Hands-On Judging

Today it was time for the judges to get “down and dirty” with the teams. Each team had a 15 minute conversation with each judge in turn, showing their application running and getting scores and feedback from the judge Of course, I’m not a judge, but I was determined to join in the fun. I made it my mission to take a look at every single entry in the competition by the end of the day, and I pretty much made it. Some teams I when they presented, others I met up with on the showcase floor.

I started off by “shadowing” a judge as they chatted with a team, but having nearly bitten my own tongue off several times (nobody is supposed to ask questions except the judge during the demo) I gave up on that and went off to chat to teams that were in-between judge sessions. This was great. Teams seemed only to happy to practice their pitch on me, and I love finding out more about their solutions. Once or twice I got shooed away by a “proper” judge wanting to talk with the team, but it was great to be able to meet everyone. One of my regrets in previous competitions is that I didn’t have time to see all the entries, just the ones that I was judging. However, with my “captain’s hat” I don’t judge this time, so I’m free to go and chat. So I did.

Once the hands-on rounds had finished it was up to the judges to enter their individual scores and then these were combined to get a final score for each team.

And then we found out who gets the prizes. The numbers were unequivocal, which was good (I had this private nightmare of everyone getting exactly the same score).

So, once we had done our work, it was time for some play. First up with a bus ride to boat that would take us to the Winter Palace.


This was a boat a bit like ours, zooming past.




Now, that’s what I call a palace.

We got a tour of the palace and a potted history of Peter the Great and his dynasty. If you think Shakespeare had some dramatic stories, some of the stuff that went on here proves that real life can also provide big time drama and intrigue. 


Gold statues and fountains.


This picture was taken at around 10:30 at night. Amazing


How it must have looked when Peter was in the house.