We’ve got a bit over a week left in Codegeist IV. With over $50k in cash and prizes up for grabs, there’s a lot riding on this contest.
We’ve already seen the first few entries go up on the Entries page. I just wanted to take a second to encourage everyone to get your entries posted as soon as you can. I know that there’s a rather overwhelming bias toward procrastination here, but let me urge you to try to overcome that tendency. As I said last year:
The plugins that were submitted early had the benefit of a month of real-world use, feedback, and bug reports. In general, those plugins ended up being substantially more polished and complete than those which appeared at the end. The authors were able to develop detailed documentation and to fix parts which didn’t make sense. They put up lots of screenshots. But most importantly, they were able to fix bugs and add features that people requested.
So, my advice is release early, release often. As soon as you have anything workable, put it out and solicit opinions (the forums are a great place for this). The concrete feedback you gain on your Codegeist plugin will be more valuable than the element of surprise that you give up.
A little bit of real-world, real-user testing is critical: having a few people (besides yourself) try to install and use a new plugin will go a long toward making sure it also works when the judges try it. So, take advantage of the time left, and get your public out in the open as soon as possible!