Jeff Kreeftmeijer

“Let's settle this in a Ruby programming contest”


Last week, I launched Codebrawl, a code contest website focussed on the Ruby programming language and open source software.

A typical contest will introduce the contestants to an open source project to solve a specific problem. For example, the first challenge was to write an RSpec formatter. We got some great entries that scrambled the whole test output to annoy your colleagues, give you a special prize after all your specs passed, or run RCov in the background to make sure your test coverage stays great.

The contestants are always encouraged to keep working on their projects after the contest, to try to make sure others in the Ruby community benefit from what’s created at Codebrawl.

Of course, we’ll also do the occasional puzzle or give the contestants a specific task. This week, we’re introducing the contestants to ChunkyPNG, by letting them pixelate an image of a Tapir. I’m excited to see how this turns out and maybe we can even find something to contribute back to ChunkyPNG.

How it works

The contests are open to everyone with a Github account. If you want to enter, just put your solution in a Gist and submit it. Codebrawl will make sure your entry stays hidden until the voting period starts.

After everyone submitted their entries, we’ll show everything on the contest page and allow the other users to vote for the entry they like best. They won’t see the contestants’ names just yet, because we don’t want it to become a popularity contest.

After you’re done voting, the contestants’ names are revealed and we’ll show the entry’s comments (we take the Gist’s comments for that), to allow the contestants and users to discuss the entries. After the voting period is over, we’ll announce a winner, give out points and put your face in the hall of fame we’re still working on.

Codebrawl needs your help

We’re always looking for good contest ideas, so if you know something or have some open source project you’d like us to have a play with, please submit it. Also, we’re looking for prize sponsors, so if you have some app credit you want to give out or some swag you want to send across the world, be sure to let me know.

If you have any comments, suggestions or ideas, please leave a comment below or create an issue on Github and be sure to participate in this week’s contest. Good luck!