by Mike Sedzielewski

Lesser-known developer contests you can join in 2018

Daniel Borowski published a great list of coding challenges you can join for fun and/or to test your programming skills. Contests like TopCoder or Google Code Jam are well-designed and offer high rewards. The competition is usually very high as well. In this article, I’d like to list less-known online contest you can join in 2018. (Note: the vast majority of them isn’t based on algorithmic problems).

Js13kgames

Link: http://js13kgames.com

Challenge:

It’s a JavaScript coding competition for HTML5 Game Developers. The game assets should be smaller than or equal to 13 kilobytes. It must work and be playable in at least two browsers: Firefox and Chrome. The rules also define the main theme, and it’s highly advised to follow it in your game (2017 theme- “lost”).

Prizes:

Sponsor’s packages such as:

Past winners:

  • Ryan ‘Rybar’ Malm — you’re a lowly space mining bot who suffers a terrible accident and is separated from your crew. Find enough fuel and body components to repair yourself and explore.
  • Maxime Euziere — a big puzzle game and a long journey to find a lost kid.
  • Rémi Vansteelandt — get control of the sectors back by capturing beacons and defending them against enemy units.

Yelp Dataset challenge

Link: https://www.yelp.com/dataset/challenge

Challenge:

The challenge calls students to use Yelp dataset in innovative ways. It’s a chance to conduct research or analysis on Yelp data and share your discoveries. For example, the 2017 set included information about local businesses in 12 metropolitan areas from 4 countries.

Prizes:

  • ten awards for $5,000

Past winners:

  • “Semantic Scan: Detecting Subtle, Spatially Localized Events in Text Streams”. Abhinav Maurya, Kenton Murray, Yandong Liu, Chris Dyer, William W. Cohen, and Daniel B. Neill.
  • “Topic Regularized Matrix Factorization for Review Based Rating Prediction”. Jiachen Li, Yan Wang, Xiangyu Sun, Chengliang Lian, and Ming Yao, from the Language Technologies Institute, School of Computer Science, at Carnegie Mellon University.
  • “From Group to Individual Labels Using Deep Features”. Dimitrios Kotzias (University of California, Irvine), Misha Denil (University of Oxford, UK), Nando De Freitas (University of Oxford, UK, and Canadian Institute for Advanced Research), and Padhraic Smyth (University of California, Irvine).

XD HAX Developer Challenge

Link: https://xdhax.devpost.com/

Challenge:

Developers are asked to build innovative apps utilizing cloud technologies. Such apps are to benefit small businesses worldwide. Competition is divided into categories:

  • Best NEW App integration (with Xero API)
  • Best enhancement of an existing App integration
  • Most Innovative use of Xero’s APIs
  • Best New Open Source Project with Xero’s API

Prizes:

$5000 in Amazon Web Services credits, $2500 in cash, plus featuring in Xero’s resources. Additionally, in the best integration category, the winner gets an opportunity to exhibit in Startup Alley at a Xerocon of your choice. This has an approximate $5000 value.

Past winners:

OPEN OIT CHALLENGE 4.0

Link: https://iot.eclipse.org/open-iot-challenge/

Challenge:

You need to create a solution based on open standards and open source technology. The solutions are judged on the following criteria:

  • Applicability of a solution to a specific industry, like Smart Cities, Industrie 4.0, and Remote Health.
  • Completeness of solution.
  • Use of open standards and open source technology.
  • Amount of community discussion from the participants when they built their solution.

Prizes:

1st prize:

  • $3,000 gift card to be used in an online shop for electronic supplies and open hardware.
  • $1,000 scholarship to attend a future Eclipse Event in 2017.
  • 1 Reactive Blocks professional license (EUR 4,800).

2nd prize:

  • $1,000 gift card to be used in an online shop for electronic supplies and open hardware.
  • 1 Reactive Blocks professional license (EUR 4,800).

3rd prize:

  • $500 gift card to be used in an online shop for electronic supplies and open hardware.
  • 1 Reactive Blocks professional license (EUR 4,800).

