And, no thanks to Bravo, it’s also understood that we’ve officially entered the era of developers-as-rock-stars, brought to you in all their geeky glory under the scintillating magnifying glass of reality TV.
Though most of us tuning in will just be looking for a good laugh, on the (stiletto) heels of Silicon Valley there are also those that think TV is the perfect outlet to show the world that developers are people, too.
“We have shows for everyone, from chefs to gardeners, that spawn mini celebrities who become really approachable,” U.K.-based app developer Craig Lockwood tells Fast Company. “It’s time developers and engineers are shown in a different light.”
Lockwood is the creator of Objective-Sea, a new reality gameshow featuring 25 strangers on a remote island competing against one another for cash, prizes, and glory. But this is no Survivor.
Rather than issuing tests of physical strength and manipulation tactics, Objective-Sea will chronicle small teams of developers as they embark on a 72-hour hackathon challenge to create a winning mobile app. The teams will each be equipped with a single laptop, iPad, and iPhone per team, along with limited Internet access and basic food and rations. Each team will be tasked with creating a mobile app from start to finish, and a panel of judges will award the winning team with a cash prize and access to potential investors.
It’s hard to imagine anyone would have been riveted by a TV show about app developers two years ago. Lockwood says he was actually approached by a U.K. television production company to create just that, and turned it down. But he says apps have now become mainstream enough that people have begun to wonder how they’re made, and who makes them. “Everyone has an idea for an app,” but the developers and engineers who build them are still shrouded in mystery, he says. Lockwood says what the world actually wants to see is the director’s-cut version of app developers in action.
But Lockwood insists he doesn’t want Objective-Sea–whose name is a pun on the Objective-C programming language–to fall peril to the cheap thrills of reality TV. So there will be no voting-off of teams, no gratuitous humiliation shots, and no carefully orchestrated cattiness. By the show’s end, all five apps will be released into the App Store, and the developers, not the show, will have claim over their intellectual property and all revenues generated from their app sales.
The survival of the geekiest isn’t airing till next summer, and is currently being shopped around to a number of European and U.S. networks. In the meantime, just try enjoy the sordid affairs of the bikini-clad, shot-shooting starlets of Silicon Valley.