A new way to support the Battlesnake community

Many community members have asked how they can best support the community and platform. Some have offered donations, purchased custom merchandise, and even subscribed on Twitch!

We are incredibly grateful for their generosity, and this year we decided we’d like to offer something better…

Starting this month, you can choose to support Battlesnake by becoming an official Battlesnake Member.

Members will receive unique customizations each month and will be involved in (and invited to provide feedback on) early testing of new game modes, challenges, etc. …

An introduction to the Battlesnake 2021 Competitive Season

Registration for Battlesnake Spring League 2021 has begun, and before the competition kicks off on February 18th we wanted to announce our plans for 2021 and some upcoming changes to Battlesnake.

We’re pretty excited about what’s coming, and we hope you will be too :-)

2021 Seasonal Leagues and Winter Classic

Presented By RBC, GitHub, and Repl.it

During last Friday’s Snake Pit Live we announced TWO new competitions: the first ever Battlesnake Fall League and the second annual Battlesnake Winter Classic Tournament. Both competitions are presented by our partners at RBC, GitHub, and Repl.it.

Throughout April we’ve been running an online programming league called Stay Home and Code, raising money for Food Banks Canada.

Stay Home and Code was presented by RBC and AWS, in partnership with Communitech and Prospect.

Over 300 developers from all over Canada (and around the world!) stayed home to build, tweak, and fine-tune their Battlesnakes in preparation for a live Battlesnake tournament held on April 25th. The event has been a lot of fun, and we were humbled by how our community rallied to support a great cause. Together we raised $25,000.

Congratulations to all the teams who participated, especially Team Pixel, Redbrick, chkgang, and huntail for taking the top prize in their divisions.

Supporting Food Banks Canada. Presented by RBC and AWS.

The COVID-19 crisis in Canada has forced everyone into new realities and routines. For Battlesnake, this has meant postponing all in-person events until it is possible to hold them safely. It also means doing what we can to support all Canadians during these difficult times.

Today we’re launching Battlesnake: Stay Home & Code, an online programming league raising money for Food Banks Canada.

Event Details

Starting today developers of all skill levels can join the league, enter their favourite Battlesnake into a ranked arena, and compete online with developers around the world — all for a great cause.

On April 25th, we’ll…

Due to growing concerns surrounding COVID-19, and along with guidance from PHAC, WHO, and other health authorities, the Battlesnake team has decided to postpone our Battlesnake Victoria 2020 event until later this year.

This decision was not made lightly and we are disappointed. Ultimately, as event organizers and producers, we have a social responsibility to ensure the safety of our attendees and do our part to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

Over the coming weeks we will continue to monitor the situation. …

I only make non-negotiable job offers.

A non-negotiable job offer is exactly what the name suggests: when I extend a job offer to a successful candidate, the compensation package (salary, stock options, etc.) attached to that offer cannot be negotiated by either party.

I didn’t always do this, but over the last six years, as a startup founder and employer, I’ve learned that doing so helps me build a strong team and sets a positive tone for the type of company I want to create.

I’ve also learned that this approach is somewhat unique (especially for an early stage tech…

What if programming was fun and accessible for everyone?

This past weekend we held the 5th Annual Battlesnake Tournament in Victoria BC Canada. It was easily the best event we’ve ever organized, with over 200 teams registering to compete and nearly 1,000 participants, spectators, and sponsors attending throughout the day.

If you weren’t able to attend and are curious about the event, the entire tournament is available to watch on Twitch. A quick note though: nothing beats attending a Battlesnake event in person.

This year’s event has us thinking hard about the future of Battlesnake, both what it has become and where it could go. …

A friend of mine is learning to code. The other day he asked me…

“How should I apply for a job at a startup? What do you look for in resumes?”

and as we discussed, I realized the answer wasn’t what he expected.

In fact I think there are pretty significant differences between successfully applying to a startup and applying to a larger tech company — and most people applying to startups do it wrong.

What’s different about applying to startups?

The audience for your startup job application is very different than that of a larger tech company. Large companies have recruiting teams and scalable hiring…

TL;DR: Build things non-technical staff need and programmers hate building.

I’ve been studying a lot of successful B2B SaaS startups lately, and noticed that the really great ones increase productivity in a very specific way: they eliminate dependency on technical staff to build and maintain internal tools. By doing so, they allow product and marketing teams to operate with greater speed and independence.

A great example of this is Optimizely. Before Optimizely existed, growth-focused roles (typically filled by non-technical team members) relied on technical staff to provide and maintain A/B testing and optimization tools.

Now that doesn’t sound too bad……

Brad Van Vugt

Proud dad, husband, programmer, DM, and Canadian. Building a wonderfully unique developer community.

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