Probably too late for New Year greetings, but not if you also celebrate the Lunar New Year that's coming really soon. For readers who, like me, celebrate this festival, I'd like to take the opportunity to wish you 新年快乐，万事如意!
It's now been almost a year since the APEX Challenge Coin was released, and I must say, it's made 2019 a year to remember!
Many people have thanked me for initiating this project, but in my heart, I feel it is everyone who participated - from the givers to the receivers - that I should thank. The project outcome was more than I could imagine. Words aren't even enough to describe the feeling of knowing how much community members were touching each others hearts with simple thoughts and gestures. This world is a better place because of all of you, so thank you!
I had intended to end the project when the last coin was given out in December 2019. However, when news broke that Oracle Application Express (APEX) made the Gartner's Peer Insights Customers' Choice for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms, I knew at the moment, that there are and will be more APEX developers to show our appreciation too. I am thereby announcing the launch of the 2020 Edition of the APEX Challenge Coin!
While the rules on how someone can earn a coin have not changed, there are a few small tweaks to how this year's coins will be distributed. Firstly, to help me keep my sanity, I am moving away from spreadsheets and will be using APEX to help me maintain records of whom these coins are going to. I've got to eat my own dog food eh?
Then there's the request/nomination process. Rather than rely solely on Twitter for accepting requests, this year, I have decided that the process should also be "APEX'ified". If you have someone in mind that you'd like to show your appreciation to, please go to this website to submit your nomination.
Many have wondered about how the coins are serialised. I will make no statements to either confirm or deny those allegations, but suffice to say, the answer should be very obvious to a programmer. While I had issued the coins pretty much randomly last year, there were exceptions. For example, when I learned that the number "42" would actually help Shakeeb Rahmen find the meaning of life, I had no choice but to put it into the reserve pile. This year, I have decided to let sponsors select the number(s) they'd like to gift and you can do so when submitting a nomination. Do note though that the coin's serial number is a primary key, duh!
There were about 90 coins distributed last year, and it will likely be the same number this year. I had imposed a limit on the number of coins a person could sponsor, and that was to help ensure a fair distribution of coins. That practice will continue going into 2020. What does that mean for folks who sponsored coins last year? For every coin that you had sponsored but have yet to submit a name, then that coin counts against your 2020 limit. For example, if you had sponsored three coins and submitted two names (and hopefully pictures) of the happy owners, then you'll have the opportunity to sponsor four this year. Submit that last name from 2019 and you'll fully restore your "credits" with me.
Last but not least, I am planning to add a feature on the Sponsor a Coin website to map the global distribution of the coins. This was requested by Oliver Lemm quite a while ago and I hope to have it done in the coming months. Stay tune for that, but meanwhile, think about that colleague, friend, customer or even family member, whom has made an impact on you or your company through their APEX development skills. Consider sponsoring them a coin. Believe me, the experience and result is magical!