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Rails Rumble 2009: Grand Prize



The Rails Rumble is an annual programming competition where teams of up to four people will have 48 hours to build an innovative web application in Ruby on Rails. Once the build portion of the competition is over, a two-phase judging process selects the winning entries in several categories. In the first judging phase, a selected panel of experts reviews all qualifying applications to determine the top tier. Once they're finished and the top applications identified, the public judging period begins. The categories of winners include: Grand Prize, Second Prize, Third Prize, Solo, Appearance and User Interface, Originality and Innovation, Usefulness, and Completeness. Thanks to Nick Plante, Darcy Laycock, Erin Shine, and Jeff Rafter who organized this year's event.

Grand Prize

The 2009 Rails Rumble Grand Prize goes to the Hi.Im application, developed by Jonathan Tarud, Andres Peña, Jose Gomez, and Alvaro Inisignares,

Figure 1: Hi.Im, developed by Jonathan Tarud, Andres Peña, Jose Gomez, and Alvaro Inisignares.

Jonathan, first of all, congratulations on winning the Grand Prize. Can you tell us about the Hi.Im application? What does it do?

Hi.Im, short for "Hi, I'm", is like your nametag on the Internet. Featuring the latest content from your favorite networks, your Hi, I'm page tells everyone who you are and what you're about all on one page.

What tools did you use to build it?

Ruby on Rails, MySQL, Suspenders from Thoughtbot, open source Ruby Gems, AuthSMTP for sending emails, Ubuntu Server, Mac OS X, Vim and TextMate.

What was the hard part in building it?

There were a lot of dependencies when building the app. We had to interact with more 3rd party services than we had time to implement, which caused several roadblocks while developing the app. Also, we didn't have much time testing a lot of the JavaScript functionality and thus had trouble in IE 6, 7 and 8.

What would you have done different?

We should have investigated the dependencies a lot better in order to coordinate the initial development ramp up more efficiently. Also, planning our resting time better. The first night we pulled an all nighter and only slept 4 hours. We weren't as efficient as we should have been during the next day. Next time we plan on resting regularly to avoid being burned out.

What's next with the app? (Enhancements, improvements?)

We've been rolling out small fixes and enhancements every week since the competition ended. We are currently working on deeper network integrations with both Facebook and Twitter. We want to make sure the application is very stable and fast before adding additional functionality.

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