CodeSnipers First Birthday Contest

Greetings and welcome to CodeSniper's First Birthday Contest.

For those of you just joining us, we launched one year ago this morning with 10 contributors. We've had some ups and downs, some changing of the guard, and some silent periods (*ahem*July*ahem*), but overall, it's been fun and educational so far. On the flip side, I know of at least three CodeSnipers who have been contacted by companies and had their contributions here referenced. Not huge, but still exciting.

Now the contest part...

According to my numbers, as of yesterday 14 August, we've brought in $52.16 via Adsense and Text Link Ads with the bulk of that being from TLA. Nothing to retire on, but it's been steadily growing and is about 10x more than I expected. Therefore, in honor of CodeSniper's first birthday and our tagline "Connecting Developers, Building Worlds", I'm doing something fun with the money.

Starting now through 11:59 EDT on Friday September 1st, we are accepting essays about "the technology person who has had the biggest impact on me". Write 2-3 paragraphs and tell us how the person has made the impact on you. It can be a positive or a negative, related to business, technology, marketing, etc, but the person(s) *must* be involved in technology.

The prize is $50 in books from the Pragmatic Programmers. They have a variety of books on software development, project management, team tools, and misc other things, so you should find a variety of things to suite your tastes and experience. Shipping in the continental US does not count against this total but other shipping does. Conveniently, the Pragmatic Programmers sell ebooks of all their stuff.

Now for the judging... Starting on Tuesday September 5th, the top 5-10 essays will be posted - a few each day - available for everyone to read and comment upon. The following Monday, the judging begins. Judging will be from the community and will be based on a simple poll running for the week. Everyone can see and track the results and the winner will be selected at 5pm EDT on Friday September 15th and announced on the following Monday. If for some reason, the winner decides to pass or is not eligible*, the next person will be selected.

To submit, simply create an account, log into your account, and submit a blog entry (via the link in the upper left). It does require a valid email address. Please make sure that your language and content is fit for general public consumption.

If you have any questions, ask away.

* All normal contest rules apply. Void were prohibited, etc, etc. I do not spam you or even email most of the people on the site unless there is some sort of problem with their account. The only people explicitly ineligible are myself and my wife. We don't need more books at the moment anyway. ;)

Update: Just to be clear... that's $52.16 ever, not this month. While a bit of cash is nice, that's not the reason I started the site.

Great idea, happy b-day!

I've been meaning to write something about my first mentor at my first job out of college...

So do it

And have a chance at some free books out of the deal. ;)

A year.

Wow, it's really been a year already.

Nice idea on the contest, it'll be interesting to read the submissions.

Contest

Well, I wanted to do something different with the money because although it's nice, it has never been the point.

I figured what better way is there to connect people than encourage them to talk about the people who have influenced them the most. I suspect we'll get entires about Joel, Eric Sink, Paul Graham, etc, but I suspect that we'll find out about some bosses and project managers with great visions, leadership, and influence that simply can't be replaced.

I obviously have some biases, but I'm not making the final decision here. :)

Influential Programers

http://steve-yegge.blogspot.com/2006/07/get-famous-by-not-programming.html

I don't have anyone to write about! And I am curious about how many other people are like me.
Maybe I'll submit an essay about that even though it is off topic.
The "pragmatic programmers" have been influential, but mainly for validating hunches that I had no real basis for. I have been meaning to read the gospel of knuth, but it has a lot of other reading to compete with...

Someone should start a "Big Brother" program for programmers. I hold that aprenticeships are far superior to any academic, mass-education program.
One oportunity for learning that I cherish in one of my other disciplines is teaching. I learn a lot by explaining and demonstrating. So I could see participating on both sides of a big-brother relationship simultaneously.

I appreciate you holding the contest and I hope there are many good submissions. J Spolsky sadly reported that he is having trouble finding good new writing on software.
http://joelonsoftware.com/items/2006/08/05.html
Steve Yegge's post I think makes a good case for the value of such writing for the whole clan of the programer.

How could you not?

Good comment and reference to what Joel said about writing, but how could you not have: "the technology person who has had the biggest impact on me". That really would be something to read about, but I think that in writing it you would surely come across that person. My first question would be, why not Joel? And then surely someone has had more impact on you in this field than Joel... etc

Just Programmers

I initially was thinking of limiting the subject to just programmers, but after thinking about who I read, the books on my shelf, and who I seek advice from, I thought it would be a disservice to some of the incredibly smart non-programmers out there.

Besides, having a successful project/job/career isn't purely based on tech ability. Establishing yourself as a leader, a visionary, a connector, an advocate, or an investor can provide a completely different perspective and allow others to succeed in ways we just can't imagine.

(climbing down from soapbox)