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Winners of “Learn Something New Team Challenge” Revealed; Take Home New iPads


SEBASTOPOL, California – October 5, 2010
Safari Books Online (, the on-demand digital library for technology, digital media, and business professionals, wrapped up its Learn Something New Team Challenge today. Participants were asked to describe a project they were planning or on which they were working, including the challenges to be faced and essential skills or knowledge required.  In addition, they were asked to identify the key skills they would need to gain in order to successfully complete the project. Safari Books Online hosts these contests to shine a geek spotlight on normally shy programmers and help them stand out in the eyes of their peers and supervisors. Contest winners are also given free subscriptions to Safari Books Online, which they tend to tell their colleagues about.

The two winning teams, Property Management System and Source Navigator for CVS, demonstrated their skills at solving a challenge outside their normal domain expertise (hence the contest name).  Winners were chosen by a selection committee from Safari Books Online, Rocket Science PR agency and a community of bloggers.

“In today’s workplace, people are being challenged to do more with less and often they are pushed to take on projects that are not a part of their current skill-sets,” said Rose St. Clair, marketing manager, Safari Books Online. “We wanted to celebrate the value-add that Safari Books Online offers as a resource to help professionals through our online books and instructional videos, and the idea to host a contest was a natural fit.”

The winning entries — chosen by a selection committee and a community of bloggers — for the Safari Books Online Team Challenge are:

  • Property Management System’s goal was to develop a multi-tier application for real estate rentals. The application needed to be modular and scalable using local databases and remote web services. The team used the netbeans RCP framework and development tools to build the solution, while leveraging Java 1.6, Swing, Hibernate, Mysql, REST & PHP.
  • Source Navigator for CVS – CVS is a vastly popular code sharing and versioning repository used by open source projects as well as by private enterprises to manage code. In many big and long running projects, there is often the need to refactor code, review, redo, improve or enhance functionality or technology. What is lacking at the moment, is a quick and user friendly way to make the task of finding usages of code that one intends to modify across the multiple modules..

“Delivering a working app — using new development tools, on an unfamiliar platform, with minimal prior knowledge — was an amazing experience, and we hope people will access the new code as some kind of super sample of a working netbeans application,” said Joseph Bennie, co-winner and project lead for Property Management System.

“Participating in the Safari Books Online Team Challenge gave us an opportunity to compete against some really smart people,” said Kevin Dmello, co-winner and team member of the project Source Navigator for CVS. “And posting regular blog entries about our progress and getting comments and feedback from the community was really encouraging.”

The two winning groups of the Team Challenge were given free subscriptions to Safari Books Online and chose to receive either an eReader of their choice (great for getting Safari Books Online when on the go) or an espresso machine (good for completing all-night coding projects).

Safari Books Online will be hosting its next contest, still in the planning stages, before the end of the year. Those interested can check our blog for updates and details.

More information about the Coder Challenges can be found on the official Safari Books Online blog.

Tags: iPad, joseph bennie, kevin dmello, learn something new team challenge, property management system, Safari Books Online, source navigator for cvs, winners,

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