You might remember us writing about a great project called the Yarl Geek Challenge sometime back. In a bid to nudge Jaffna towards a Silicon-Valley-esque future, a group of volunteers called the Yarl IT Hub launched a competition where budding entrepreneurs and geeks would present their solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems.
Sounds ambitious, eh? Ambitious it was – and still is. That first Geek Challenge was so successful that they’re hosting a second Geek Challenge. This time around, they’ve got some major backing: WSO2, hSenid, Readme, 99X Technology and Etisalat are on board, which should tell you how big this thing really is.
This second Geek Challenge will be split into two: the Senior Challenge and the Junior. The Junior has groups of school geeks pitching their projects, while the Senior Challenge will likewise see teams of four pitted against their industry colleagues and peers. Firstly, let’s look at the Senior Challenge, for this is the spiritual successor to the first Geek Challenge. It’s a five-round affair of pitching ideas, presentations and demos. Of the five rounds in the Senior Challenge, only the first (the Pitch) is non-competitive. The rest – all concerned with different aspects of an idea’s execution, deployment and sales – will be carefully scrutinized by the judges at each step. Think Hackathon. Then think bigger.
The Junior Competition is slightly different: geeks at school are to band together to develop a mobile application. I’m going to go ahead and give a big thumbs up here, because as far-fetched as this idea might seem, it’s a far more useful concept than the endless “Powerpoint competitions” that every school seems to get involved in, where all IT students must submit a dreary presentation on a CD and then wait for a nice, shiny and thoroughly useless certificate to arrive in the mail. We progress by raising the bar, not by consistently making things easier. Stuff like this might actually make careers. Who knows? A toast to the Yarl IT Hub for taking the first steps forward.
Now if you’re already making a phone call to your dream team, remember the deadline is extended till 30th September only. Of course you can do two more things:
One: keep an eye on the competition. Great ideas and partnerships are born in situations like these. We’ll be working with these folks to bring you updates.
Two: Help out. As mentioned before, the Yarl IT Hub is largely a volunteer organization. You can pitch in, too – they welcome any and all help you can give, be it a bit of sharing on Facebook, or penning a few lines for their media campaign, or helping organize the event – there’s always room for more. It’s organized very much like a FOSS project. Any time you pitch in is valuable.
Checkout their Facebook page for more details.
Now here’s hoping someone comes up with a better coffee machine.