Big News, Rails Rumble is now Ruby Rampage!

2009 Contest FAQ

Aug 23, 2008

What is the Rails Rumble?

It’s a programming competition where teams of up to 4 people will have 48 hours to build an innovative web application in Ruby on Rails. After the 48 hours are over (and a brief interim to review submissions), we’ll open the polls up for the public to rate the various entries on Design, Completeness, Innovation and Usefulness.

When does the competition start?

The competition will begin Saturday, August 22nd at 12:00am GMT (midnight) and continue for the next 48 hours until Sunday, August 23rd at 11:59pm GMT.

Where is the competition held?

It’s a virtual sort of thing. That is to say, your team can work from anywhere. Isn’t the Internet great?

When does registration open?

Registration usually opens about 4-8 weeks before the event itself. Stay tuned to the blog. We’ll let you know. We’ll try to open up as many spots as possible but there will be limited space, so remember—first come first serve.

What kind of things do I have to know in order to compete as a contestant?

Well, a solid grasp of Ruby, Rails, and HTML would be a good start! You’ll also need to have a basic understanding of Git (for source control) and Linux (for deployment of your application). We’ll be providing you with a Git repository and a Linux VPS for use in the contest.

What do I have to do to help judge applications?

Just sign up as a judge! Once the build portion of the competition is over, our expert panel will review all qualifying applications to determine the top tier. Once they’re finished and the top applications have been identified, the public judging period will begin. You can log in and cast your vote for your favorite applications, and help us choose the best of the best.

Where will Git repositories be hosted?

GitHub will be providing free private repositories to each team for the duration of the contest. You must use this repository for development (it’s a great excuse to learn Git if you haven’t already!) and someone from your team must push commits at least twice per day to demonstrate progress.

Where will the applications be hosted?

Each team will have a Linode 360 Virtual Private Server available to them for the duration of the contest and voting period. All applications will be hosted this way. Teams will have to build their own deployment environment. Part of running a successful web application is deploying it, after all!

If my company is a sponsor of the Rails Rumble, can I still participate in the competition?


What operating system will the VPS run?

The VPS will run on Linux from any of the distributions Linode offers.

Can I use third party gems, plugins, libraries, templates, icons, etc.?

Part of the beauty of the Rails ecosystem is the widespread availability of helpful plugins and gems. We encourage you to use any third party help that is publicly available. You must credit all applications, plugins, and gems that help your application stay afloat. You can do this in your team profile.

Can I develop a plugin or gem for my application before the competition?

So long as the plugin is publicly available and does not provide the majority of your application’s function. It would be acceptable to develop and release a plugin that provides an interface to an API or builds forms, for instance. It would be unacceptable to hide your controllers and views inside a plugin, “release it,” and install it once the competition begins.

What am I allowed to do to prepare for the competition?

You’re free to plan and design the requirements for your application. You’re also free to work on paper UI mockups. You are not allowed to produce digital design mockups or any code or assets pertinent to the competition prior to its start.

When will I have access to the code repository and the VPS?

You will be able to install your distribution of Linux prior to the competition but the VPS will not boot until the competition begins. You will receive your GitHub login information when the competition begins.

Does my application need to be open source?

While we do encourage teams to share their source, the competition does not require it. We hope that some of you will deliver truly innovative web properties during the event; it shouldn’t be a requirement that you share your secret sauce with others unless you want to.

Who makes this contest work?

The Rails Rumble is the hard work of a few volunteer organizers, including Nick Plante, Darcy Laycock, Jeff Rafter, and Kevin Gisi. They wrote the code that runs the contest, coordinate the stuff that needs coordinating, and herd the stray cats.

Significant support is also donated by our infrastructure partners at Linode and GitHub, without whom this would simply not be possible.

How can I find out more information?

The primary source for up-to-date Rails Rumble information is this blog. Make sure to subscribe the news feed.

We also maintain both an announcements and a discussion list with Google Groups. The announcements list is low volume and only used to broadcast critical contest information (open registration and voting details, winner announcements, etc).

Finally, you can also follow @railsrumble on Twitter or visit #railsrumble on the freenode IRC network, which tends to be a gathering place for developers interested in the Rumble. It’s a great place to find potential teammates and most of the contest organizers also regularly idle in there.

My company or organization would like to sponsor the event. How can I do that?

Contact the contest organizers. They’ll hook you up, so you can hook us up.

Who should I contact about media relations or for general inquiries?

Contact and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.