Arctic Cloud Developer Challenge 2019 is just 1 month away (February 28th - March 2nd, you're signed up aren't you?), and I've been lucky enough to be picked as a judge another year!
For those of you who don't know, Arctic Cloud Developer Challenge (formerly knows as Arctic SharePoint Challenge) is a 3 day hackathon on the outskirts of snowy Oslo, Norway, on top of Voksenåsen. This is without a doubt the most awesome hackathon I've ever attended (and judged) in my time, and it's something I look forward to every year.
Apart from the astounding venue and location, what makes it stand out is the incredible team spirit shown each and every year. Whether a team has 9 participants or 2, everyone is having an awesome time, sharing knowledge and experience, and despite meeting their "fiercest" rivals from the industry everyone has smiling and having fun for the social parts.
How we got here
Arctic SharePoint Challenge started a bunch of years ago, a community project initiated by people with more than average interest in SharePoint and technology. As the years passed and the cloud started to take over our infrastructure the event expanded and evolved. It went through a phase with badges awarded to teams for completing predefined challenges (man how I loved badge sniping) to predefined categories which would award participants points, and crowns (all aboard the GoT bandwagon!). It started out with "just SharePoint" but over the years more technologies have been included, and a few years ago Dynamics CRM was included as its own category, with the amazing Scott Durow as a judge. Last year the Dynamics category changed into business applications, or more correct Varys Rolodex because of the GoT theme. It was part of the shift to not only SharePoint anymore, it was all of the Office 365 portfolio, and instead of having Dynamics as a separate category we added all bizapps, and we had several teams with a strong BA focus while delivering awesome code and integration solutions over the 3 days.
What's happening this year
This year is going to be incredibly awesome. The judges lineup is fantastic (Laura Kokkarinen, Chris Huntingford, Seb Matthews, Erwin van Hunen, are you kidding me?!), the theme is awesome (the long overdue Simpsons theme), and it's looking to be a lot of great teams joining us.
One of the changes we're doing this year is stop putting products into categories (well, kinda), instead we're giving points in a category depending on the total solution, and if you decide to use Connected Field Services then that's IoT points for you, it's not some glorified Dynamics category.
So without further ado, let me present this years categories:
Power users love tools and flexibility, so why not show them
Obey the hypnotoad
Everything is so pretty, I can't take my eyes away
The genesis tub
All the tiny things, connected and online. Bring your IoT to the science fair!
Automated Teller Machineyolatrolamaton
Cash is king, and nothing says cash like great business value
Bite my shiny metal ass
Use non-MS tech in meaningful ways, or just out of spite
Be a happy camper, spread the love, amazing team spirit!
What about the nerd factor?
This year we're also going a bit back to our roots, so we're going to have more lightning challenges and competitions which require hardcore developer skills. These will probably not be enough to win the challenge (but being a hackathon you should bring at least 1 developer), but they will give bragging rights and make your competition run salty.
Additionally, because Microsoft have been awesome to us, we are handing out one MXChip IoT DevKit to each team to use in whichever way they want (BIIIIG shoutout to Ben Vollmer).
We're also doing secret sessions (but no pushups, we're not that silly) and suprises, and I think it's going to bring some great flavor to the competition.
The goal is to make sure that if you want to just "plug in" and code away for 3 days, or if you want to take drone shots of the venue and use them in promo videos, or you're a happy camper wanting learn as much as you can from a bunch of awesome people, or if you're a security nerd looking to discovery everyone's dirty secrets there's a place for you at #ACDC2019