and the winner is . . .

16May09

imageBack in February I kicked off the Fit in February Developer Challenge, and then over a month ago I started tallying the results. I’ll have to let you wonder why tallying the results took so long… was it because we had over 170 people participating through the Facebook group? Was it because some of the numbers were so split hair close that we had to call in a recount team? or was it just because I got busy with life and had billable projects with customers? 😉

What ever the reason was, I want to start off now by thanking everyone that participated. I hope that the month was a catalyst for lasting change for at least a couple of people. I’ve heard from many of you that have told me about the weight you lost, the workouts that you started and in some cases the weight (muscle) that you gained. (on purpose from working out … )

As a reminder: There will not be a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. Instead, there are 3 different categories that people can win in.

Winner – Total Lost

So… without further ado. Congratulations Peter! Seriously, check out his before and after picture.

Peter_B4After

Peter lost a total of 18.5 lbs during February (and I hear that he’s up to over 30 lbs lost now! – seriously, way to go Peter!) He completely blew away 2 of the 3 categories for the Fit in February Developer Challenge (9.5 lbs more than the next person) plus he blew away the percentage category at 9.2% (over 4.28% more than the next person).

Winners – Based on Percentage Lost

The next winner was harder to calculate. If I calculated the next winner by total pounds, 1 person would win, but if I calculated by percentage then someone else would win… in the end, I decided to count Peter’s win as the “total pounds lost” category and so calculated the next winner by percentage…

imageimageThe challenge with that was that there were two people that were tied for this one. They both lost the same amount of weight (9 lbs – awesome!), but with varying starting weights, they were slightly different by percentage. Also, one turned in a daily log, starting and ending video’s, images, and blog posts. So… congratulations to them both! Congratulations to Mr.SQL Ninja himself Tim Mitchell and the DNN Samurai Joe Brinkman!

Winner – Community Participation

image The final winner, in the category of “community participation” went all out. He blogged, he posted videos, and he didn’t miss a single day on twitter. You can tell that he wanted to win bad… the blog that he started just for this event was the “IwannaWinVSTS” blog. Congratulations Jason Ipock!

Prizes – Everyone’s a winner!

trophy_participated trophy_winner

First, everyone get’s to include this awesome “I participated” trophy on your blog, facebook profile, twitter avatar – you know, wherever – go nuts. Your welcome. 🙂  The 4 people that won (that’s right, we had 4 winners – even though we only promised 3!) get the privilege of displaying the uber awesome “I won” trophy on their blogs, maybe print out a shirt and wear it around… or any other sort of bragging rights that you deem appropriate. Awesome work guys!

zune_80VSTS_thumbMSDN_TeamSuit

Second, the very first prize offered up for this contest was a VSTS subscription. Yes friends, that’s a one year subscription to Microsoft’s Developer Network with Visual Studio Team Suite (something like a 10k street value… that is, assuming you can find someone on the street that knows what a VSTS MSDN subscription is – psst. hey, buddy, check out the msdn in my trunk!)

The second prize offered up was a 80 GB Black Zune with the VSTS Logo on it (woot). Seriously, I think that’s the prize that got a lot of the MVP’s excited (most of which already have MSDN subscriptions). Huge thanks goes out to Doug Seven from Microsoft for offering this prize (thanks for the support!).

Finally Brian Sampica stepped up and offered another prize. His original ended up being given away at an Iowa Code Camp (glad it went to a good cause!) That being said, Brian says that he has another VSTS Subscription that he’d be happy to offer up in it’s place. Thanks Brian!

Honorable Mentions

TimRayburn There were a number of people that participated in this challenge (way more than I anticipated!). I’d like to thank everyone that joined the Facebook group, that posted their progress and that went out and worked at getting more Fit. But I want to give special recognition to Tim Rayburn who, with a 9 lb loss in February, was next in line for the total weight lost category. (if Peter had taken the percentage lost slot instead – see above) awesome job Tim – keep up the great work!

Lessons Learned

All in all I’d say that the Fit in February Developer Challenge was a resounding success. There are a couple of things that I’d like to reflect on that I would do differently next time.

Get more people involved sooner. Even though I eventually asked some people to act as judges, (thanks for agreeing to help guys!) it was pretty late in the process and a lot of the work was already on my shoulders. Next time: get more people involved, earlier in the process.

Automate, automate, automate. One of the first questions that David Silverlight asked me was, is there any of this that we can automate? David is like a total community veteran when it comes to running community contests… he could see the issues coming before I did. Point taken: next time use RSS, workflow, yahoo pipes… whatever to track and monitor the updates. Automate as much as possible.

I had no idea how much time would be involved with tracking down participants info, checking on the twitter updates.

Next Time

While not everything went as planned, I would like to do a similar event again sometime. Some of the things that I wasn’t able to do this time around, but would have liked to.

Daily Leader Board. Even a weekly leader board would have been nice to keep the motivation going all month.

Combined Results. I would have liked a better way to track everyone’s results. It would have been nice to see the total weight loss/miles ran or whatever by the whole group.

Use Facebook. Creating a Facebook group was almost an afterthought for doing the challenge. It turned out to be one of the best ways to spread the word! Some friends here in Dallas were even inspired to write a Facebook application that I got to preview at there office. I’ll post more on that after they launch!

OK… I think that’s it. Congratulations again to all of the winners and thank you to everyone!

Update: I just saw that my friends from CoHabitat have posted some information on their Facebook App “Challenge” – I can’t wait to try it out!

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