IBM is holding a series of challenges centered around XML. The whole event is labeled The XML Challenge (subtitle: Search for the XML superstar). Rockstar references aside, this is a pretty cool initiative that can provide you with some freebies as well as high quality prizes if you win any of the available contests.
What I say below applies to US and Canada, as the contest is being held worldwide in 30 countries separately, and each of these may have different individual contests and prizes as well. In fact, the first thing you’ll see when you visit the xmlchallenge.com site should be a popup that prompts you to select your country.
For US/Canada there are 5 contests: Video, Gadget, Query, Porting and XML. The Video Contest consists of creating a funny/creative/cool video about XML, XQuery and/or DB2. The Gadget Contest is about developing a downloadable gadget/widget that leverages DB2. The Query Contest requires you to use XQuery to query a database and come up with the answer to five questions. The Ported Application Contest is all about porting an existing application to DB2 or creating a new one that uses DB2. And finally, the XML Contest asks you to build a useful, user-friendly XML application from scratch. The last two contests can be approached as a team or as an individual. The Query, Ported App and XML contests start today!
You don’t have to participate in all of them, of course. But by participating in any of these you gain points, and there are six badges that you can obtain: XML Challenger, XML Rookie, XML Whiz, XML Star, XML Master and XML Grand Master. I feel so nerdy reporting this. The XML Grand Masters will be enrolled in a draw for an additional prize.
Speaking of prizes, let’s see what goodies are up for grab. There will be a few give-aways just for participating. For example, the first 500 participants will receive an XML Challenge T-Shirt as well as a Rubick’s Cube. The first 1000 to complete the Quick Quiz during registration will also receive a free T-Shirt. But let’s move on to the more substantial prizes.
For the sake of awarding prizes, the contestants will be split in two groups, students and professional developers.
The Video Contest: The deadline is December 17, 2008 and a few selected winners will receive an 8GB iPod Video Nano (for both students and developers).
The Gadget Contest: The deadline is December 17, 2008 and the winning students grab Canon Powershot SD870 Cameras, while winning developers get 80GB Zunes.
The Query Contest: After you register, you’ll have 24 hours to submit your answers. The first 50 successful participants for each group (for a combined total of 100) will receive a 1GB USB key, while all the contestants with the right answers will be entered in a draw for a grand prize. This is a Playstation 3 40GB for the students, and a 32GB iPod Touch for the developers;
The Ported Application Contest: The deadline is January 31st, 2009. The winning team or individual amongst the students will receive an HD Pavilion HDX Notebook, while the winning developer will score a Lenovo IdeaPad U110. The second prize for both of the two groups will a Garmin nüvi GPS.
The XML Contest: The deadline is January 31st, 2009. The 1st prize for each group will be a high-end 17″ Alienware Laptop (two laptops will be awarded in total). The second prize for both groups will be a Nintendo Wii (again, two in total).
Finally, two lucky XML Grand Masters, one developer and one student, will receive a Bose Wave Radio II.
I hope you consider enrolling now and best of luck! If you need some help with getting started with DB2 Express-C, you can download the free e-book which is available in several languages. Oh, and finally we have an Italian version as well.
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Hey, would you give me a hand in promoting this post? If you are in the US or Canada, and mention & link to this post from your blog, you’ll receive a free XML Challenge T-Shirt and a Rubick’s Cube as well. All you have to do is send me an email (to acangiano at gmail.com) with a link to your blog entry, as well as your shirt size and complete mailing address. Thank you!
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Antonio Cangiano is a Software Developer and AI Evangelist at IBM. He authored Ruby on Rails for Microsoft Developers (Wrox, 2009) and Technical Blogging ( The Pragmatic Bookshelf, 2012, 2019). He is also the Marketing Lead for Cognitive Class, an educational initiative which he helped grow from zero to over 1 Million students. You can follow him on Twitter.