Friday, December 13, 2013

System.debug('TCO13'); //The event log

Day 1 - The arrival

I arrived in Washington D.C. at 5 p.m., after 10 hours and a half of plane and more than 1 hour on line at the customs: no need to say I was really tired. That's why the first day in Washington hasn't been that good or exciting, no meeting with anyone, no TCO13 clues (except for the guys that got me at the airport), 6 hours of jet lag that apparently got me down (don't ask me why, I survived to 11 hours jet lag in Polinesia without problems, even 9 hours in San Francisco, but with Washington as well as New York I needed 1 day to make the journey comfortable). The only weird thing to note is what happened at the customs. Officer: "Why are you staying in D.C.?"
Me: "For a nerd convention?"
Officer: "What??"
Me: "A convention of nerds about computer programming...I'm a computer programmer (and so I'm a nerd n.d.r.)"
Officer: [small laugh]
Me: [small laugh]
Officer: [checking my passport]
Officer: [bigger laugh]
Me: "What?"
Officer: "HAHA that's weird!"
Me: "But that's what it is!"
End of the story: I think the officer was a kind of bully when he was young, that's why he was laughing repetedly...fonrtunately he let me pass!

Day 2 - The wheel we will spin

Nothing seemed to happend until I met @eucuepo on the street back to the hotel (I recognized him at first site, despite my difficulty to remember faces!).
Finally I met the great Tim Hicks (as I said in previous post, he's my Cloudspokes bro).
It's been love at first sight...we see eachother from distance and we run each other in time lapse...jokes apart, has been really cool to meet him after one year of emails, hangouts, blog posts and whatever happened!
At noon the jet lag seemed to gain power again, so I decided to take a sleep, but at about 4 p.m. I received a series of email/tweets that actually woke me up! It was @logonkartik who asks if we can meet downstairs at the hotel bar. That's where I met him with @chok68, and finally the Cloudspokes crew started to grow up!
This is some nerd swag I got:

After few chats (trying to speak English better than I could) the crew added more guys: Kyle Bower, Cory McIlroy, Dave Messinger, Chris DeLaurentis, Mike Cardillo, @CloudBytes and George Acker for the Cloudspokes mith part, and @callmecatootie, @jan3594, @wcheung, @soe, @aproxcacs ...I know I'm forgetting the majority!
I also had the pleasure to met Narinder Singh, the CEO/CIO of Cloudspokes.
At 7.30 pm TCO13 opens for the starting party (NASA, Google, Facebook among sponsors!!) and I finally had to spin the wheel. I got:
  • FinancialForce API
  • Amazon Webservices
  • Docusign
But still I have no hint of what I'm gonna do!

Day 3 - The infinite sleep

I know I'm on vacation, I'm in the US, I'm nerding like there won't be a tomorrow, but today I'm really tired. The only notable thing was that I met (finally) Jeff Douglas.
After a 2h city walk, I felt I need more concentration because of the lack of sleep, so I decided to close myself in the hotel room and start coding there, and that's gone pretty cool.
I've coded from 12 pm to 7 pm and finally, together with the other guys, I went to the Faceook party at their Washington Offices: a big open space, with some nerdy things (Nintendo 64, Nerf guns for example), a big wall (I left my sign on it ) and cool Facebook guys that exaplined to us some things about their work and office (like why a room is called beofre "Al Gore"...just because one day the vice president went in their office and entered in that room and a guy said "Yay!" to greet him..."and that's why this is the Al Gore room!"). After that some other lines of code (messing with DocuSign), and I'm ready to dive in the bed (hopefully I'll dream an entire night).

Day 4 - The coding day

Nothing notable today...coding from 5 am to 4 am (yes about 23 hours...just lunch and dinner time of break). This is what I came up with: Sheherazade - The crowdsourcing story teller.
I tried to apply crowsourcing development in a less technical field that is the story telling. What I wanted to achieve was a sort of ideas generator (for plots, song lyrics, books made of pictures) for editors, rewarding users by money prices and comunity glory.
For a complete overview of the app see these demo videos:
And these are the slides of the presentation. I chose to code alone in my hotel room because of concentration and because in the main hall of the event I had to sit in pouf chairs not that comfortable, and what I wanted to do was a bit complicate and need the most of the time I could have.

Day 5 - Judgment and winner announcement

I slept about 3 hours to get the app ready, and made a funny presentation of my wedding day using the app, to show how a plot can be easily constructed using the comunity as a source of ideas. This was the scaring jury:
This is the story: "...And they lived happily ever after..." .

This is me presenting the app (I think I was saying something really stupid...this is my "What did I say?!?" face ):

Than, after a 1 hour sleep, came the second presentation, to a bigger audience:

In a flash of an eye we were about to know the winners....and I got 4th place! Not bad! I think the main reason of the missed first place is that my APIs were hidden while the other solutions actually created "something new" with theier APIs (and in a really smart congrats to my Cloudspokes buddies!!) can read in the following Jeff Douglas's post the results and the video demo of the winner apps: The TCO13 Cloud Mashathon – Building Killer Apps with the API “Wheel of Fortune”.

I think this pic summarizes the coolness and amazingness and awesomeness of the whole TCO13:

This has been the most valuable professional expirience I've ever had, I could meet a lot of smart people from all over the world and compete with them in a friedly way (you know money makes people fighting each other), and I can say I was happy for my Cloudspokes buddy win, I recognize their value and great skills! I really hope to be part of the TCO14, and I know I have to work hard to achieve this!
Lastly I want to thank all Cloudspokes and Topcoder staff for the opportunity they gave me and to make me feel a bit special!

This is the final video event: