One year ago I took part in the “Daj Się Poznać 2016” competition. I started to write articles about demo making. As I took a bit harder path than it was required to, I couldn’t spend so much time on writing 20 articles in 10 weeks. I ended up just having fun. Since a new edition of this competition has just started, it’s a good reason to continue the “Demo 101” series.
What’s this all about
The main idea for this competition is to consolidate the community of programmers, promote their work and open source projects. Once again I haven’t found English version of the rules, so here are the most important ones. They are almost the same as a year ago:
- The competition starts on 1st March 2017 and ends on 31st May 2017 (13 weeks).
- For 10 weeks, each one has to work on an open source project and write about it.
- At least 2 posts per week have to be published (20 posts in total).
- There are no requirements on project type or used technology.
- Winners will be chosen by other participants and public voting.
You can read all the rules at the competition website (Polish only).
Why 80% of participants won’t make it
The main problem with this competition was the fact that you had to write 2 posts about your project per week. This means that you had to spend time on developing your project AND on writing. This could sum up to a serious amount of hours. In most cases, if participating in this competition wasn’t somewhat connected with your daily job or studies, it was pretty unrealistic goal to achieve.
After checking the results of 2010 edition, it turned out that out of 79 participants only 22 made it to the end (28%). In 2016, out of 296 persons, 70 wrote 20 posts about their projects (24%). Many websites and repositories are now deleted or abandoned. This year, there are over 800 of brave daredevils who want to take the challenge up.
What’s interesting, the rules of the competition didn’t say anything about the length of the post or its quality. Similarly, nothing about project’s level of difficulty. It was perfectly possible to write a tic-tac-toe game or something else really small and simple. Still, many people wanted to show their best ideas for a project. Something that could get other’s votes during the finals. But many of them were too big and complicated, probably not planned in advance. The lack of experience in technical writing and significant amounts of time needed for this didn’t help either.
This year, there is one small change in the rules: one of the two weekly posts can be about something else than the project as long as it’s about the IT (e.g. review of a book, an event or personal thoughts about work in IT). I think that it’s a step in the right direction and may really help people to stay longer in the competition.
Why I’m taking part in this
The main reason is that I would like to get to know other programmers and their projects. I’m especially interested in everything associated with real-time graphics programming, but I’m pretty sure that I will find some cool ideas that use other technologies. Maybe I will learn something new.
Another reason is my motivation to continue writing about demo making and share my knowledge. This is also a good way to improve my writing skills.
There is also a secret reason I’m doing this (don’t tell this anyone): as over a thousand of programmers participate in the competition, there is a chance that by visiting this website someone will discover the demoscene and write his or her own demo! :)
I will continue writing articles about creating a demo, many of them will be useful in general graphics programming too. To find out what a demo or the demoscene is, check out this short explanation. You can find the previous entries from the series in the Programming category or under the DSP16 tag (update: I retagged most of them as Demo101). Any sources will be available in the project’s repository.
My approach will be the same. I prefer to write articles based on proven knowledge rather than blog posts about random struggles with an unknown technology. As I don’t want to spend all my free time on this, only one post in a week will be about the project. The second one will most likely be a review of some IT book or demoscene compo.
This year’s edition seems to be so popular that it will be a really hard task to check all the projects. No to mention reading all the new +800 articles twice a week, that’s simply not an option. I will probably pick some of them using my favourite “C++ OpenGL GLSL OpenCL CUDA Vulkan 3D 2D Engine” keywords and scan the global list for some interesting ideas.
If you are one of the participants, I wish you a lot of endurance and motivation. Also, don’t be shy and say “Hello” if you happened to visit this website :). Good luck and have fun!