Drumroll Please - And the Winner of the Play@Home challenge is....

The Buckster

On the "Be the Next Microsoft Employee" show, we talked a great deal about how to engage you, dear reader, in the process. We're trying to show two things:

  1. How cool it is to work here
  2. How important training (and certifications) are to your professional career

 I think we've done that. There were a LOT of unknowns within this event, and that's always exciting and fun. We never expected how close the competitors would be, that each would win a challenge (not planned or scripted that way), or that it would be as hard as it was to select a final winner. We did want you to watch, and be involved. So we decided to create a Play@Home challenge - something that would allow you to engage with the contest, and win real prizes.

So what should this contest look like? I thought about creating more of the SQL Server challenges that you could run and respond with the correct answer. But how would I simulate the time, the pressure and more? Also, how could I ensure the contest is fair from the standpoint of the right versions, editions, and so on? How could I have you "present" to us?

So we decided - we won't. Rather than give you a technical challenge, we asked you to send one to us. Each week, I gave you a challenge based on the ones the contestants took. I asked you to show me how you would test for a specific skill or HR trait.

And you responded. We got some AMAZING submissions. It's clear you thought this through, put in some time, and did a lot of work. Congrats to you all! I hope the attempt - even if you didn't win - made you learn a little more. In fact, I hope this entire experience helped you learn a little more.

But some of you went above and beyond. You submitted some really over-the-top responses, and so we awarded you a prize. Lots of free e-books, which gave you an even bigger chance to learn. But in the end, one person did a little better than anyone else. His stuff was really well done, submitted, complete, and thorough, right from the start. Even so, just like in the show contest, it was a tough choice. Everyone did such a great job, but the attributes I mentioned put this individual at the top.

And the winner is....

  Chuck Norris!

OK, just kidding. I knew you would jump down and not read all that stuff I wrote that I really put a lot of time in, and just look for the winner. The *real* winner is.... Ryan Roper! Fantastic Job! Awesome!

So what did he win? Just some congrats? A warm fuzzy feeling? No! He won a LAPTOP. A brand new one, and not too shabby at all. It's an HP Folio - thin, sleek and fast. (completely opposite of me)

Congrats again. Great work.


  • RyanRoper
    | |

    Wow, I don't really know what to say other than thank you. Thanks to you and to all the people who put on the show and the Play @ Home Challenge. I put in a lot of work but it was also a lot of fun and I enjoyed it.

    I hope everyone else had a good a time as I did.

  • The Buckster
    | |

    You earned it indeed. I think you'll like your new computer... :)

  • Garrett Stevens
    | |

    Great job RyanRoper!

  • Mercwrought
    | |

    Great job Ryan. I can truly say you won fair and you deserve the prize, though I was sure I was going to win.  

  • RyanRoper
    | |

    @Buck I'm looking forward to using it for development on the go! I'm really excited to get my hands on it and start studying for some more certs!

    @Everyone else: Thanks! Thank you for the competition and giving me a reason to try even harder!