Why I want to win so badly
It’s only been one weekend since the Node Knock Out finished, one might expect that coding a full application in 48 hours using a complete Node.js stack is hard work but boy.. was I wrong. The hardest part is actually winning during the Node Knock Out.
Entering Node Knockout
This is the second time that I entered the Node Knock Out competition, it’s
a amazing contest that allows you to show case your skills and creativity to
make the most spectacular web application you can build in 48 hours. Last year
I entered with a heat mapping web service and become second in the solo
category. I lost with just
0.3 points behind the first solo contestant
@mape and boy, that sucks really hard, being so
close to a first place, so I already made up my mind back then I would enter
I still remembered from 2010 that games seemed to be a hot topic (the winners for overall and solo where both games). But I really do not like to waste my time building games, I would rather spend my time building something that is useful for me and hopefully for other.
About 2 weeks before the start of NKO (Node Knock Out) I started with preparations of the project, I created mind maps, started sketching the design, researching which modules I was going to need, how my database should be structured what client side modules I wanted to use and which browsers I was going to support.
One of the biggest lessons I learned from last year is to go directly with a hosted database service and don’t mess with installations during the competition. I lost about 6 hours on this last year because MongoDB kept failing.
So I had everything planned, created on big to-do list in the most optimal order I could think of so I wouldn’t be wasting time on features or design aspects that wouldn’t be needed.
I just got home from a 8 hour drive (back from vacation) and after a quick
power nap I was ready to get started. My first step was to get started on the
database binding layers and implement a small CMS so I could update and add
content without having to update my views (this is something I do for all the
applications I build so my git project isn’t cluttered with pointless
commits). After a few hours or so this was done and I was quite happy about it.
Planning this advanced definitely helped out.
As the hours passed more and more messages started streaming in the IRC channel that Socket.IO was broken on no.de and that nobody could get Web Sockets to work. I decided to just continue with my work in the hope that Joyent would fix it..
After a day ago I had it running stable enough to deploy on my no.de host. It
worked but as other had stated Web Sockets where horribly broken. After a some
debugging I found out that the
upgrade event was never fired on the servers.
After a quick chat with the Joyent folks this fixed right away.
After staying awake for more then 72 hours, it was time to deploy the app for the last time and keep the fingers crossed that it would survive for the rest of the voting. And luckily it’s still up (it had some up and downs thanks to broken Joyent proxies but it’s mostly up now)
After a day or so the votes started streaming in.. I was overwhelmed by positive reaction of the judges and contestants.
I actually want to win, really badly
When I started in the competition I just entered because I really liked my idea and would love to have another shot in the solo category. But than I realized that a lot of users told me they loved the service so much and that it’s pure gold that I could actually try to make a small start up out of it.
Winning would allow me to use the rewards from the competition to continue the development and finish the application in the way that I envisioned it and make it a really cheap but powerful tool for usability testers and web site owners.
But winning ain’t easy
That is something that I realize now, I have gotten amazing Judge and Contestant votes, but I was no where near the first spot of a other solo contestant. So I wondered why? I noticed that almost all my scores where higher than his project, except popularity.
And that is why I need you
Popularity can only be increased using the
vote button. So if you have a face
book account please go to http://observer.no.de/vote
and press the vote button. Alternatively you can also press the vote button here in the post (if it shows up)
It does not post anything to your Facebook wall, it just uses Facebook to record the votes.