EBay is relying on the ultimate form of cheap labour to help it build an internal application — a developer contest. The company is shelling out $1,000 ($750 for winner, $250 for second place), via crowd sourcing Web site Top Coder, for developers who can build “a professional, intuitive, web interface for the eBay CAL OLAP Viewer.” The contest rules inform us that CAL OLAP Viewer is an internal application for eBay, but we’ll confess that we’ve got no idea beyond that.
At this point we’re accustomed to companies who use developer contests to ramp up interest for a platform that they’ve released (like the iPhone, Android, or Facebook), but this looks to us like eBay is just trying to get some cheap programming and design. We’ve asked the company to explain.
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