I spent the last 2 days in Chicago, IL at the Clarity Consulting office sitting in on a special training class for the PhizzPop Design Challenge. I felt a little out of place at first. The room was over 1/2 designers (MacBooks galore) and the rest of the room was filled out with developers who were teamed with the designers. And then you had the Architect Evangelist in the room. When they did introductions they asked if you were a Designer, A Developer or a Designer / Developer. I answered “Evangelist, which pretty much means I spend most of the day in Outlook”. Everything turned out okay, as I got to spend some real hands on time with the Expression Suite and my brand spanking new install of Visual Studio 2008.
What is the PhizzPop Design Challenge?
36 teams enter. 1 team leaves. In several cities around the United States over the next few weeks they are going to have regional competitions were teams of 3 compete to solve a design challenge in less than 72 hours. Team make up is up to the company’s discretion (3 designers, 1 designer and 2 developers, etc). Each of the regional winners will participate in a similar contest at the South By Southwest Interactive in Austin, TX next March. They will be put through a similar cage match there and the winning firm will get bragging rights and probably some cool prizes as well.
So what’s next
The teams have the weekend off to absorb all that the instructors, Jared Potter and Dale Jones from Identity Mine have thrown at them. I hope they all have a relaxing weekend and get lots of rest. On Monday morning everyone meets back in downtown Chicago to hear what the design problem is (It is a closely guarded secret, Chris Bernard has not even told me what it is). Then they have until Wednesday afternoon to design and create their solution. Failure and a good night’s sleep are not an option. On Wednesday everyone meets over at Underground in Chicago to see the judging and have an awesome party. Have you registered yet? The event is all most full!