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October 2011 Coding Challenge/Messaging

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Draft: Landing Page Intro Text[edit]

(The text for the landing page itself. Deliberately simple, since the graphics will be the key elements here, and full rules are much more descriptive.)

The Wikimedia Foundation is pleased to announce the October 2011 Coding Challenge.

Our goal is simple: we want to find great coders who are also committed to the Wikimedia vision: a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. We have selected coding challenges that we believe are exciting and achievable, and will be useful to Wikipedia users worldwide.

Grand prize winners for each challenge will receive an all-expenses paid trip to a Wikimedia event of their choice in 2012. Other winners will receive a certificate of coding excellence from the Wikimedia Foundation (which will look great on the CV.)

Contest entries will be accepted until November 8th, 2011. Please read the full rules for more details.

To sign up now, choose one of the challenges below!

Draft: Contestant Dashboard Page Text[edit]

(For now, it's pretty much identical to the Email "Response to Signup".)

Draft: Email Text: Response to Signup[edit]

SUBJECT: Thanks for joining the challenge!

Thanks for joining Wikimedia's October 2011 Code Challenge. We are looking forward to seeing your entry!

If you are new to the Wikipedia codebase, here are some pointers to get you started.

To submit your code to the challenge, go to your Challenge Dashboard Page and enter the URL of your project. You may update this right up until the end of the challenge.

The official rules are available here.

If you have any questions about the challenge, please contact us at FIXME (Sumana?)

Good luck, and thanks again for joining the challenge.

-- The Wikimedia Team

Draft: Email Text: Reminder[edit]

SUBJECT: Only $DAYS until the end of the challenge!

You only have $DAYS days left until your final entry is due in the October 2011 Coding Challenge.

A reminder: to submit your entry, go to your Challenge Dashboard Page and enter the URL of your project. You may update this right up until the end of the challenge.

Previous Draft Overview[edit]

Here's what we're trying to accomplish, in a nutshell:

  • You can do it! Make the contest feel achievable.
    • Which means copious documentation.
    • And if there isn't copious documentation, there shouldn't be a contest.
  • You should do it! Make the contest feel important.
    • Find inspirational messaging for editor recruiting and riff off that?
    • Radical transparency and innovation not only for editors, but for coders.
  • What's in it for you? Make the prizes compelling.
    • Certificate = valuable resume fodder
    • Main prize = work hand in hand with world's great engineers
    • Opportunities to do more and more cool work
    • Hinty hinty, could be a job at wmf, you never know...

Outline: Contest Page[edit]

Right at the top: prominent link to the signup -- signup is the key call to action.

Wikipedia needs coders:

  • Wikipedia is one of the most collaborative projects in the history of mankind.
  • One of the great untapped opportunities is for engineers.
  • There are lots of engineering projects waiting to be completed. (FIXME: link to them.)
  • We need help to tackle those projects. We work with volunteers, contractors, and permanent staff members. Let us know how you'd like to engage with us in future.
  • 400 million people could use your code!

Wikipedia announces Weekends of Code challenge:

  • Announcing the challenge!
  • Summation of the rules.
  • Link to the rules.
  • Realistic, yet welcoming, assessment of experience required.
    • Links to installation, since running your own MW instance will be required.
  • Another prominent link to the signup.

What can I win?

  • Explanation of prizes and why they're awesome.
    • Everyone who meets basic requirements gets a certificate award.
    • Grand Prize winners get a free trip to a WMF conference! Oh yeah!!!

Closing appeal.


A place for brainstorming banner ideas.

Some open questions:

  • What's the name of the challenge? Have we decided on "weekends of code"? Substituting $CHALLENGE here.

Mission Focus[edit]

  • Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. Now help us write the code for that world. Sign up for $CHALLENGE now.

Career/CV Focus[edit]

  • Are you a coder? Want to work for Wikipedia one day? Take the first step right now. Sign up for $CHALLENGE.
  • "Fall 2011: Volunteer, Wikipedia Project. Participated in $CHALLENGE. Wrote code that is now used by 400 million people worldwide." Want this on your CV? Sign up for $CHALLENGE now.

Exceptionalist Focus[edit]

  • At Wikipedia, we have the best coders in the world -- but we always need more. Join $CHALLENGE now.
  • It takes a great coder to serve 400 million users. Join $CHALLENGE now.
  • Are you a great coder? Prove it. Join $CHALLENGE now.

Whimsical Focus[edit]

  • (Wanted poster image: "WANTED: great developers.") Are you the developer we've been looking for? Sign up for $CHALLENGE now.