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Salesforce Settles Hackathon Controversy by Declaring Tie

Salesforce Settles Hackathon Controversy by Declaring Tie
By Jennifer LeClaire

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Salesforce admitted it was unclear about rules for use of pre-existing code in its Hackathon. "As Salesforce is unable to determine whether or not this would have changed the outcome of the final round of judging," said Burke Norton, chief legal officer, "the company has concluded that the appropriate outcome is to declare a tie."
 



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During the initial two rounds of the competition, all judges were Salesforce employees who were familiar with the Salesforce1 Platform and with the rules of the Hackathon. However, during the final round of the competition, in an effort to ensure impartiality, five out of six judges were not Salesforce employees. The internal audit team concluded that Salesforce did not adequately equip these judges with enough information to ensure that the scores for the "innovation" criteria took into account use of pre-existing code.

More than the Money

We turned to Brad Shimmin, a principal analyst at Current Analysis, to get his take on the conclusion of the controversy. He told us there's no downside for Salesforce in this situation. He's sure the company spent more than $1 million on the opening act for the customer appreciation event at Dreamforce, so spending $1 million to recognize another developer is not a major issue.

"Companies that participate in the Salesforce ecosystem are developers writing to the Force platform and this is their livelihood. This is not about having fun building sandcastles and determining who built the nicest sandcastle," Shimmin said. "The kudos and accolades that go along with winning one of these events means a lot more than just the prize money. I am glad that Salesforce paid enough attention to this to do the right thing in awarding a joint prize."

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anonymous:

Posted: 2013-12-11 @ 8:05am PT
That's not the end of the story. There's going to be a lawsuit. Everybody is just xeroxing their press release. They determined they could pick anyone who violated pretty simple rules.



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