These are the answers to some frequently asked questions. If you can not find your answer, please send email to webmaster@wearemicrosoft.com.


Will there be press at the event? Yes. There will be a photographer on Friday. There will be a video interviewer on Saturday. Print, radio, bloggers and TV may also be involved.

What if no one from my organization can make it to the event? You are required to attend the event. If you can not attend the event, you will not be selected. If you are lucky enough to be selected and no one is able to attend the event the developers on your team will be re-assigned to other teams.

When is the deadline for submitting proposals? The deadline for submitting proposals is Friday, October 31, 2008.

What types of applications can I request? We will be concentrating on websites this year. These are some ideas:

  • Add a new section to your website.
  • Track volunteers for an upcoming event.
  • Run a silent auction.
  • Register visitors to your website.
What do you need from me? Please provide a description of a project that you would like our developers to tackle. It does not need to be a whole website - it may be just for an upcoming event. If you are selected, two of your members must attend the kick-off meeting on Friday afternoon and at least one of your members must attend the demo on Sunday afternoon. The person who attends the demo should be your technical expert.

Will I be able to modify my application? Yes! Each charity will be provided with all of the software (and books) required to maintain, update and extend their application.

Where will my application be hosted? If you already have your own hardware or a hosting provider, you will be provided with instructions on how to deploy your new application. If not, Verio has generously offered to provide a free website to each charity, until 2010. The free website will include a SQL Server database.

If you would like to continue with Verio after the free period ends, hosting plans start at $13.95 per month, Verio Shared Hosting Plans for Windows.

How many charities can you help? We plan on helping 20 charities.

How will the charities be selected? It looks like we will have a lot more than 20 charities that registered for this event. You must complete your proposal to be considered. Also, the more detailed your proposal the more likely you will be selected.

What should my proposal include? Your proposal will be used as the blueprint for your application. The more specific your proposal the happier you will be with your application. This is just some of the information that you should include:

  • What is the objective of the system? Describe the problem this system will solve.
  • Are you requesting a new application or an update to an existing application?
  • If it is not a new application what software was used to create your existing solution?
  • Will you be hosting your application?
  • What information will you need to track?
  • Do any users have special needs?
  • Describe the ongoing needs for importing data into the system, and exporting it from the system.
  • List any reports.
  • Describe performance requirements, issues, and concerns.
  • Describe security requirements.
This is the document that you will be asked to complete as part of your application: Workplan.

Will I have help completing the Workplan? Yes, there will be a business analyst assigned to each charity. But, please try to complete as much of the document as you can. Completed documents should be mailed to webmaster@wearemicrosoft.com.

What happens after I am selected? We can only help 20 charities this year. If you are one of the 20 charities that are selected, your business analyst will contact you to finalize your design requirements.

My charity did not get selected. What now? There are other similar events being planned. See www.givecamp.org for information about other such events.

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Who is Toi Wright? She is a volunteer - just like you.

Will there be wireless internet available? Yes

Will there be a color printer available? Yes

What time should I arrive? Please try to arrive by 3:00 p.m. so that you can register before 3:30 p.m. Also, the early worm gets the closer parking space.

What about parking? There is plenty of parking around the building. However, because we are expecting over 150 people the nice visitor spots right in front of the building will probably be full. However, there is plenty of parking on the top of the parking garage.

How late can we stay? You can stay all night. However, showers are not available. If you are coming from out of town, there is a hotel located right next door, Sheraton Dallas North.

Can we form our own teams? Yes. If you would like to form your own team of 5 people, that would be very helpful. Please keep in mind that each team must have at least 1 Developer, 1 DBA and 1 Designer.

  • The Developers will be responsible for programming the front-end and the business logic layer.
  • The DBA will be responsible for the tables, stored procedures and the data access layer.
  • The Designer will be responsible for creating the master page and the cascading style sheet.
When you register, please enter your team's name in the Team Name field. Please confirm that everyone on your team has completed an application.

Can I pick the project I work on? Once the projects have been selected, they will be listed on the website and you will be able to rank your preference.

What technologies can I use? You can only use technology that has been released. That being said, the free Verio website will support the .NET Framework 3.5, the ASP.Net MVC Framework, Telerik's SiteFinity CMS, Telligent's Graffiti CMS and SQL Server 2005 Express.

No beta software!

The reason for this is that we had a great deal of trouble deploying the applications that were built using beta software. Also, they are much harder for the charities to maintain.

Can I use third-party components? We will be providing each charity with all of the software they need to maintain, update and extend their applications. There will be a limited number of licenses available for third-party components.

What about Content Management? We have partnered with the following companies to provide their solutions:

When do I get the credentials for the Verio website? Verio has generously agreed to have a technical guru on-site for the entire three day event. Once your team has decided what what you will need, he will create your website and provide you with the credentials. Also, he will install SiteFinity CMS or Graffiti CMS if you ask him to.

Will there be whiteboards available for our use? No.

What will the work environment be like? Each team will be assigned cubicle space. Also, you can use the large meeting room, several smaller meeting rooms and the large breakroom to meet with your teams.

When do you have to finish by? Please have your application deployed to your Verio site by 2:00 p.m. on Sunday.

This is a competition - who can vote on the winner? Everyone that attends the demonstrations can vote.

What is the judging criteria? There are 2 criteria:
  1. Meets the business requirement
  2. Wows the audience
Will there be other awards? Yes. We will also have "fun" awards such as "Nicest Sleeping Accomodations" and "Fastest Twinkie Eater".

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If I make a donation to this event, will I be recognized on the website? Yes. If you make a donation, you will receive recognition on the Partners page. Also, you will be allowed to insert pages or CD’s into the conference attendee bag.

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Event Staff

Can I work the event and volunteer as a developer? No. If you volunteer to work as event staff, you can not also work as a developer.

When will the shifts be assigned? After you create an account, you will be able to see the shifts that are available. We will begin assigning shifts when we get closer to the event.

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