can just spin up an instance of an existing web application
to sit alongside your application in a VM. We're really going to be
digging into your article at this point. Is there code? Are there explanations
of how you conquered challenges? Tell us your story.
|5.||Fifth Challenge: Mobile access
June 10 - June 24
|You're done. You've built a distributed n-tier cloud based data driven web application hosted on multiple virtual machines and you are the Master. But does it work on your Nokia, iPhone or Galaxy? I mean really work. Nicely, intuitively, seamlessly. Offline. It's up to you what you do at this point, but the judges will be testing your final masterpiece on their phones and tablets. Your CodeProject article, at this point, should be mostly complete.|
During each challenge spot challenges will be announced and prizes will be awarded. Possible spot announcements could be the 1,000th entry, the first to complete a 5 minute challenge, or the best haiku in an article's sample code. You never know.
Before you race off and complete the challenges in one fell swoop, be warned that your entry for one challenge cannot be used as an entry for a subsequent stage. If you build a data driven website in Challenge 1 then you need to enter something new for the data driven portion of Challenge 2.
This competition is to help you learn about building and hosting applications on Windows Azure, so obviously applications that run on the Azure platform are required. However, not just anything will get you a winner's jersey. Be creative, be daring, over extend and over achieve. The more you show off your understanding of Azure, and the more you focus on explaining what you're doing, the better your chances.
Contestants who missed the deadline for one of the challenges can still go back and complete the challenges they missed, but they will not be eligible for that challenge's prizes. They will still be eligible for the grand prize and any spot prizes that occur while they are participating.
Please just write 1 article. At each challenge state you should go back and update your article.
As with any competition of this nature there are some restrictions. Employees at Microsoft, and CodeProject cannot enter, and laws in certain jurisdictions also restrict entrants. Please see the Terms and Conditions for a full list.
Yes, an article is an important component of the challenge since it is the place where you describe what you are doing and how you solved problems that you ran into. This contest is designed to teach contestants and the audience, so the better your article, the more code you show and the more you explain how you completed each challenge, the better.
First Stage Winners
First Stage Spot Winners:
Second Stage Winners
Second Stage Spot Winners:
Third Stage Winners
Third Stage Spot Winners:
Fourth Stage Winners
Fourth Stage Spot Winners:
Nick Fera wins a bonus for being the first to get a server error
Fifth Stage Winners
Fifth Stage Spot Winners:
Lots of $20 winners!
Congratulations to our Grand Prize Winner Phil Lee NZ for his entry YouConf - Your Live Online Conferencing Tool in the CodeProject Windows Azure Developer Challenge.
A big thank you also goes out to everyone that took part in the challenge and winners in all stages of the competition! We hope you learned something new about Windows Azure and had some fun along the way. Please feel free to pass on any feedback you have on the competition in the comment section below.
Also, be sure to check some of the other great competitions we have going on right now like the CodeProject Ten Million Members Celebration Giveaway and the D&B Developer Challenge.
Deadlines are fast approaching!
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