Past winners:

Photo by James Owen on Unsplash

Space App challenge

Link: https://2017.spaceappschallenge.org/

Start date: April 2018

Challenge:

Space App challenge is a NASA International hackathon that occurs over 48 hours in cities around the world. It’s about building apps judged in many different categories:

  • Ideate and Create! Challenges in this category will ask you to interpret NASA Earth Science data creatively. You will be asked to design new means to experience NASA Earth Science data and technologies.
  • Our ecological neighborhood. Challenges in this category will ask you to use NASA Earth Science data to study ecological systems. You will also generate solutions to understand life here on Earth better.
  • Warning! Danger ahead. This category will ask you to analyze NASA data. You will assist in monitoring natural disasters and phenomena associated with health risks. You will also be asked to assess their impacts on life and property.
  • Planetary blues. In this category will ask you to analyze and visualize NASA’s data on the hydrosphere and the cryosphere.
  • The Earth and us. This category will ask you to combine NASA Earth Science data with sociological and economic information. The result will generate new understanding and perspectives on human-environment interactions.
Photo by Team UI8 on Unsplash

Prizes:

Past winners:

  • Best use of data: Scintilla mitigates the impact of poor air quality on the global community. This is done by democratizing air quality data collection.
  • Best use of hardware: The Canaria system of CO2 monitor patch and earpiece acts as a lifeline to the wearer. It simultaneously monitors heart rate, blood oxygen, and atmospheric CO2 levels.
  • Galactic impact: This is a web tool that provides the near real-time visualization of glacier surface velocity fields. It is obtained by processing free SENTINEL-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar images through our own algorithm. This is enhanced with the addition of environmental variables from NASA GIBS.
  • Best mission concept: The solution is a data glove to be worn by astronauts as part of their space suit. The data glove is a network of wireless devices that provide communications in a variety of environments. These include subterranean environments, like caves, caverns, and lava tubes on the moon, Mars, and asteroids.
  • People’s choice: MarsHopper is a plane for the investigation of Mars poles and its surroundings. It uses CO2, that in solid form covers surface to create jet thrust.
  • Most inspirational: Kid On The Moon is an interactive app. It fosters curiosity to inspire the next generation of space explorers.

TADHack

Link: https://tadhack.com/2017/

Challenge:

TEDHack is the largest telecoms-focused hackathon worldwide. The competition is divided into following categories:

  • Hackhathon. This category is an idea or an answer to a sponsor’s challenge. You can work on your ideas before the event, or create ideas during the event from all the great networking opportunities.
  • Showcase. This category is for products that have already been released commercially. It can also include products that have had significant development.

Prizes:

$1000 — $200 in cash (dependently on category), plus packages from sponsors.

Past winners:

(More categories and winners.)

React Riot

Link: https://www.reactriot.com/

Challenge:

48h to build an app by using React JS. There is no specific topic or theme. Entries are judged on a 1–5 scale across 3 dimensions:

  • Innovation — How original is the idea and execution?
  • Design — How good does it look and feel to use?
  • Utility / Fun — Is the site offering a service I’d use again and again?

Prizes:

Sponsors provide prizes, no cash rewards. Examples with estimated values:

  • Algolia — $500 gift card of your choice
  • Sencha — ExtReact Premium License year per team member ($4,780 value)
  • Algolia — 2 year Startup Plan per team member ($4,704 value)
  • Frontend Masters — 6 months membership to Frontend Masters per team member ($936 value)
  • ag-Grid — 1 Developer license ($495 value)
  • Github — 1-year Developer Plan per team member ($336 value)
  • AgileBits — 1 Password license per team member ($144 value)

Past winners:

  • The Definitely Ending Story — Get your thinking cap on to puzzle your way into Granny’s house. Navigate your way around town, and talk to the townsfolk to pick up items.
  • Composer — Lets you choose chords and instrument types to create your very own sound composition, that you can share with your friends.
  • Okay, Fine! — A chat room that uses AI to analyze and visualize tone
  • DungeonLogic — You are helping to the dark mage, that has a strange hobby. He collects the coins in strange places and uses dark magic to control the environment, for example, to lift something or pull down.
  • PewPew — Pew pew is a real-time multiplayer game where players can battle each other using their voice.
  • Fill Me Up — FillMeUp addresses a major pain in Nepal — refueling vehicles. It is a platform for suppliers to reach out to more consumers by providing valuable petrol pump statistics and information.

Stellar Build Challenge

Link: https://www.stellar.org/lumens/build/

Challenge:

Contestants are asked to build applications which match following requirements:

  • Continues usability improvements and polish to what is there now.
  • Applications using multi-sig in a novel and interesting ways.
  • Open federation service or other applications taking advantage of a federation.
  • Sending lumens to any address.

You can also build a wallet solution which matches following dimensions:

  • Continue usability improvements and polish to what is there now.
  • Has multiple accounts.
  • Presents good design.
  • Sends lumens to any email address.
  • Has other features that allow easy on-boarding and increased virality.

Other categories include tokens, issuing ICO, trading tools or remittance app.

Prizes:

2 000 000–350 000 Lumens (Lumens are the native asset of the Stellar network)

Past winners:

ANGULAR ATTACK

Link: https://www.angularattack.com/

Challenge:

All entries have to be applications created with Angular. You have 48 hours to build your solution and pass it through (entries should be web applications). Apps will be judged on a 1–5 scale across 3 dimensions:

  • Innovation — How original is the idea and execution?
  • Design — How good does it look and feel to use?
  • Utility / Fun — Is the site offering a service I’d use again and again?

