What is the Rails Rumble?
The Rails Rumble is a distributed programming competition where teams of up to 4 people, from all over the world, will have 48 hours to build an innovative web application with Ruby on Rails, or another Rack-based Ruby web framework. After the 48 hours are over (and a brief interim to review submissions), a panel of expert judges will each pick his or her 10 favorite entries. All of the expert picks will be combined to find the top 10 Overall Winners, ranked 1 through 10. In addition, voting will be opened to the public for a special, separate, Public Favorite award.
Are there official rules I can read?
Yes, there are! You can read the official contest rules here.
How are entries judged?
We ask our expert judges to consider a number of aspects, including: originality, usefulness, appearance, and completeness. However, these categories are not individually rated. Rather, expert judges will consider these aspects when coming up with a list of their 10 favorite entries. Experts will then rank their favorites from 1 through 10 and all expert rankings will be combined to come up with the top 10 Overall Winners.
How many winners are there?
There are 10 Overall Winners, ranked 1 through 10, picked by our expert judges. Additionally, we’ll be awarding a separate Best Solo award for the best solo entry, according to our expert judges, and a separate Public Favorite award for the most voted-by-the-public entry. Because the Best Solo and Public Favorite awards are separate, you can win one of the overall spots in addition to one of the special awards.
When does the competition start?
The 2012 Rails Rumble will begin Saturday, October 13th at 00:00:00 UTC (midnight) and continue for the next 48 hours, until Sunday, October 14th at 23:59:59 UTC.
When does registration open?
Registration for the 2012 Rails Rumble will be opened on October 1st and will close on October 7th. We’ll open up as many spots as possible, but there will be limited space. Remember — first come first serve.
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?
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 Linode virtual server for use in the contest.
What do I have to do to help judge applications?
Aside from expert judges, we’ll also be opening up to the public for a public favorite award. After the build part of the competition is over, you’ll be able to sign up as a judge and pick your favorite entries.
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 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! However, we’ll have several aides in place to help with deployment, as well as deployment specialists provided by Linode.
If my company is a sponsor of the Rails Rumble, can I still participate in the competition?
What operating system will the virtual server run?
The virtual server 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 gems and plugins. We encourage you to use any third party help that is publicly available. You must credit all applications, gems, and plugins 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 and/or digital UI mockups. You are not allowed to produce any production digital assets or any test or application code prior to the start of the competition. If you have questions, feel free to contact the organizers.
When will I have access to the code repository and the virtual server?
You will be able to install your distribution of Linux prior to the competition but the virtual server will not boot until the competition begins. You will receive your GitHub repository access when the competition begins.
Can I use my own custom domain?
You can, if you want, but it isn’t required that’s for sure. We’ll provide every entry with a domain, something like your-app.r12.railsrumble.com. If you do use a custom domain, maybe because your app works with subdomains, it’s very important that the domain we provide for your app works. And if at all possible, don’t redirect from your *.r12.railsrumble.com domain to your custom domain. If there is some technical necessity, though, you can. Also, you should include details in your app’s description or resources area in your team’s dashboard about any custom domain you have set up. Oh yeah, you’re welcome to register your domain before the competition starts.
Does my application need to be open 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.
Where do I find my GitHub and Linode information?
Check out your team profile for all the info you could ever need.
Can I push things from before the competition?
Can I change my repository name?
Can I edit commit hooks and deployment keys on my GitHub account?
Using commit-hook services is really awesome, but we’re using it to track your code. So feel free to hit up the admin section on your project and add additional commit hook URLs, or deploy keys, but whatever you do, don’t remove our existing ones. Or else we’ll miss your cool awesome work!
Who makes this contest work?
The Rails Rumble is the hard work of a few organizers. They wrote the code that runs the contest, coordinate the stuff that needs coordinating, and herd the stray cats.
How can I find out more information?
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 us and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.