Do you lead a User Group? Are you part of one? Are you a professor? Teach a programming or cloud computing class of any sort?
If you’re looking for an activity that will mix fun and learning among friends, consider hosting your own Rock Paper Azure Challenge!
The RPA Challenge is a fun way to learn about Windows Azure and possibly win a few prizes along the way. In short, you get to code a “bot” that will play the childhood game of “Rock, Paper, Scissors” against other contestants’ bots. The game allows you to flex your coding skills by rewarding developers for coming up with the best best “bot” algorithm.
Throughout November and December, you may have seen a post or two (or 4 or 5) from me about the Rock Paper Azure Challenge. During 2011, we hosted several rounds of the RPA Challenge both online, and in-person at our Windows Azure Tech Jam & Dev Camp events.
If you are located in the US and interested in putting together your own RPA Challenge event, let me know. My team can set you up with a “RockPaperAzure Challenge Kit” so you can host your own local tournament, with prepared content and cool prizes of course!
You can host the RPA Challenge as a single day/evening live event, or as a longer running online activity for your user group or class to participate in. If you host it as a live event, you should plan on a minimum of 2-3 hours to host it. This is longer than a typical user group meeting, but still practical to host in a single evening.
For example, if you are teaching a class, you could teach the students how to participate, and then allow them to participate by creating and entering a bot during a set period of time (as an assignment/project/etc).
Participants will need a Windows Azure account. (See Jim O’Neil’s excellent post on obtaining a free 90-day trial account!) The coding of a “bot” can currently be done using the C#, Visual Basic, or F# programming languages.
While Windows 7 or Vista are required to test drive the Windows Azure tools and developer emulator, you can participate in the challenge using either a Mac or Windows XP. This is achieved by deploying a pre-packaged solution directly to the cloud and performing all of your bot testing in the cloud!
The RPA Challenge was put together by my colleagues Brian Hitney, Jim O’Neil, Susan Wisowaty, and myself in an effort to have some fun while evangelizing Windows Azure. If you are interested in hosting your own RPA Challenge…
We look forward to helping you host your own Rock Paper Azure Challenge events this year!