Prizes:

Packages from sponsors, for example:

  • Kendo UI — $500 gift card of your choice
  • NativeScript — $500 gift card of your choice
  • Kendo UI — BONUS $2,000 gift card of your choice if you use Kendo UI
  • NativeScript — BONUS $2,000 gift card of your choice if you use NativeScript
  • Frontend Masters — 6 months membership to Frontend Masters per team member ($936 value)
  • Scotch — 1-year membership to Scotch School per team member ($480 value)
  • SitePoint — 1-year Premium membership per team member ($396 value)
  • Github — 1-year Developer Plan per team member ($336 value)
  • Rollbar — 6 months Bootstrap Plan ($300 value)
  • AgileBits — 1 password license per team member ($144 value)

Past winners:

  • Team winner — the game provides a 6x6 board with items and a set of clues.
  • Solo winner — a drum machine and chat application. This application lets you create and listen to beats in real time with your peers. This can be accomplished irrespective of the places where your peer composer resides.
  • Innovation winner — a fun immersive augmented reality game. In this game, toddlers have to spot the alphabets using the device camera.
  • Design winner — a turn-based multiplayer game that players need throws a rock at the opponent with their slings.
  • Utility/fun winner — it is a one-page web application that gives the download links to the videos.
  • Public favorite — one of the most awesome tools to create your own story.

Node Knockout

Link: https://www.nodeknockout.com/

Challenge:

Node Knockout is an online hackathon. Teams compete over a 48 hour period to build the best app they can, using Node.js. After app submission, it is scored by one of the expert judges:

  • Innovation — How original is the idea and execution?
  • Design — How good does it look and feel to use?
  • Utility / Fun — Is the site offering a service I’d use again and again?

Prizes:

Founded by sponsors, no cash rewards. For example, “Judges favorite” received:

  • Heroku — $500 gift card of your choice
  • Frontend Masters — 1year subscription per team member (up to $1,872 value)
  • Blitline — $100 credit per team member (up to $400 value)
  • Github — 1-year subscription per team member (up to $336 value)
  • AgileBits 1Password — 1-year subscription per team member (up to $144 value)
  • Papertrail — 1-year subscription (up to $84 value)
  • Component IO — 6 months Standard plan ($60 value)
  • Rollbar — 1-month Bootstrap plan ($49 value)

Past winners:

  • The best overall score by judges was awarded to the 💯 Store, This is a magical place where you can design and actually order custom emoji hats, t-shirts, and mugs and get them delivered the mail just a week or two later.
  • The best overall score by participants was awarded to DuckNockout. DuckNockout is a technological shooting game that brings nostalgia from Duck Hunt of the 80's.
  • The highest innovation score — tech word assembling game with git commands.
  • The highest design score — a fun little game made in an 8-bit-like style. You’ve found the perfect wave, with all that’s left to do is to ride it without falling.
  • The highest utility/fun score — this is a game that uses your microphone as input. If you’re loud enough, the character will move right. If you’re quiet, the character will move left. Aim for the branches. If you hit the bottom, you lose.
  • The most votes — multiplayer game includes knowledge, quickness, forecast.

24 Pull Requests

Link: https://24pullrequests.com/about

Start date: December 1–24

Challenge:

You’re asked to send 24 pull requests between December 1st and December 24th. The idea is basically to encourage developers to give back to open source with little gifts of code throughout December.

Prizes:

Becoming true OS developer

Photo by Mariah Ashby on Unsplash

ATOS IT challenge

Link: https://www.atositchallenge.net/

Challenge:

Come up with an innovative concept for an application based on Chatbots & AI. The topic for the Atos IT Challenge 2018 is as follows:

“Devise an innovative use case and build a prototype leveraging Artificial Intelligence and conversational interfaces. Show how this can provide benefit to the people and/or transform business, and how you could further develop your solution and take it to market.”

You can use devices like the Amazon Echo Dot or Google’s AIY Projects with a Raspberry Pi to provide an interface, a web service or APIs such as API.ai or wit.ai.

Prizes:

  • 1st prize: €10,000.
  • The two finalists (2nd, 3rd prize) get respectively €5,000 and €3,000.

