Hurray and congrats to the 3 winners of our developer contest OpenSpaces Developer Challenge!

And the winners are (sorted alphabetically)…

  • Who won the grand prize?
  • How was the review/judging process?
  • What is so special about the winning projects?
  • How do I join the next contest?

And the Winners are…

If you're interested to know who won the first, second and third prizes, join our Award Event at TheServerSide Java Symposium-Europe, Clarion Congress Hotel, on Wednesday, June 18 @ 5PM.

In this evening event, you'll get a chance to drink, eat, network with fellow developers attending TheServerSide Java Symposium, meet this year's contest winners (Jason, Kirill and Leonardo) and hear from them about the entire experience.

Do I need to register to the award event?
No. Attendees of TheServerSide Java Symposium-Europe don't need any invitation. It's at the venue of the event so you can simply join us. Anyone else who's not an attendee of the symposium but is interested to join the award event, please feel free to contact me and I'll arrange the details.

A Tough, but Exciting, Review Process

Deciding who the winners are was not a simple task for our judges. We were very lucky to have an impressive list of entries in our contest. Entries ranged from grid setup utilities, to monitoring tools, to implementations of popular APIs, to full applications – an impressive showing by the development community!

The technologies, platforms/frameworks and languages used by the developers of these projects were also diversified and advanced! We've seen the use of dynamic languages such as JRuby, Groovy, and PHP; creative integrations and cool frameworks, such as Grizzly and Memcached Protocol and Amazon SimplDB; and fascinating combinations like Java Proxies, CGLIB, and bytecode manipulation.

At the end of the day, though, a competition means that not everyone wins :(, so to determine the ones who do, the process we followed included three stages:

  1. Online presentations of project captains to the judges
  2. Very thorough code review of the top 5 projects (based on scoring of phase 1)
  3. Final decision

The criteria judges looked at were:

  • Applicability/Usefulness – The potential size of the project target audience and the level of the project usefulness to that audience.
  • Creativity & Elegance – Innovative thinking, outside-the-box coding, and novel or interesting solutions.
  • Synergy with GigaSpaces XAP – Projects that, integrated with OpenSpaces, create extraordinary synergy and value.
  • Completeness – The project should solve a specific problem as completely as possible.
  • Code Quality and Documentation – The code should be readable, self-evident and easily-maintainable.

***By the way, taking into considerations that most (if not all) developers were working on their entries in their spare times, AND that synergy with XAP was not necessarily their top priority, the last three criteria got lighter weights than the first two (Applicability and Creativity).

Since besides the winners we've reviewed projects that excelled in some or most of the criteria, I'd like to share the top ones with you: Convergence, OpenSpaces Binary Calculator, SimpleDB, TGris, and Web Hits Aggregator/PHP Connector.

Before moving to the reasons DomainPRoxy, Gigapult, and GoDo won, I'd like to thank our amazing judges:

  • Adrian Colyer, CTO, SpringSource
  • Joe Ottinger, Editor,
  • John Davies, Technical Director and Head of Research, IONA Technologies
  • Julian Brown, Architecture Consultant, RWE
  • Keerat Sharma, Platform Engineer, Gallup
  • Ross Mason, Co-founder and CTO, MuleSource

They all gave each and every project great attention if during the presentations and if after, when looking through the project sections on the site. They got excited and fought for those projects they believed were the best ones…yeah yeah, they were not always in agreement with one another ;). The most beautiful thing is…that they seemed to be having a blast! So, thank you guys for all the time, effort and thought that you put into this thing, and most importantly…it was definitely fun to go through it with you.

I would like to take this opportunity and also thank Uri Cohen from GigaSpaces, who helped the judges with the code review of the projects and provided invaluable and thorough feedback on each.

The Jewel in the Crown

The best projects tend to have a quality about them where, once you've seen them, they look so obvious that you are left thinking, "Why didn't that exist already?" Most of the projects in the contest had that quality to them, but the three winners all stood out: either they solved a problem that was elemental, such that once you know about the project, you can't imagine not having that available – or they simplified a problem domain very elegantly – or they presented a solution in a way that people might have thought possible, but wouldn't have normally attempted. The projects aren't complete yet, because they're still in development – and some of them represent man-months of effort…

But they all work!

DomainProxy brings JPA to the GigaSpaces platform, allowing developers to use the APIs they prefer, where they prefer them – and with JPA becoming the de facto standard for object/relational persistence in Java, migrating to GigaSpaces as a data platform gets easier and easier all the time.

Gigapult brings a DSL to GigaSpaces configuration – simply define a space with a simple custom language, and Gigapult manages the creation of that space. No XML, no configuration mechanics – just "space_url { space_name "customSpace" }" and you're done.

GoDo is not only a good application – it's a kind application, and an innovative one. It's an application that enables sharing of goods, which doesn't really stand out until you realize that Leonardo also created a way to use JSON to serialize objects into and out of GigaSpaces, and that the UI is also maintained in the GigaSpaces space.

In each case, the project showed off new uses of GigaSpaces in ways we might not have imagined before the contest – which is exactly why we wanted to run the contest in the first place. 🙂

Join our Next Developer Contest

Since this year's contest was so much fun, we've decided that we'll repeat it next year! We're still finalizing the process and criteria and I'll post all the details in a dedicated announcement in the coming couple of weeks.

Nevertheless, I can already tell you that we plan to have a "super-early birds draw" during the award event at TheServerSide Java Symposium-Europe (Wednesday, June 18), where all Concepts submitted by that day by TSSJS attendees will enter a draw  for 3 scholarship prizes, each in the value of $1000.

I hope I managed to answer all your questions about the contest and winners, but if you're still looking for more info pleaaaaaaaaase contact me 🙂 .

Alit Bar Sadeh

OpenSpaces Developer Challenge WINNERS
Alit Bar Sadeh
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