We want to thank all of our developer registrants and contest participants that have already gotten involved with CloudSpokes. Your creativity and skills are exactly what we were hoping for when we launched this crowdsourced community for cloud development (see also April Update on CloudSpokes Gives Back).
One of my favorite parts of CloudSpokes is that it helps separate signal from noise in the cloud for developer. For example, if a developer can’t easily and freely get access to all the resources they need, then we can’t run a contest because there is a barrier to participation. The public cloud allows crowdsourcing and collective innovation - try that with your Oracle cloud-in-a-box!
Our hope is CloudSpokes provides a marketplace to connect aspiring cloud developers and enterprises with cloud development needs. While Appirio has guaranteed at least a million dollars in contests, we think that’s just the beginning and expect many SaaS providers and enterprise customers to run contests in the coming months. In fact, we have already run anonymous contests for enterprise customers and Twilio has recently launched its first challenge on CloudSpokes.
The Basic Anatomy of a Contest
When we initially launched CloudSpokes, we received many questions on whether we’d open source the contests results, if Appirio owned the IP or something else. So we wanted to take a moment to walk through how all of that works.
By default the sponsor of a contest agrees to pay the winner(s) and in return receives the results of that work. The winner(s) exchange their work for the winnings - transferring all rights to the sponsor to do with what they’d like. This would allow a sponsor to build parts of their commerical ISV app, businesses or services teams to put out contests for key project requirements, or for either to forward invest in creating reusable components for future work.
If you participate in the contest but do not win, you grant the sponsor the right to use your work, but you retain rights to do whatever you’d like with it as well. In addition, in both cases CloudSpokes is given the right to display your work and use it for educational purposes (but not granted any commercial rights). This is useful as we will often use the winning submission to help other participants in the contest learn and develop their cloud skills.
All of this encourages and allow ISVs and clients to promote real world problems as contests managed through CloudSpokes. The sponsors (like Appirio) or customers are running these contests to aid in their development for a specific engagement or project. In those cases they are using Cloudspokes to help advance their projects or strategy - paying contest winners for the desired work.
These rules apply to all sponsors and participants, there are no special additional rights granted to Appirio as a sponsor. In some cases terms will be different from the above for a specific contest, but if so those will always be clearly spelled out when you register for that contest.
How Does Open Source Fit In ?
One of the drivers for starting CloudSpokes was to share innovation and inspire everyone to become a cloud developer. So for a number of contests the various sponsors have agreed to share the winning submission of the contest with the world.
For example, our Oauth2 with OmniAuth contest for Force.com, the Beat Jeff Douglas Firefox Extension, and the Facebook Like Box Visual Force Component are all examples of contests we are open sourcing or donating to their relevant projects. In the future, where it is known in advance, we will clearly identify if a contest will definitely be open sourced (exact license model for this will be dependent on related projects and the sponsor)
We are looking for more open source contest to help drive forward with the cloud - so your ideas are welcome !