I'm skipping the "I'm back"; (my result at IC - warning, very long post ahead)

Last time I posted here, it was about a competition I’d gotten into, for my college. I’m taking CS and I got into Microsoft’s Imagine Cup. Brazil was by far the country with most people competing, so we had to go through regional and then national competition stages to select the team that would go to the finals in Japan. No other country had it like this, we’ve been told. There were around 4,500 people inscribed here, and teams could have up to 4 participants (4 students, or 3 students and a teacher). Make the math, there were at least 1,250 teams. Only 8 would pass through the regionals, and one through the national stages. The goal of each team is to create a software which would be a new concept, could be comercialized and made use of .NET, the latest MS framework.

I signed in to compete nearly alone, and went picking my team as my teacher would help me preparing the documentation. He later joined the team. The other two who were with me are a friend of mine who is in the same classes as I am, and a MCP who studies at our college. We managed to win the regionals, and we finished as the 6th team in the national. No Japan for us, but for all we did, I think my teammates kick nine kinds of ass. For:

-Me and my buddy are in the first semester of CS, the MCP guy I mentioned is in the third. All other teams in the national were composed of people who are in the 6th, 7th or 8th semester. A lot of them had also competed and reached the national last year, so they knew what to expect.

-Most teams took 1 to 2 years to complete their projects. We took (shame on us) 6 months making our stuff, 2 of which were actual programming. We didn’t finish our project on time, which is the main reason we didn’t get a better rank. but even though the competition is gone, we’re still working on it.

-Only the winning team and my team used well known, succesful programming methods which have been used for decades. They (and us) even came up with new software design patterns, which called everybody’s attention. We were very praised by our development, and the winning team - they created a design which was incorporated by MS in its XML technology centers last year already, and now they were considered to have kicked even more ass than ever.

Our project was a novel social networking system. Think of some kind of Orkut, but oriented towards consumption. Basically, people would join a network composed of many communities, where they’d talk about products and services they’ve bought (or want to buy). Okay, you can find that in the internet already. The novelty was a set of tools we developed to give people a further, deeper experience.

We created a whole new kind of search engine for people to find what they want in several ways. This part was the most attractive to companies who sent headhunters to the competition, a lot of IT professionals watched it in awe. The general comment from judges and the press people who interviewed us went like “somebody should’ve come up with this way before, it’d make life easier/cheaper”. We also got stuff like “if my wife could find prices this easily she’d have no excuse to spend so much time shopping” from one of them. We designed it so it can be accessed ultra-easily via Windows Mobile or Pocket PC for people who have a smartphone, or WML (with less goodies) for people with low-end cell phones.

We are sure enough that we’ll make a good product of our system (actually, I’m betting most of my coins in the search engine alone) when it’s finished. Some companies already showed interest in it. I don’t really expect to get rich with this one… But it did give us a good, real good career start. And we got famous here too, after what we’ve been through.

Well, looks like you’re lined up for a good job after college :stuck_out_tongue:

Thats what i was going to say. Who cares if you win, its better that you have real companies interested in you :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah, that’s what we were thinking from the start. We were happy enough just to pass the regionals, and from then on we just went whoring for attention from the press & headhunters XD

I’ll post some pictures of the competition sometime. I never got to download them, but my buddy from my team has them in his HD.

Hurrah! Congratulations.