DevCSI Open Repositories Developer Challenge 2012

9th-12th July 2012, Edinburgh, UK



Open Repositories 2012





Easily the most innovative section of the conference! 



The Challenge


Show us some thing new and cool in the world of Open Repositories


Whether you are a developer or a user, your challenge is to show us something new and cool in the world of Open Repositories, either as a well formed idea or as working code.


You will be required to:

  • Give a five minute pitch of your idea to an audience/people at Tuesday 10th July as part of the Repository Fringe
  • Refine your idea based on feedback from the audience
  • Present your refined idea again at 5pm on Wednesday 11th July in front of an audience and our panel of judges
  • If you win, you will present your entry to the entire conference at 11:30am on Thursday 12th July

You do not need to be a developer to enter this year’s challenge.  Whilst working code is great, we are looking for the best, technically feasible ideas, prototypes and well-formed ideas are welcomed.



The creations stemming from the DevCSI Challenge are innovative and inspiring. 





We will be offering a range of exciting prizes for this year’s challenge:



Main Prize


We will fund the winning team to get together for two days to develop the solution*


 Runner Up Prize


Winners and runners up will share a £1000 amazon voucher


 Bonus Prize


Microsoft Research will provide a .Net Gadgeteer kit  for the entry that makes the most innovative use of Microsoft technologies


*  Depending on logistics


The winners will be announced at the OR 12 conference dinner on Wednesday the 11th July, 2012, from 7.30pm.



I gained an appreciation of the dedication, enthusiasm, and expertise of the developer community at this conference. 



How To Enter


1.      Sign up to attend Open Repositories 2012


At least one team member should be attending the event in person.  You can register for the event here.


2.      Share your idea


Add your initial idea or intention to enter to the ideas page by Tuesday 10th July, 4pm. Please include the following information (if you can):

  • The name of the team/individual
  • The names of the individuals and where they work
  • A description of the idea and how you will implement it technically. Remember, it is not a requirement to produce working code (unless you really want to!)
  • How long it would take to code, if you haven’t already written the code.
  • A URI to some more information about the entry if possible


3.      Work in the Developer Lounge at OR12

The Developer Lounge is available on Tuesday and Wednesday at the conference for you to work on your idea, get feedback, talk to other developers, repository managers etc.

The DevCSI challenge enabled me to make interesting and valuable technical contacts that I wouldn’t have made otherwise





Thinking about entering? Here are some extra resources to help get you started:





Each year a significant proportion of the delegates at Open Repositories are software developers who work on repository software or related services.

For the last three years they have been invited to participate and submit entries to a challenge. A space in the conference has been set-aside at the start as a flexible space where developers can work on their entries but also attend specific parts of the conference. A deadline has been set where they submit their entries. These are then short-listed by pre-determined criteria and some entries are awarded special recognition.

Useful Tools


  • Server space: NeCTAR is partnering with Australian institutions and research organisations to create, for the first time, a national research cloud for Australian researchers. They are kindly offering server space for Developers wanting to work on challenges for Open Repositories 12. Please contact Peter Sefton if you require server space.
  • Microsoft Technologies: An additional prize is available for the entry that makes an innovative use of Microsoft technologies. This include ZentitySharePoint repository integrationMicrosoft TranslatorWindows Azure cloud storageMicrosoft Academic SearchWordPivotViewerKinect etc. Visit the Dreamspark site for free access to a wide array of developer tools.
  • HBS Elevator Pitch Builder: This tool can help you to focus on delivering an effective five minute pitch.
  • We will be offering a Developer Lounge throughout OR 2012 to give you a space to work on your ideas and discuss them with other developers to get further feedback. Please ask for directions when you register.
  • Developer Lounge – available on Tuesday and Wednesday for you to work on your challenge.





1. Entries should come from at least one developer though teams are welcome.

2. The entries should be presented in person, at OR12. If a team is entering, not all of the team members need be present at the conference, but at least one team member should be. Remote presentations may be considered in exceptional circumstances, but these will need to be given live.  Please liaise with Mahendra Mahey.

3. Entrants must post their idea or intention to enter at the Developer Challenge 2012 Ideas page by Tuesday 10th of July, 10am, 2012. This should include: name of entrant(s), institution/company name, the name of the entry, a description of the idea and how you will implement it technically, and a URI to more information about the entry.

4. Once the entrant(s) get feedback on Tuesday the 10th of July 2012, they can change their idea if they so wish.

5. Entrants must present their refined ideas on Wednesday the 11th of July 2012, at 5.00pm in front of an audience and the judging panel.

6. Winners and runners up will announced at the conference dinner at 7.30pm, on Wednesday 11th July 2012. Winners and runners up will be asked to present their entry to the entire conference on Thursday 12th July at 11.30am  at George Square Lecture Theatre (GSLT), George Square.

7. The winner and runner up will share the prize money.

8. We will fund the winning team to get together for two days to develop the solution (depending on logistics)

9. The winners / runners up must be willing to participate in a post meeting interview about the submission and future ideas for development.

10. The winners / runners up must be willing to have their name and picture published by DevCSI.

11. The winners / runners up must be willing to write brief documentation about the submission to aid others in building on the work. The documentation will publicised by DevCSI.

12. Any entry which uses Microsoft technologies will also be entered to the main challenge.

13. Entries can take the form of prototypes or working code. Prototypes should primarily be presented as user interfaces, not as bullet points or architectural diagrams. If the prototype consists of only mock interfaces (e.g. “photoshopped” or a “paper prototype”), then there should be a brief explanation of how the interface could be built using a particular code base / architecture.

14. Whilst new code for prototypes is encouraged, previously written code may also be used.

15. The same code may be used in multiple prototypes. Sharing of code is encouraged.

16. No code is off limits for use so long as it is legally used. Third party libraries, applications and web services are fair game.

17. Participants must ensure that entries do not in any way infringe copyright or other intellectual property rights of any third party.

18. The judging process will use the following methodology:

  • Judges will agree on the top two prototypes and recommend a winner and a runner up.
  • When entries are marked, if a consensus cannot be reached, then the chair of the judging panel will be responsible for the final decision.
  • A representative from JISC / DevCSI / Microsoft Research will oversee the judging process.
  • The evaluation criteria for the competition are: innovative, visionary, relevance to the user problems, coolness, usability, plausibility for adoption, technical viability, functionality and overall fit to the challenge.



This challenge is organised and supported by: