Big News, Rails Rumble is now Ruby Rampage!

2009 Contest Kickoff

Jun 30, 2009

So we’ve been a bit quiet on the blogging front since Railsconf, but rest assured, the rusty gears are indeed turning here at Rails Rumble HQ. Things have been slowly ramping up over the past couple weeks, and organizers have been actively engaging with the community on the discussion list.

As I’m sure you already know from the teaser page, the competition weekend is August 22nd – 23rd this year. We’ll be opening registration for contestants early next week if all goes as planned. It’ll be announced here as soon as it’s live, so subscribe to our feed if you haven’t already done so, and we’ll be sure to keep you up to date.

In the meantime, I thought I’d drop a quick status update and let you know about some changes that are in store for the contest this year.

The first thing, obviously, is that we’ve got some brand new threads for the site. What do you think? The design this year was done by our friend Zach Inglis (with illustration / robot battle logo created by yours truly), and cut up by Jeff and Erin. I’m really happy with how it came out, and we hope you like it too.

The registration process for teams this year is going to be pretty much the same as it was before. The one difference is that a (very small) mandatory donation will be required if you wish to participate as a contestant (one donation per team). The reason for this is to better qualify participants; our infrastructure partners at Linode and GitHub have to reserve resources for each team and in the past we’ve had some issues with people signing up and failing to compete. At least this way, we lessen the chances of that happening and at the same time can collect some small amounts of money to go to a good cause. You’ll be able to choose the cause you want to donate to as well; at the moment the choices are either the RailsBridge project or the Rails Rumble organizational team (that’s us!)

Lastly and most importantly, the voting process is going to be changed up and streamlined this year. We’ll be using a panel of industry experts to pre-qualify applications, and a smaller number of the best of the best will go on to open public voting. Our experts will represent a cross-section of industry folks with experience in startups, community building, design, and development. Each of your web apps will be rated by three of them, and each vote will be accompanied by a comment from the expert noting at least one thing that they really liked, or one way you could improve your app in the future, etc.

The public voting period will last 2-3 days, and be open to anyone. Our belief is that by limiting voting options, we’ll attract more casual web users to the best-of-competition apps, and by combining expert and public scores, we’ll lessen the impact of any ballot stuffing activities that might occur and increase the quality of voter feedback. For more details, see the hybrid voting system discussion on the mailing list.

Thanks for listening — you’ll be hearing more from us real soon!