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Windows Azure Developer Challenge

Discover the Cloud.

Try Windows Azure and our 5 programming challenges for a chance at spot prizes, Stage prizes and the Grand Prize.

Over $16,000 in prizes total are up for grabs with 65 chances to win. Find your silver lining in the cloud.

How do I enter?

Challenge 1 starts April 15th, 2013.

Note that start days start at 12AM and end dates end at 11:59PM. All times are US Eastern (Daylight Saving Time)

What is the Challenge?

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 3

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.

What is the reward?

  • Each challenge will have 3 winners, with each winner receiving a 64 GB Surface RT with black Touch Cover (in the US only), or cash equivalent (outside of the US). That's $2,100 in prizes every two weeks, $10,500 in total
  • Each challenge will also have up to 10 spot prizes of $100 each. That's $1,000 on offer per challenge.
  • The Grand Prize winner will receive a cash prize of $2,500 and promotion on CodeProject and Microsoft owned and operated properties. Fame and fortune.

What sorts of applications are acceptable?

Almost anything. In any language. Use C++, use node.js, use PHP with MySQL, or C# on ASP.NET with MVC and SQL Server, Your call, as long as you complete the challenges

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.

Read the Windows Azure Developer overview for more info on what you can do on Azure then sign up for your free trial.

FAQ

What if I missed a challenge?

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.

Do I write one article per challenge, or 1 article overall?

Please just write 1 article. At each challenge state you should go back and update your article.

Can you throw me some links on getting started?

Sure

Can anyone enter?

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. 

Do I have to write a full article with source code?

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.

Stage Winners

First Stage Winners

Enrique Albert
Ranjan.D
K2DaC2

First Stage Spot Winners:

roscler
Brian Lakstins
Rahul Vijay Manekari
AspDotNetDev
Ranjan.D
Darrin Lawson
Abhishek Nandy
Rumnha
InfinitePotential
Prathiraj Chakka

Second Stage Winners

Rjgadag
Roscler
Phil Lee NZ

Second Stage Spot Winners:

Enrique Albert
Ranjan.D
AspDotNetDev
Rjgadag
Roscler
Jon Honess
Tim Corey
Henry Sheldon
Rahul Vijay Manekari
Phil Lee NZ

Third Stage Winners

Kyle Seidel
Roscler
Tim Corey

Third Stage Spot Winners:

Roscler
Rumnha
Tim Corey
Phil Lee NZ
Ranjan.D
Enrique Albert
Fred Harris
Henry Sheldon
Ambily K K
Abhishek Nandy

Fourth Stage Winners

Ranjan.D
Phil Lee NZ
Enrique Albert

Fourth Stage Spot Winners:

Nick Fera wins a bonus for being the first to get a server error
Roscler wins a bonus for 10 referrals
Lots of $20 winners!

Fifth Stage Winners

Ranjan.D
Phil Lee NZ
Enrique Albert

Fifth Stage Spot Winners:

Lots of $20 winners!

Grand Prize Winner

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!

Contest Judges:

Conditions of Entry | Current winners list

Latest articles

by Shahriar Hossain
Learn how to do A/B testing in Azure
by Shahriar Hossain
How will you make sure that your client's website is up and available not just from one location but from different country of different geo locaiton as well? This article teach you that.
by Sebastiaan Meijerink
How to keep your Azure site 'hot'. When running a free plan website on Azure, it gets unloaded from memory by Azure after a period of inactivity. Causing it to be slow on the next request. How can we prevent this?
by Sergey Kizyan
This is a sample article that describes ho to implement RESTfull service for Azure for both GET and POST methods
by Gaston Verelst
This article describes how to set up the deployment flow from DEV to TEST to ACC to PROD using VSO.
by Gaurav Kumar Arora, Mahsa Hassankashi
In this article, we will discuss basics of Azure API Management to manage our Web API.


 
GeneralRe: Error Uploading Large ZIP File Pin
AspDotNetDev12-May-13 6:19
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AnswerRe: Error Uploading Large ZIP File Pin
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GeneralRe: Error Uploading Large ZIP File Pin
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QuestionWinner E-mail notifications? Pin
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GeneralDon't make the same mistake I did... Pin
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GeneralRe: Don't make the same mistake I did... Pin
AspDotNetDev11-May-13 21:43
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GeneralRe: Don't make the same mistake I did... Pin
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GeneralRe: Don't make the same mistake I did... Pin
AspDotNetDev13-May-13 7:20
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QuestionDo the judges check the article's revision queue? Pin
roscler11-May-13 15:43
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QuestionRe: Do the judges check the article's revision queue? Pin
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QuestionShould I Host My Images/Files On My Own Domain (Or CDN)? Pin
AspDotNetDev10-May-13 0:29
protectorAspDotNetDev10-May-13 0:29 
So far, I have 149 screenshots I will be including in my article for challenge 2. I expect that to grow to over 200. Right now, the total file size is about 16MB, and that will probably grow to over 20MB... maybe double that if I do a batch resize to make smaller versions of each image that are 600px wide (which would link to the bigger ones).

