Plat_Forms Contest in Germany – Not Your Typical Hackathon
Focus on Scalability & Cloud Architectures
The Plat_Forms contest has been around in Germany since 2007. Its hallmark is celebrating the diversity and strength of various development languages (Java EE, .NET, PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby, etc.). This year, the focus of the contest is entirely on cloud computing and scalability. Ulrich Strk, the program organizer, explained AWS is technology agnostic, thus allowing for a fair comparison of the individual platforms. Apart from that, AWS is the market leader in IaaS services, thus making a perfect choice for us since we can expect that a lot of developers have either used AWS already or are interested in trying it now.
The Coding Challenge
Unlike the typical hackathons or programming contests where developers can enter with radically different apps, Plat_Forms is all about giving everyone the same coding challenge. The organizers have established a set of requirements for the contest task and plan on evaluating all entries holistically, including against principles such as application usability and robustness.
Some of the considerations required on the submission include:
- It will be a web-based application, with a simple RESTful web service interface.
- It will have challenging Service Level Agreement (SLA) requirements such as number of concurrent users it needs to support, guaranteed response times, fault tolerance, etc.
- It will be some kind of messaging service, where users can send each other messages.
- It will require persistent storage of data.
- It may require integration with external systems or data sources, but using simple and standard kinds of mechanisms only (such as HTTP/REST).
- It will require scaling by operation on multiple nodes (computers), which must use a stateless operation mode (i.e. if a single node fails the system overall, the application must not fail and must not lose data).
- It must run completely on the Amazon Web Services infrastructure.
For Germany-based programmers entering the contest, there is an extra bonus prize of $1,000 in AWS credits to the winning teams, in addition to the prestige and prizes provided by the contest itself. The deadline for entering has just been extended to March 16, 2012 and the actual coding challenge will take place in April.
To learn more (guidelines, judging criteria, process etc.), please visit the Plat_Forms website and let us know if you enter! :)