Friday, April 5, 2013

Guest Blog: Being a Community Judge by @talesforce

If you know CloudSpokes, then you know the name talesforce. He is not only our overall leader in wins, but has been a rockstar CloudSpokes member since the day he joined! Talesforce recently jumped over from full time competitor to also judging challenges and has hit the ground running. In the past 2 months alone, he has reviewed over 60 submissions and continues to sign up for as many challenges as he can. He was so impressed by the judging side of things, that he asked to guest blog about it! We said yes of course, and talesforce sent us the blog below. 

Being a Community Judge!

"The grass is always greener on the other side. Period."

Until last year, CloudSpokes for me was all about reinventing myself as a cloud developer. However, as in a geek’s life, there are welcome and unwelcome changes and what that means is I’m not spending as much time on CloudSpokes as I was last year – participating on challenges and cranking out code that is.

Given my decent track record on CloudSpokes, this year I got an opportunity to be on the other side of the fence when I got invited to judge a few challenges. And I accepted that chance gleefully, hoping to develop a holistic 360-degree view of how a disruptive crowdsourcing platform such as CloudSpokes functions.

To put things in perspective, the first two challenges I judged were Salesforce Opportunity Management and Custom URL to Launch Report by Developer Name. Now, to the mind-boggling aspect. The first challenge had 12 submissions while the second had a whopping 18 submissions!  After spending hours and days, I narrowed down the list of best submissions on both challenges to 5 each, but even then there were too many good ones to just to choose between them, I was forced to take a 2nd look, a 3rd look and I stopped counting thereafter.

And I always thought that being a CloudSpokes judge was probably the easiest job in the world :)

Here are some lessons learned & observations made from my community judging experience thus far.

Quality:

I think the quality of submissions is what sets CloudSpokes apart from any other crowdsourcing platform that I’ve been a part of. It’s fascinating to see different participants come up with several new perspectives to the same problem and getting an opportunity to weigh in on the pros and cons of each approach by pitting them against each other.

Time:

Having judged a couple of the "Task" challenges (previously known as First2Finish), I can comprehensively say that this model is a great solution for time sensitive projects. I was just reading one of the challenge descriptions and boom – in came a solution from a submitter who’d presumably taken upon the challenge the moment it was launched.

Language Barriers:

I’ve also had an opportunity to judge some challenges where there were no language barriers. While I myself envisioned a solution for the problem at hand using node.js, it was fascinating to see submissions in Java and Groovy. This just shows the power of programming is language agnostic and for any Computer Science problem, there’s a good chance that you can find solutions in multiple programming languages.

Ecosystem:

Of course, being a judge and getting to interact with the CloudSpokes team, the challenge sponsors and fellow judges has helped me understand the overall ecosystem much better. More importantly, it’s made me realize that there’s a tremendous amount of hard work going in on a daily basis to improve this ecosystem. There’s no doubt that a lot of credit goes to the entire team that manages CloudSpokes

Thank you for providing me an opportunity to be a CloudSpokes community judge and making me realize that it’s tougher judging a challenge than submitting on one :)

My 2 cents!
Talesforce

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