Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Google Competitions and Challenges

There are at least three challenges/competitions sponsored by Google at this moment that I'm aware of:

The Google Online Marketing Challenge involves around 21.000 students that have the chance to work with small local businesses (under 100 employees) and plan online marketing campaigns. Google offers student groups a $200 voucher to spend on Google AdWords. The competition lasts 3 weeks; students need to submit 2 reports: one before they begin the challenge, one one after the challenge is over. The winners will have a chance to visit Google Headquarters in Mountain View, California. What is positive about this is the fact that you actually gain practical experience in online marketing. The gains of the local businesses are obvious, namely more website traffic.

Doodle for Google is another competition directed towards K-12 students who have a chance to design Google's homepage logo around the theme "What if...?". Have a look at the sample doodles on the competition web page, all designed by Dennis Hwang (if I'm not mistaken), imagination is the limit. The number one national winner will win "$10,000 college scholarship to be used at the school of their choice, a trip to the Googleplex, a laptop computer, and a t-shirt printed with their doodle." The winner's school will also be awarded with $25,000 grant that will go towards improving or establishing a computer lab.

Last challenge that I am aware of is the Android Developer Challenge, where developers have a chance to design a mobile application on the Android platform, application that, if chosen, will be awarded $25,000 for further development. Those selected will then be eligible for $275,000/$100,000 awards. I will also participate in this competition, together with my wife-to-be. Details of what our application is about on how we did will be posted later on, after the challenge deadline on April 14, 2008 for the first part. I will probably have a different blog where I will talk in more details about Android, so I will not go over any details here. By the way, a new Android SDK has been released (version m5-rc14); what is on many developers mind is how this will affect their current application since during this pre-release period Google is not maintaining binary compatibility between versions.

Welcome to Google world!

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