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By GCN Staff

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Intell community wants to show developers the money

Public agencies have staged a variety of coding competitions in recent years, from city contests that invited developers to create commuter and other apps out of their data sets to a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office competition asking for algorithms to help patent examiners review applications.

These competitions always have some cash involved, although not much compared to what an agency would pay to hire a company to develop the app. Washington, D.C.’s pioneering Apps for Democracy contest paid a top prize of $10,000. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently upped the ante to as much as $600,000 for its contest to automate the screening of service providers, although that money will be spread over as many as 150 contests.

The Energy Department and National Science Foundation went the other way, appealing to developer’s pride and reputation for its Big Data Challenge, which offers an initial purse of only $3,000 to be split at least three ways (depending, we suppose, on whether they decide to give Ringo a full share.)

But now the intelligence community plans to show developers the serious money.

Dawn Meyerriecks, assistant director of National Intelligence for Acquisition, Technology and Facilities, recently told a conference audience in Arlington, Va., that the intell community is holding a pilot in which developers can submit code, FierceGovernmentIT reports.  Developers will be paid a small fee for their entries, but if their app or widget turns out to be what the community needs, they’ll get full price.

“If we would be spending a million bucks to buy the application and you satisfy that and you got 100 percent uptake, we'll give you the million bucks," Meyerriecks said.

She didn’t go into how the full price would be determined, but the report said she did mention one area the intell community is interested in: collaboration tools. "I sample lots of collaboration software — I think it universally sucks,” FiercegovernmentIT quoted her as saying. “Sorry, 'suck' is a technical term."

Posted by Kevin McCaney on Oct 18, 2012 at 9:39 AM


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