Ruby on Rails is well-known for being a powerful tool to help developers quickly turn ideas into working code. Rails Rumble harnesses that power and drives it to its only logical conclusion: a 48-hour programming competition pitting more than 200 teams of coders against one another for some pretty serious prizes. Each team of up to four people is provided with exactly the same thing: a virtual private server from Linode, a private repository on GitHub, and a really tight deadline. BYO caffeine.
The competition has ended and now that many of the contestants are awake again, it’s time for the public to kick the tires on these mini-applications and vote to decide who will take home the championship belt (and no, that’s not a figure of speech in this case. There really is a belt). The 22 finalists include something for everyone, whether you’re a developer working to nail down requirements, a boozehound trying to figure out what cocktails you can make with the leftovers from last night’s party, an old-school arcade nut looking to play multi-player Asteroid, or a hopeless romantic trying to employ Twitter to woo a crush.
Even the teams that don’t come away with any material prizes will have gained some very valuable feedback on whether their idea might have any legs in the long run. Fifteen of the entries from the 2008 competition are still active and available to users, including all of the prize-winning applications.
So head on over and check out the applications, leave some feedback, and vote for your favorite(s). Voting ends tomorrow, Sunday, at 5 pm PST. You’ll be deciding a grand prize that includes a netbook for each team member and a bottle of 12 year Pappy Van Winkle Whiskey (from GitHub - I knew those guys were classy), not to mention year-long bragging rights.