TopCoder has created Architecture Competitions as a higher level Application Design competition. The competitions utilize requirements (both written and visual), existing designs and code, as well as components from the catalog to design systems or subsystems.
Contest Posting Phase
The competition details, specification, and deliverables for each contest will be posted online. Members can read through the documentation, see the prize amounts and timelines, then decide whether they would like to compete.
The Competition phase consists of individuals architecting the best solution based on the specification document. Through each contest, participants will create sequence diagrams to display all the messages through the system. These diagrams are used as the road map to the Assembly contest that will run as a result of this contest. In addition, participants will identify new and/or existing components to be created or used in the application and define the required interfaces between new components. Each participant is also required to submit a "walking skeleton" of the submitted architecture. For the purpose of these competitions, a "walking skeleton" is defined as follows:
- A simple proof of concept to validate the architecture.
- A low functionality working system to which more functionality can be added incrementally.
- The smallest and simplest path, from front-end user interface input, through the system services and finally to simple, but usable output.
The winning submission will also include new component specs, specs for updated components and new assembly specs.
At the completion of the Competition phase, the contest will enter the Review phase. This phase will consist of reviewing each screened submission against a predetermined Architecture Scorecard. The scorecard will determine which of the submissions best meets the deliverables laid out in the specification. Part of the score will be determined by how well the prototype matches the submitted architecture, not necessarily on how well it functions.
The Appeals and Appeals Response stage will follow the scorecard review. Each participant can appeal any reviewer statement, as long as it is factually wrong. Each reviewer will respond to the participant's appeals.
Based on the final scorecard standings after all appeals have been settled, a winner will be determined. The winner will then enter Final Fixes. During this stage, all identified bugs and Review Board comments must be addressed. After Final Fixes have been completed, the architecture will be reviewed again to verify the treatment of the fixes.
The first place finisher will be awarded 75% of his/her prize at the completion of the Architecture competition. The remaining 25% of the prize will be awarded after the first place winner has successfully supported all new component design competitions and the Assembly competition that result from the Architecture competition.
The second place finisher will be awarded 100% of his/her prize at the completion of the Architecture competition.
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