Two developers who
won a massive $US1 million prize from a contest held by Salesforce.comhave been accused of breaking the rules of the contest.
The prize was the biggest ever for a hackathon, which is an event where developers gather together and work nonstop to build something new.
The accusers — writing anonymously on a message board dedicated to the hackathon — say the programmers submitted an app that was already in the works long before the contest was announced.
The Hackathon rules allowed teams to start work on Oct. 25, when the hackathon and prize were announced. The final coding was done live this week as part of Salesforce’s annual conference, “Dreamforce,” held in San Francisco.
A team of two developers won the prize, Thom Kim and Joseph Turian, for a voice-activated app called Upshot. Kim had previously worked at Salesforce as an engineer for nine years and had left Salesforce in January. We reached out to both men for comment but did not immediately hear back.
Upshot lets Salesforce users generate reports by talking to their smartphones and asking the phone to create the report.
But developers found evidence that Upshot team member Kim was publicly demonstrating the app to Salesforce.com users at this Meetup event on Oct. 8.
Here is “Upshot”, the winning project being presented well before the Hackathon was even announced: http://www.meetup.com/Salesforce-com-Integration-Analytics/events/136920332/ How is this fair or legit?
Another angry developer is demanding that Salesforce.com disqualify Upshot. User “livedash” wrote:
This is shocking that (a) Upshot guys (Turian, you are better than this!) thought they were eligible and (b) they aren’t disqualified immediately and (c) **no one from Salesforce seems to care about their own rules or the spirit of a hackathon** … our attorney is going to make sure Salesforce has to respond to this blatant violation of their own rules.
We reached out to Salesforce.com for comment and will update when we hear back.