Our developer program got a story in the Boston Globe! Excerpt from Carolyn Johnson’s story on the WHERE developer contest below, also can be found on the front page of the print version’s business section.
uLocate Communications Inc., which raised $11 million earlier this year, yesterday launched a contest for developers who use uLocate’s Where platform — offering cash prizes and meetings with three venture capital firms to the people who create the most innovative mash-ups of location and mobile content.
Normally, designing programs for the cellphone that leverage information like a user’s location can be next to impossible for a lone entrepreneur. Small start-ups would need to strike their own deals with carriers and learn the ins and outs of pro gramming for dozens of different phones on a handful of different networks. The Where platform helps solve those problems, automatically porting programs onto GPS-capable handsets and publishing them on networks that can reach millions of users.
We’re just launching our first WHERE Developer Contest (cash, intros to VCs, and more!) and it’s given me a chance to survey the diversity of ways that developer programs are promoting themselves.
Some contests like NAVTEQ and TeleAtlas involve pretty substantial cash prizes. Others, like Skype and Adobe, give away travel to destinations ranging from Prague to a ‘trip of a lifetime’. Then there are sites like MashupAwards and TopCoder who are focused purely on running contests. There are enough of them that ProgrammableWeb has recently added a directory of contests.
The need for these developer contests reflects the number of developer APIs out there, which is in turn a reflection of the huge number of web 2.0 companies. Brings back a little nostalgia for the early days when the only kind of mashup was something illegally hacked.