You could tell it was just a dog and pony show on the 2nd day. Some people were helped, some werent. Then, when you submitted, all you got was a "sorry, your not chosen" -dear john- canned email... Nothing telling you where you could have improved, nothing saying what your score was, no information at all. Just a simple 'sorry'....
Turned out to be a huge waste of time, energy, and money. Wont be coming back, that's for sure."
Edit: According to one of the judges , they only saw and evaluated the 5 Salesforce selected apps. Also the app gallery only shows the five winners . No matter how the finalists were chosen, this is not how you run a hackathon.
Some teams were definitely felt favored. Some were let in well past the entry due-date (giving them more time to submit better presentations). Other products were bogus and nothing more than photoshop mocks. And some companies cheated and purchased thousands of likes over night (they were caught and disqualified).
It was a serious mess. The funniest part was seeing how the companies all had thousands of likes while the actual views of the videos were barely in the hundreds.
I also sell Youtube views, so I could make sure it would be less funny than what you describe.
Popularity contests should be done in person. Harder to cheat if you have to get people to the venue.
It was either $99 or Free (there was a free entry promotion for most of the time during the run up to the hackathon).
> You are, and each of your team members is, a registered attendee of Dreamforce 2013. See the Dreamforce website for event registration information.
How much did that cost? DF14 says it's going to be $799
I think, but I don't know, that DF13 was the same price?
Maybe the 5 is just a key-rollover error from the $99?
Unrelated to your comment. Nice to know I got voted down for pointing out sexism. I thought I was on YC not Reddit.
did it for fun because of a coupon code, but I feel sorry for anyone who paid the full price of admission. if they were going to rig it anyway, why sell hackathon-only tickets? that's pretty malicious.
So maybe, since you have this personal relationship with them, you can get the developers to come here and explain how that happened?
Also, if the winners were eligible, that would help. I would have never entered a "Best Salesforce startup of 2013" competition with a week's worth of work.
The accusations that nobody looked at the submissions and the winners were predetermined sound unsubstantiated.. nobody (who's commenting) knows that. Analytics on your videos? Please. I'd love to see the team that has zero video views, they are telling us it was submitted it and didn't watch it once? Our whole team watched ours multiple times, impossible to tell if the judges did any out of the dozens of views. The idea that the apps weren't used and logged into sounds right - with the amount of time they had to judge (a few hours) they would mostly use the video, description, and probably verify the code was uploaded, and winnow it down to five top ones. We fully expected to win or finish without them logging in to our app which required a custom android build. And no matter what, that leaves the majority of contestants loosing.. it's not a conspiracy people, it's math. Not everybody wins...and it could even be some of the best teams lost, thats endemic to every sort of competition.
But we hear from every complainer, "the only possible way I could loose is cheating, I'm so entitled to this, I DESERVE TO WIN THE HACKATHON, WHERE IS MY TROPHY???? I ALWAYS get a trophy!!!". Sore losers? Check.
And, in closing, I'd like to say what nobody on the internet fourims have ever said: I was wrong. Seems like this is a full on shit show, even though I'm quite glad my team participated (and lost). So go on internet - be hysterical about this travesty of justice, you deserve it.
I don't think I ever said that (hint: I know I never said that, or felt that). In fact, I mention that I didn't think our team would win. I don't know why you're getting so angsty about this, like you personally know the judges, saw the process and think Salesforce is a mom and pop shop with the best intentions.
There are a couple teams that I've seen, and I would have been HAPPY to lose to them. Just simply being out classed is awesome, you get to see just how much better you can get.
Neither you nor any of your team members are an employee of
salesforce.com or its related companies as of September 1, 2013 or during the
Hackathon; nor an immediate family member (parent, sibling, spouse, child) of
or household member to an employee.
Which is totally against the official rules for the Hacktahon, which stated "The application you or your team submits must: have been developed solely as part of this Hackathon"
So there you go.
1) Had a member previously employed by the selection team.
2) Had built their project prior to the hackathon.
3) Was actively helped by the Salesforce team during the hackathon.
4) Was ensured a place by other teams not even having their submissions seen by the judges.
What a fair and balanced outcome! I fully expect everyone to take this event seriously in the future. /s
Day 1: Monday
Came in early 10am-ish. 2nd floor, Moscone West, Hackathon area set up. There was a table. This is where we checked out team in. Room capacity <50% filled.