Past winners:

  • Quo (Lancaster University in the UK)
  • Evoto (Loughborough University in the UK)
  • E-tickets (ENSEIRB-MATMECA in France)
The 3 finalists of 2017 ATOS IT challenge

Mercedes Benz Digital Challenge

Link: http://www.mercedes-benz-challenge.com/

Challenge:

Develop new and innovative use cases (app or another idea) using Mercedes car emulator, mock APIs, and SDKs. In the Digital Challenge, you get access to 80+ mock APIs, mobile SDKs (iOS and Android), and a car emulator.

The APIs relate to car chassis, digital keys, points of interest, parking, and so much more. And, if combined with external APIs, the only limit should be contestant’s creativity.

Prizes:

  • 1st place: Besides €15K, the winning team will be awarded two tickets to the 2017 Lisbon Web Summit. There they will present their solution alongside Mercedes-Benz.
  • 2nd place: The runners-up will receive €6K and the chance to continue discussions with the Mercedes-Benz team. The runners-up will potentially continue development beyond the Digital Challenge.
  • 3rd place: The second runners-up will receive €3K and the chance to continue discussions with the Mercedes-Benz team. The second runners-up will potentially continue development beyond the Digital Challenge.

Past winners:

  1. First prize Safe drive. Safe_drive is an app that monitors driving aptitude. It can also restore driver’s attention, testing driver’s ability to answer, take safety measures, and alert emergency services.
  2. Second prize KarMa KarMa is an Android application designed using Mercedes Benz APIs. It provides a centralized platform, on which, the users can rely upon for all their car needs.
  3. Third prize Virtuo — Virtuo is a game changer in the car rental industry.

$100,000 Small Business App Showdown 2018

Link: https://intuit.promo.eprizes.com/showdown2018/

Challenge:

The challenge is to publish a small business app on Apps.com. To be eligible, apps must be published on the QuickBooks App Store at Apps.com between August 16, 2017, and August 15, 2018.

Prizes:

Each of ten finalists gets:

  • featured space in a Finalists gallery at QuickBooks Connect exhibition hall,
  • a QuickBooks Connect pass,
  • opportunity to demonstrate and pitch an app to a panel of judges and compete for $100,000 Grand prize,
  • one additional QuickBooks Connect pass for a business partner,
  • and three nights’ accommodations at a hotel determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion.

One grand prize is a $100,000 check.

Past winners:

ShopVOX . ShopVOX is a comprehensive web-based, easy to use solution for custom manufacturer businesses. It enables such businesses to manage everything in their shop. This includes sales leads, quotes, inventory, and workflow. It can also include production, invoices, staff, customers, vendors and much more.

Coding contest

Link: https://www.codingcontest.org/en/contest/ccc/

Start date: 27 April 2018

Challenge:

Programmatic tests and puzzles to solve during international competition in many locations. These will also be available online (all of them start at the same time).

Prizes:

  • Prize for the online winner is 50€ Amazon voucher.
  • Prizes for winners in locations are hosted by particular sponsors — “In locations with a raffle, you have the chance to win various prizes. The better you score in the contest, the more lots you get for the raffle. During the award ceremony, we draw lots and the lucky winners can pick one of the remaining prizes.”

Past winners:

Winners are divided accordingly to their locations and challenge categories.

Community Kickstarter Contest 2018

Link: https://www.milestonesys.com/nl/campaigns/milestone-community-kickstarter-contest-2018/

Challenge:

“Contest that invites coders and developers to come up with integration ideas that push the boundaries of video management.”

Developers have to create the idea built on top of Milestone’s video management software. They must also utilize the Milestone Integration Platform and the Software Development Kit (MIP SDK). The winning solution would be a concept, new functionality to the platform, a widget or code. The winning solution must be commercially viable and technologically possible. Additionally, it must function given the current features of the Milestone platform.

Prizes:

  • $10,000 Cash prizes
  • $20,000 development & certification resources
  • $35,000 Marketing & event activities
  • 5 Honorable mentions

Past winners:

Parking Spotter — an application that helps end-users find the closest available parking spot.

Aerolab’s Coding Challenge 2017

Link: https://aerolab.co/coding-challenge?medium

Challenge:

You’re asked to build a product grid for a reward program:

  • Aerolab gives you the base UI and the API, and you’re welcome to use it as it is or improve it if you consider it necessary. The final product should be effective and yet visually attractive.
  • The main goal of your idea should be helping users redeem items through a points-based system.
  • You are allowed to use any technology you want. Finalists will be ranked according to a set of criteria, with extra points awarded for Innovation, Efficiency, and Visuals.

Prizes:

  • The 3rd prize is a gift card for Bookdepository
  • The 2nd prize is a pair of JBL headphones
  • The 1st prize is a Raspberry Pi 3, and a year-long Premium Subscription to Zeit.co

If you like these contests, you might also be interested in Voucherify Developer Challenge. Learn various APIs and win a hackable Chromebook!