On top of that, I will have at least one code download (ZIP file) that will be at least 30MB. That means in total, we're probably looking at 50MB minimum... just for challenge 2.

I am concerned I am going to be exceeding some Code Project file size/count limitations. Should I plan to host all these images/files myself (say, on the Azure CDN) rather than uploading everything to Code Project? With the deadline around the corner, I want to make sure I avoid doing extra work (e.g., change file locations), so I'd rather know up front how I should approach this.

AnswerRe: Should I Host My Images/Files On My Own Domain (Or CDN)? Pin
rjgadag10-May-13 0:33
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GeneralRe: Should I Host My Images/Files On My Own Domain (Or CDN)? Pin
AspDotNetDev10-May-13 10:57
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AnswerRe: Should I Host My Images/Files On My Own Domain (Or CDN)? Pin
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GeneralRe: Should I Host My Images/Files On My Own Domain (Or CDN)? Pin
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GeneralRe: Should I Host My Images/Files On My Own Domain (Or CDN)? Pin
AspDotNetDev10-May-13 10:53
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GeneralRe: Should I Host My Images/Files On My Own Domain (Or CDN)? Pin
Rumnha10-May-13 16:06
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GeneralRe: Should I Host My Images/Files On My Own Domain (Or CDN)? Pin
Phil Lee NZ12-May-13 17:35
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AnswerRe: Should I Host My Images/Files On My Own Domain (Or CDN)? Pin
Chris Maunder10-May-13 19:31
adminChris Maunder10-May-13 19:31 
GeneralRe: Should I Host My Images/Files On My Own Domain (Or CDN)? Pin
AspDotNetDev10-May-13 20:19
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GeneralRe: Should I Host My Images/Files On My Own Domain (Or CDN)? Pin
Chris Maunder10-May-13 20:20
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AdminChallenge 2 Spot Prize Pin
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AdminChallenge 1 Winners! Pin
Chris Maunder5-May-13 17:43
adminChris Maunder5-May-13 17:43 
GeneralNeed people to test my Phase 2 entry, cat face detection in Photo Gallery Pin
roscler5-May-13 8:29
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GeneralRe: Need people to test my Phase 2 entry, cat face detection in Photo Gallery Pin
K2DaC25-May-13 9:06
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GeneralRe: Need people to test my Phase 2 entry, cat face detection in Photo Gallery Pin
roscler5-May-13 15:36
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GeneralRe: Need people to test my Phase 2 entry, cat face detection in Photo Gallery Pin
K2DaC25-May-13 19:12
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GeneralRe: Need people to test my Phase 2 entry, cat face detection in Photo Gallery Pin
roscler5-May-13 19:26
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GeneralRe: Need people to test my Phase 2 entry, cat face detection in Photo Gallery Pin
K2DaC25-May-13 21:31
memberK2DaC25-May-13 21:31 
GeneralRe: Need people to test my Phase 2 entry, cat face detection in Photo Gallery Pin
roscler6-May-13 0:36
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GeneralRe: Need people to test my Phase 2 entry, cat face detection in Photo Gallery Pin
K2DaC26-May-13 1:37
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GeneralRe: Need people to test my Phase 2 entry, cat face detection in Photo Gallery Pin
roscler6-May-13 1:50
professionalroscler6-May-13 1:50 
GeneralRe: Need people to test my Phase 2 entry, cat face detection in Photo Gallery Pin
K2DaC26-May-13 1:57
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GeneralRe: Need people to test my Phase 2 entry, cat face detection in Photo Gallery Pin
roscler6-May-13 5:13
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GeneralCannot download Azure SDK Pin
Wong Shao Voon4-May-13 17:11
memberWong Shao Voon4-May-13 17:11 
GeneralRe: Cannot download Azure SDK Pin
AspDotNetDev4-May-13 17:52
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GeneralRe: Cannot download Azure SDK Pin
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QuestionBuild a "Website" challenge Pin
Brian Lakstins4-May-13 9:48
professionalBrian Lakstins4-May-13 9:48 
AnswerRe: Build a "Website" challenge Pin
Ranjan.D8-May-13 11:53
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GeneralIt's quiet in here, too quiet... Pin
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