Nightclub lighting. Imagine walking into a nightclub and turning on your computer to work. That's what this setup was like for 3 days! Someone briefly turned on the lights on Wednesday. I am thinking this had to do with Marc and Jim Cramer stopping by.
There was a camera crew with really expensive gear filming some people on day one. Not sure what this was all about.
Day 1 Overnight
Food truck around midnight. Dead. You'd think more people would stick around overnight to work on their hacks. I'd say there were at most 20 people. 2 dudes were noticeably snoring towards the sponsor tables in the bags. First red flag.
Keynote day. Hacking continues. Hackers are free to watch the keynote on their laptops despite having "keynote" designation on their badges. Security ridiculously tight everywhere.
I started to get a weird vibe about the whole event. I've been to a few other hackathons (angelhack, disrupt, launch, startup weekend, paypal etc). This one seemed less organized and hacker friendly. They had food (think pizza, soda, and ice cream), but as far as wiring (wifi - shoddy, powerstrips - stationary to long desks, lighting - think nightclub-like, flashing blue, green, purple circles, and mainly event production staff present).
Re: Hack submissions.
Instructions were to submit hacks to Challenge Post by 6pm Wednesday. Submissions must include link for a video and meet the rules and requirements. No information was communicated about judging, how finalists would be selected etc.
Waste of my time, money and overall bad vibe from Salesforce.
So does he even care?
What a show...
Perfectly plausible deniability, and the money stays in the company!
They don't work nearly as well with more valuable prizes. In my view, a hackathon is best as a starting point ... for teams, projects and ideas. They are much better chances to "network", particularly for hackers/makers, than so called "networking events", which are usually a waste of time.
Hackathons also work great for startups to introduce developers to their technology & culture, and perhaps recruit them.
The worst hackathons are when the intended outcome is that the winning team(s) go on to start a company with the proceeds of the win and/or are accepted into some newish accelerator/incubator.
In the case of Salesforce and it's extreme prize, the controversy could have been predicted .. there was no way they could police a fair competition (and that was unlikely their goal anyway). Their goal was similar to that of a nightclub that doesn't have the desired demographics, so they gave free cover ($99 "hacker" tickets), drinks and raffle tickets to the desired group (programmers in this case).
While the majority of the conference attendees were wandering around, mingling and generally enjoying themselves, every once in a while, they might chance by the "hackathon room" and look upon the poor creatures as they would monkeys in a zoo.
Quite the spectacle, it must have been..
Excellent job picking a big market
Salesforce did a really smart job of hiding all other entries apart from the winning ones. I have done a few hackathons on Challenge Post earlier and this is the only one where they are not showing all submissions but only the winning submission in the gallery. While that is food for thought, I feel terrible for myself and some of the other awesome apps that folks built for this hackathon.
So, here are the top 5 apps that would have made the finals if I were judging this solely based on the videos I found on YouTube (and I've been doing software development for over 25 years). Just to be unbiased, this does not even include my own submission
* Chatter Complete
* Matt Lacey's app (Can't remember the name)
If I were to pick the top two, it would be Matt Lacey's app and Chatter Complete. I can't believe how those folks missed out.
Discussion at - http://boards.developerforce.com/t5/Salesforce-1-Million-Hac...
They launched in stealth on HN around 12months ago and reached the front page. Since then they've been operating under the radar working on the technology.
I'm not sure about Team Selection, whether to have random, pre-determined, or 'quick pitch' style.
Sometimes Hackathons can be a great experience for the participants. Sometimes, however, the evaluation criteria can ruin. We had one of the only functioning projects, but were docked points for using Twilio instead of AT&T's shitty API. (One of the Sensei's even told us to use Twilio.)
Clearly not every submission was even opened according to #dfnolaunch on twitter.
I would love to force devs to use git and implement a true hackathon system (Open Source) to run hackathons and avoid cheating.
The one thing I'd ask them to change is for the prizes to be a little better distributed this year. I'd hate to be those second place winners who perhaps _just barely_ lost to the first place winners but had a $950,000 dropoff.
Perhaps first place $500,000, second place $250,000, third place $100,000 etc.