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Plat_Forms 2012

Plat_Forms 2012 rev. 2

TLDR: After we had to cancel a first Plat_Forms 2012 effort in April this year, we are now going to try again and hold Plat_Forms 2012 rev. 2 on October 9-10 of 2012.

For the April 2012 execution we tried to put Plat_Forms under a cloud computing and scalable applications theme. There were two reasons for that: First we thought that having a popular technology such as cloud computing under scientific scrutinity would yield interesting results. Second we noticed that distinguishing a programming platform for web applications by the language only might not be accurate enough anymore since there are a number of other things, most importantly the web development framework, that play a role here. By moving the focus away from a typical HTML-producing web application to a scalable web service we hoped to get around that problem. The alternative would have been to systematically find out what constitutes a web framework, how to group "similar" frameworks, and what "similar" means in the context of web development frameworks which is something that hasn't been done before.

Although we received a lot of positive feedback during our planning phase and a lot of interest from potential participants, we failed to recruit enough teams. The main reason for that seemed to be lack of confidence in their own skills by potential teams. The argument we heard most often was that the teams feared they couldn't master the relatively complex cloud computing technology good enough to compete with other teams.

We therefore decided to take the extra effort and do the framework classification I mentioned earlier and return to Plat_Forms' roots. Plat_Forms 2012 rev. 2 will take place on October 9-10 2012 in Berlin on the premises of the Freie Universität Berlin (exact location still to be determined). The contest will return to its origins and the focus will again be on "classic" web applications. We will however introduce some changes:

  • Platform grouping will not only be by language but by a mixture of language and technology stack used (exact details are still to be determined).
  • HTML prototypes will not only be provided this time but will also need to be strictly adhered to.
  • We will put some focus on good craftmanship. This means that the task will be relatively small (but not trivial) allowing for proper QA, deployment, etc. We don't want to see dirty hacks wink.

What you can do now

  • Assemble a team. We will open up registration for the contest shortly and will publish a detailed announcement.
  • In the meantime you can read up on the Plat_Forms 2011 announcement which will probably be quite similar to the one for Plat_Forms 2012 rev. 2 modulo the task-specific parts.
  • Subscribe to our announcements mailing list (low-volume: about one message per week) or use the RSS feed of our Blog, which will carry roughly the same content.
  • Become a sponsor of Plat_Forms 2012 rev. 2. (Make sure you also subscribe to the mailing list!)
  • Read about the history of Plat_Forms

What else has been going on

Apart from trying to find out how to progress with Plat_Forms, we were not inactive:

Plat_Forms 2012 in April canceled


We are very sorry to inform you that we had to cancel Plat_Forms 2012 on April 3rd and 4th 2012.

We were unable to attract a sufficient number of teams to make the contest feasible. We will now analyze the reasons for our failure and try to learn from then. With a bit of luck there will be another instance of Plat_Forms later this year.

Please bear with us. If you want to be kept up to date with news about Plat_Forms you can subscribe to our announcement mailing list.

Amazon to sponsor AWS credits for winning teams


Amazon announced yesterday that "For Germany-based programmers entering the contest, there is an extra bonus prize of $1,000 in AWS credits to the winning teams, in addition to the prestige and prizes provided by the contest itself".

Read the full story in their blog.

FAQ published


Because of the interest we have and the accompanying questions received we published a FAQ document. You can find it here or at the site menu on the left.

Plat_Forms 2012 - Platforms in the Cloud


Plat_Forms 2012 will take place on April 3rd and 4th, 2012 in Berlin, Germany.

Plat_Forms 2012 will focus on scalability and cloud computing. Unlike in 2007 and 2011, this year's teams will implement a highly scalable web service on Amazon Web Service infrastructure. Thanks to Amazon for providing us with the necessary resources.

If you want to participate, read the announcement  (it contains a lot of useful information about the contest and the task) and use the application form to apply. Applications will be accepted until Wed, February 29th, 2012 Fri, March 16th, 2012.

After you have applied, it is a good idea to get acquainted with Amazon Web Services, if you haven't already done so. Everything you'll need can be found on After the team selection we will provide the participating teams with AWS accounts so that they can set up their architecture in preparation for the contest.

Contact us if you have any further questions!