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Is the $10 million Android contest actually slowing developers down?

People with any level of programming skills and a vivid imagination are looking at Google's $10 million dollar carrot with wide eyes -- but is the contest actually working the way Google expected? I'd have to say it's not -- right now anyway.

Is the $10 million Android contest actually slowing developers down?

People with any level of programming skills and a vivid imagination are looking at Google's $10 million dollar carrot with wide eyes -- but is the contest actually working the way Google expected? I'd have to say it's not -- right now anyway. The contest has effectively caused knowledgeable developers to have an "I'm not going to tell you" attitude towards sharing code. This has made finding answers to questions on the Android support group pretty difficult.

If an inexperienced Java developer is looking to create something unique, they generally start with examples provided in the SDK. When what you need isn't covered by those tutorials, the next logical stop is to look at documentation or ask for help. Unfortunately, the docs are a bit dry for developers who learn best by example -- this is where user contributed code plays a very important role.

The fact there is close to $300,000 on the line for winning projects is making most people think twice about sharing stuff with the community. PHP-like documentation with associated user contributed code would make developing on the Android platform a dream -- unfortunately there is no such thing. Unless you are an experienced Java programmer with the skills to interpret the provided documentation without extra code to look at, there is a good chance you are out of luck.

I'm sure by the time March 3rd (the cutoff for submissions) rolls around, there will be plenty of code available to help inexperienced developers make ideas come to life. Maybe this is why Google decided to to host the same contest again after the first one ends?

[Thanks Adam]