Microsoft Imagine Cup 2010 IT Challenge FINAL Competition!

Best of the Best IT Students in the World Compete this Weekend!!!

Are you an IT enthusiast or technologist looking to see what the "next generation" of IT Professionals look like?  This weekend (Saturday, April 24th) starting at 12:00am GMT, the best of the best IT students in the world will compete in a 24-hour non-stop head to head competition in Microsoft's annual Imagine Cup IT Challenge FINAL competition!

I've had the opportunity to be the Head Judge for the Imagine Cup IT Challenge for the past 6 years.  We started off this year with over 100,000 college student competitors representing over 100 countries that have competed in challenging qualifying rounds.This year the Imagine Cup IT Competition was tougher than ever. There were many many top notch competitors vieing for prize money and the chance to be crowned the best of the best in the WORLD!  This makes this years achievement in reaching the finals even more of an accomplishment for these competitors.Today, we announced the 6 finalists who are as follows (in alphabetical order by the country they are representing):

  • Miklos Cari (Bolivia)
  • WeiQiu Wen (China)
  • Sherif Talaat (Egypt)
  • Bastien Sivera (France)
  • Dominik Trojnar (Poland)
  • Hu Zhengbin (Singapore)

These finalists will be given 24-hours to design and build from scratch an entire Microsoft-based network. This includes Active Directory 2008 R2, Exchange 2010, SharePoint 2010, SQL 2008, System Center ConfigMgr 2007 R2 SP2, Operations Manager 2007 R2, Data Protection Manager 2010, Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2, OCS 2007 R2, Windows 7, Office 2010, Forefront Threat Management Gateway 2010, etc.Not only do they need to build out virtual guest sessions with all of these applications, but the student competitors will have to integrate the applications into a fully working network (ie: Exchange email enabled SharePoint document libraries, forms-based authentication (through TMG 2010 and AD/2008R2) to a .NET-based IIS frontend to SQL, potentially even Windows 7 DirectAccess through Microsoft's Unified Access Gateway (UAG) 2010 for end to end IPSec policy-based encrypted access.The 24-hour final hands-on competition usually starts off really strong with the competitors building out Windows server sessions and loading up apps quickly, it's when the competition rolls into its 19th, 20th, 21st non-stop hour with the judges injecting typical IT challenges like virus or spam attacks, power outages, network connectivity outages that make the competition more real world and a lot more challenging!The Top 3 finalists will win an all expense paid trip to Warsaw Poland this summer to meet up with over 300 other Imagine Cup competition finalists in the 2010 World Showcase, Cultural Exchange, and Awards Ceremony.  Previous world showcase events have been at:

The footsteps of the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt (2009)

At the Lourve Museum in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower in Paris (2008)

In the majestic lights of the City of Seoul Korea (2007)

In the reflection of the Taj Mahal in India (2006)

As well as in Yokohama Japan (2005) and Rio De Janeiro (2004)

I will be blogging the Imagine Cup IT Challenge Final Competition starting at 10pm GMT Friday, April 23rd (that's 3pm Friday April 23rd California time) up on http://www.Microsoftsubnet.com I'll be posting an account of this year's competition LIVE during the 24-hour event, catch you then!Rand

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