A WPF Contest Worth Entering

I am honored to announce that I am a judge in the “Lab49 WPF in Finance Innovation Contest“.  The premise of the contest is awesome; they provide you with some data and you have to create the best way of visualizing it in WPF.   I almost wish I wasn’t a judge so that I could compete!

In addition to me, the other two judges are Rob Relyea and Charles Petzold.  We have the excellent task of reviewing all of the applications that are submitted and deciding which ones are the best.  I should point out, that if you attempt to contact one of the judges regarding your application then you are automatically disqualified.

The prizes are INCREDIBLE.  It makes the prizes in my WPF Challenge competition look like chicken feed.  You can check out all the goodness here.

What’s even more important than the prizes, however, is the prestige you will receive by winning.  I’m sure that the winners of this competition will be raised a notch or two in the eyes of employers at companies which need WPF devs.  Think about it, what do you have to lose?


11 Responses to A WPF Contest Worth Entering

  1. Hiew says:

    Sounds like a great contest but its is limited to US residents only, isn’t it?

  2. Josh Smith says:


    As it says on the contest’s Rules page:

    The contest is open to residents of Canada, Mexico, the United States, and Puerto Rico.


  3. Pablo Alarcón García says:

    Yes, as a european this sux, why is this limited?. Can’t be anything legal because it includes different countries, if it’s the cost of sending the prizes overseas… it can be said to be paid by winner if resident in other country of those…

  4. Josh Smith says:

    I don’t know why they decided to limit the contest to certain countries. I am not involved with the contest at that level, so I’m sorry that I can’t provide a better explanation for you.


  5. Alex says:

    Any “contest” that requires submitting of full source with your ideas is a big scam in my opinion… considering the fact that said company specialized in developing applications for financial services, this looks like an extremely cheap way to get crowd source some ideas. $15k is a joke when they going to turn around and sell it for a few mils.

  6. Josh Smith says:


    I don’t know if the contest is a “scam”, as you put it. It’s not like you have to pay money to participate. Of course no company allocates time and resources just so that geeks can have fun. They must have reasons for doing it, but that doesn’t mean that they’re pulling a scam.

    Who knows what reasons Lab49 has for holding the contest. Maybe they’re doing it as a way of recruiting WPF talent. Perhaps it’s a way to build their name in the WPF community. Perhaps it is a way to get innovative ideas about using WPF to visualize financial data. I suspect all of the above are true, but why does that bother you?


  7. Daniel Chait says:

    Hey Alex,

    As the guy who’s responsible for this contest I thought I’d chime in here.

    Lab49 was the first firm to start a dedicated WPF in Finance practice, delivering real world applications on WPF within financial services. The way I see it, this technology has huge upside and massive potential to change the way applications are built and specifically, the way we visualize and interact with data in financial services. As an industry we have only begun to scratch the surface of the possibilities. By holding this contest we’re hoping to spur a round of innovation around this technology, and hopefully drum up some publicity for it as well – which will be great for us, great for Microsoft, great for the industry, and great for the eventual winners and finalists.

    So far in just a few days of the contest being around, we’ve had over 100 people sign up and download the sample data, and the contest has been widely covered. One of the coolest things about the contest is that Windows in Financial Services Magazine will be running a profile of the finalists & winner, so it’s a great way for people to raise their own stature and get some recognition for their work. Add in the prizes we’ve got from great sponsors – Alienware, Microsoft, ComponentOne, AMD, and more – and I think you’ve got a pretty compelling contest.

    Hope this answers your questons & I look forward to seeing more great entries.

    Daniel Chait
    Co-Founder, Lab49

  8. Josh Smith says:

    Thanks for the insights and clarification, Daniel.


  9. Alex says:

    It bothers me because this is a very shady way to collect free ideas and sell them as your own. Setting up a contest to get people submitting ideas which are 100% parallel to your line of business is just in bad taste to say the least. If they wanted to simply scout for talent, they should’ve set up a general WPF contest or one which at least doesn’t look so obviously like crowd sourcing.

    It’s very much like Netflix dev contest, at least they were straight up about their intentions. The problem with those kinds of competitions is that regardless of you winning or not, your already gave your ideas to them in full… And it’s not like you are going in with a beta product duplicating which could be legally or financially prohibitive, you are just giving them ideas and in return… well, in return you will probably get nothing or a “pat on the back” kind of prize for potentially significantly advancing their business. That’s why it bothers me…

  10. Josh Smith says:


    Well, I guess you should not enter the contest. 🙂


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