Just a wee update on the results of the JLeRN Experiment Paradata Challenge at Dev8D 2012. The whole team put a lot of effort into the challenge, especially Bharti Gupta, who set up the pre-conference surgery, ran an introductory session at Dev8D, and really got involved in discussing the Learning Registry with developers and following up after the conference finished. A big thanks also to Steven Cook from Jorum who accompanied Bharti to Dev8D, and helped a lot with supporting the challenge.
So: after a lot of interest we had two entries, both in the form of use case ideas around using paradata about books. We (the JLeRN team and the judging panel) decided not to award any prizes as the ideas just weren’t quite developed enough in relation to the Learning Registry, but we did feel these were use cases worth keeping an eye on.
We really want to emphasise that the lack of prizes is not a reflection on the work we know the two entrants put in, in terms of getting their heads around the Learning Registry. It still takes a fairly big push of effort and thought to dig into this stuff, and we were asking developers to do this a bit too quickly, and in their own time. And, it has to be said, without the incentive of a big cash prize at the end! Thank you very much for participating Vani and Neeta!
Ultimately, we came up with the challenge idea as a way of publicising the JLeRN Experiment and more broadly the Learning Registry. We’re not too disappointed at not being able to award any prizes, because the whole experience sparked a fair amount of interest in what we’re doing, and discussion on Twitter and elsewhere. It also highlighted some of the requirements developers identified around supporting their engagement in the Learning Registry. It was genuinely a valuable exercise for the project.
We’d like to thank the Dev8D team, especially Mahendra Mahey, for their help in thinking through and setting up the challenge. I’d emphasise however, that any decisions we made (such as the nature of the prizes on offer) that may have contributed to people not entering, were entirely our own decision!
We’ve had an interesting discussion within the judging panel for the challenge (including folk involved in organising hackdays and other developer events) about where the community is currently at with developer challenges, so hopefully we’ve contributed to that as well. We’re grateful to them for their support throughout.
We’ll be releasing an interim report and a plan for the next 5 months of JLeRN work very soon. Lessons learned from running the challenge, as well as from the hackday, the CETIS Conference, and our other activities, will feed into these, so watch the blog for a post!
And there will be some other very good news coming soon too about some funded projects who will be working with JLeRN over the next 7-8 months, and some small bits of cash we may be offering for mini-tasks. Watch this space …