DeveloperWeek Launches Crowdsourced Awards Program

Mark Boyd
Dec. 13 2013, 09:00AM EST

In preparation for next February's DeveloperWeek, organizers have launched an awards program to identify best-in-category developer tools, including best API Infrastructure and Best API Service. Award nominations are still open for API providers and toolmakers who want to see their product included in the vote, and all ProgrammableWeb readers are encouraged to share their opinions in the crowdsourced voting system. ProgrammableWeb spoke with DeveloperWeek organizer Geoff Domoracki about the launch of the awards program.

DeveloperWeek will be held in San Francisco from Saturday 15 February to Thursday 20 February 2014, with "headquarters" conference events in downtown SoMa, as well as satellite events (including Hacker Week and City-wide activities) taking place each day. 2014's theme of "full stack development" is oriented toward helping developers of all levels of proficiency to better understand all the technologies that go towards creating technology solutions: from backend server infrastructure through to the user interface and end user experience.

Last year, DeveloperWeek's awards included nominations from all technologies, resulting in more established players scoring the bulk of the kudos. With the rapid development of new technologies and availability of new developer tools over the past twelve months, the awards program associated with the conference has changed tack.

"Our project this year isn't so much to place business on a pedestal, but to have a showcase of the last 12 months of cutting edge technologies", Domoracki told ProgrammableWeb on the eve of the awards launch. "We are only listing developer tools less than 12 months old for the awards program this year. Anyone can enter - it's crowdsourced voting. We do have a level of internal mediation: we have suggested it's 60% crowdsourced and 40% our judging panel, but in reality the judging panel tends to agree with the community votes, it's really there to help ensure that award nominations are in the right category, just in case."

Highlighting the importance of APIs, two award categories have been created specifically to focuse on API tools, while many other categories will no doubt see API-related businesses nominated. Both API Infrastructure and API Services already have 3 or 4 nominated businesses, although more are expected, along with entries in categories including: app monetization, cloud services, JavaScript technologies and Platform as a Service. Last year's API-related winners included Mashape, Stackmob and Qbaka.

While there will be an API stream at DeveloperWeek, Domoracki sees the full conference program of interest to API developers:

"We do have a track on APIs. Mashape have an interesting talk planned on facial recognition APIs for example, and we have Dropbox and Fitbit presenting as well. But the truth is that APIs are just mixed into the genetics of the program across the whole week. For example, we have the CTO of Klout talking about building on their API, but that's in another track.

"Our conference goal is to share new developer tools and typically, APIs are how developers engage with new tools. Half the talks at DeveloperWeek are directly or indirectly related to APIs. APIs are the catalyst for how full stack developers approach new tools," Domoracki said.

ProgrammableWeb readers are encouraged to vote in the awards. Crowdsourced voting ends January 8, 2014. Product owners can also still nominate their service to be included in the awards tally.

Mark Boyd is a ProgrammableWeb writer covering breaking news, API business strategies and models, open data, and smart cities. I can be contacted via email, on Twitter, or on Google+.

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