Judging the competition

You would think that judging a competition is easy, well let me tell you that you would be wrong.  When I was asked to chair the panel for this year’s Dynamites 16, the North East Technology Awards event, I thought that it would be a piece of cake.  I mean how hard can it be?  All that would happen is that a few entries would come in, we would have to read them, we would sit around a table and agree the winners.

The first thing that happened is that we had a huge number of entries, which is great for the competition but a little less so for the judges.  It is also great for the North East and comes on the day when the papers were saying North East has one of the fastest growing tech scenes in England.  Some categories were well subscribed while others only had a few entries.  That in itself showed us within Dynamo North East that we had some work to do in certain areas of the sector.  There were dozens of pages to work through and asses.

Deciding whether one application is better than another takes some thinking.  We need to be careful not to lost the substance in the form or get attracted by companies we know rather than those we have never heard of.  Some applications were of huge scale from household names while others were form niche applications from start-up companies.  Making comparison is not straight forward.

Then we came to the scoring.  I started with a simple 1 for first, 2 for second and 3 for third with the lowest actual score winning.  Someone far clever than me, well he is a university professor, pointed out that if people abstained then this would lead to a lower score and skew the results and so we turned it on its head.  Others thought that some entries were in the wrong category but in the main we left them as how the applicant intended.

There was a lot of engaged and passionate dialogue, in support of the fantastic achievements that have been achieved across the region and in the end we managed to go through them all and agree on which came out best.

If you want to know who the winners are then you’ll have to buy a ticket.  Dynamites 16 will be held on 20 October in Newcastle Civic Centre Banqueting Suite.  I hope to see you there.

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