The 2017 Arctic SharePoint Challenge is over, and the ASPC Antlers are back where they belong – on the wall of the Puzzlepart HQ. A change of rules this year turned out well for our favorite Puzzlers, where they dominated the field throughout this Matrix-themed event and secured Puzzlepart a decisive victory in the end. This made Puzzlepart the first team to win back-to-back years and the first team to win ASPC three times.

The ASPC committee decided it was time to end the badge-sniping of previous years, and refactored the ASPC rule set quite a bit. Instead of 25+ badges, the teams now competed for crowns in 8 main categories. The judges awarded points from 0 to 100 in each category, where the best team in that category got 100 points and the crown of that category. The categories were as follows

  1. Awesome Code: Best practice around different technologies; What type of framework; Best Practice on Platform chosen; Having a GitHub Repo; Nice Code/Commit/Issues/Commented
  2. Go with the Flow: Workflow automation; Webhooks; Forms and process automation; Event receivers; CRM workflows
  3. User Experience: User friendliness; Usability; User interaction; Accessibility; Mobile; Responsive design
  4. Geeky Bastards: Use IoT and other tech outside of Office 365; Mention Azure ML; Python or R; Bot Framework; HoloLens; Tesla; AI; Cortana; Alexa; etc.
  5. Power User Love: Your solution can easily be extended or used by “Power Users” to do more with it.
  6. Mile High Club: Cloud services; Azure functions; Microsoft Graph; AWS, Lambda; Cloud APIs
  7. Team Spirit: Open your code so others can use it; Be a good team; Happy camper; Help others; Blogs sharing what you have learned
  8. Dynamics Dynamite: Use of Dynamics 365 in the solution.
  9. Bonus Visio Challenge: (Not a category per se.) Teams could compete a special, voluntary Visio challenge. Marius got us the crown!

We believe the main reason for changing the rules was to get the teams to build more coherent solutions. Removing the badges helped the teams to focus more on one large solution, and not build a lot of scattered functionality that served no other purpose than to snipe badges. As far as we could tell, this really worked, and it also helped the teams build solutions they were more comfortable with.

On the second day of the conference, the Appsters managed to win 5 out of 9 crowns. Kings of the north!

The judges this year were tremendously good and in huge numbers. They were Marc Anderson (Sympraxis), Benjamin Niaulin (Sharegate), Fabian Williams (K2), Yina Arenas (Microsoft), Scott Durow (Develop 1), and David Walker (BVisual). They did a really great job, both in adopting (and improving) the new rule set, awarding points fairly (of course we would say that) and talking about and sharing thoughts on topics they were passionate about. Some of the contesters were lucky enough to see three of them talk at the Norwegian SharePoint Community the day before ASPC as well. A big, heartfelt thanks goes out to the judges, for taking time out of their busy calendars to join a bunch of SharePoint nerds up in cold Oslo for almost a week.

The ASPC 2017 judges reviewing the work of the Appsters – will Mikaels force-bind work, and does Marius even care?

The Puzzlepart Appsters consisted of Kim Damsleth, Mikael Svenson, Tarjei Ormestøyl and Thomas Granheim feat. Marius Agur. Marius joined the Appsters to strengthen their non-existing CRM-abilities, which no doubt helped us secure many points in categories we would normally not perform well in. The Puzzlepart Appsters built a Matrix release management system, helping people stuck in the matrix to get a way out. The solution consisted of Azure web jobs, Azure functions, CRM, Office 365 Groups, Microsoft flow, interactive chatbots, voice recognition and more. The public-facing version of the solution presentation can be seen in the following video.

Finally, we want to thank the judges, the sponsors, the ASPC committee and the other teams for a great weekend! We had a blast – see you next year!

PS: Check out Marc’s nice writeup of ASPC as well, over at his blog.