Fascinating gambit; I usually associate it with more mature markets. Perhaps this is a sign that SOAP skills are going to be more profitable for enterprise developers to add to their portfolios soon…

It’s also an interesting judging panel — several of these folks have definitely been around for several hype cycles, so it says something that they’re onboard with this bet on WS’ maturity.

Grand Central Communications Unveils New Developer Program

“The Golden Spike,” Grand Central’s first annual contest for developers. The contest starts October 18th in conjunction with the Early Access Program and continues to December 10, 2004, with the winners to be announced in January 2005.

The Golden Spike contest provides developers with an opportunity to showcase their innovative work around reusable business processes and Web services development. Using industry-leading tools and resources provided by Grand Central, participants can submit one or more entries in the following categories:

* Best Business Process
* Best Use of SOAP APIs
* Best Use of Rich Client

The grand prize winner will receive a dream workstation of his or her own creation worth up to $10,000, and there will be three first place winners for each of the categories taking home a $1,000 prize. Contest entries will be judged by a panel of Web services and SOA experts including Tim O’Reilly, founder and chief executive officer of O’Reilly Media; Jason Bloomberg and Ron Schmelzer, senior analysts with industry research firm ZapThink; Bill Appleton, founder, president and chief scientist of DreamFactory; Phil Windley, contributing editor for InfoWorld Test Center; Tony Hong, co-founder of XMethods; Phil Wainewright, chief executive officer, Procullux Ventures, and publisher of Loosely Coupled; and Halsey Minor, chief executive officer, chairman and founder of Grand Central Communications.