* Submission provides evidence that code is in use by other projects, or is running in production at Netflix or elsewhere
* Submission has a large number of watchers, stars and forks on github.com
So the entrant has to prove that it is used in production at Netflix? And why would they care about the number of watchers/stars/forks? If I made a great contribution to something very specific (let's say aiming for the "Best contribution to performance improvements" or "Best contribution to code quality" awards), why would anyone watch/star/fork my repo? This seems more like a popularity contest to be honest...
I guess I'm partly missing the point of the competition, and missed the fact that the entry could be anything(?) and does not have to do with something directly Netflix-related (either customer facing or operations).
I am not going to debate that. As a long time Netflix customer, the recommendation engine does not impress me. This is what I was recently recommended (thriller? Okay), see anything wrong with this picture:
I'm sure this will be massively popular, but the cynic in me can't help but think this is a great way for a company to do very cheap R&D.
It's similar to their algorithm contest - where they basically had a fixed potential investment but reaped rewards thousands of times greater than what they could have afforded by tapping into people willing to work for free as a hobby.
On one hand I think it's a great idea, but on the other I'm concerned about how this can be exploited; industries built on passions tend to massively undervalue employees. See: Aviation, Sports, Publishing.
The important aspects of the recommendation data challenge was put in production. Of course, it wasn't the precise weights and models, but the important ideas, namely ensembling and RBMs (which didn't exist before the challenge) were put in place. What you're describing is a misunderstanding of the statement from Netflix.
Netflix didn't really pull the plug on the API -- everyone who was using it (which were only a few people) are still getting the same experience as they had before. There will just be no new growth in the use of the API.
I was at their meetup yesterday. What you're implying is definitely _not_ the vibe.
I thought Netflix OSS is great. They're opensourcing something like 30 projects, putting on super well organized meetups with expo like rooms where you can pick Netflixers brain about the software and their internal systems in general, free food&beers, free Ts, etc. It was great.
They do it go give back to the community, to get patches and ports from the community, and hiring of course, there's nothing wrong with that!
I was there too. I went with a coworker who is a former Netflix employee. He was almost celebrating with each announcement. His biggest complaint about working at a startup is not having access to the tools they have built up. Netflix has built up an amazing platform that is tightly integrated with AWS. By making these tools open source our little startup has a quicker route to a robust and scalable platform. In my opinion that is awesome.
Or, they're encouraging developers to have fun with their open source projects and putting a prize at the end of it. It's not like there's someone twisting the ends of his moustache contemplating turning them closed source once they've got some good code on there.
Thats great to hear the ami bakery is finally getting open sourced. I wrote my own ami bakery and it has completely changed the way we do releases at my startup. I'm Looking forward to hacking on this for the contest.