Ok, this is a bit late, but still relevant. First I'll begin by sending a shot out to Scott for the cool new stuff added to the blogs! Thank you!! :)
Ok, now onto my second day at Microsoft. BTW, this was on Saturday. This was the day of the US Finals judging for the Imagine Cup 2003. All the 6 teams arrived in the morning between 8 and 9 am. After we all met each other, and were officially welcomed by the organizing staff, we were given about 1 to 1.5 hours to setup. After this, each team was given 20 minutes to demonstrate their web service to the 5 judges. Other contestants weren't allowed to sit in on other teams' judging since they felt that this may give the later teams an unfair advantage. I was scheduled to go third during the day, right before lunch. During my demo, I had a short PowerPoint presentation that I went through explaining the background motivation for starting this project and hitting the highlights of the web service. After the PowerPoint slides, I gave them a brief demo of the entire application, pointing out all the details along the way. Once the demo was over, the judges asked a few questions and that was it. My 20 minutes were up. Then the wait began... lunch, followed by 3 more demos. After all the demos had been completed, the judges announced that they had made up their minds for who would move onto the International Finals to be held at TechEd Europe in Barcelona, Spain. But before they would announce the results, they wanted all the teams to give a brief demo to all the other contestants. I must say, all the projects were great. I really like the concepts of all the projects. After these demos, the judges announced their results. And they begin... "The runner up in the US Finals of the Imagine Cup is... Tu with his restaurant ordering system". I was really happy to see him win since it is a really fantastic system. I can't wait to see my local restaurants around here using his stuff! Then the judges continued... "And the first place goes to Robert with his Photo Album Web Service!" I was really pleasantly surprised! This is absolutely wonderful!!
After all was said and done, I had a really awesome time on Saturday getting to see other cool projects and competing in the Imagine Cup. It's great that now I get to move onto the International Finals in Barcelona at the end of June. I can't wait for that!
One of the best things of the day I thought was the judges were very open and stayed quite long to speak with each team individually and provide comments. I must say that the comments and suggestions that I received were fantastic. I plan on following through on most if not all of the comments and suggestions that were given to me. Thank you!!