Multi-award winning tech show aimed at improving the engineering community and giving a voice to those who have been silenced.
The focus of this project is to secure funding to complete the first season of Whiteboard Challenge®. See episode synopses below and watch the sizzle reel for more information.
Real software engineers perform the infamous Whiteboard Challenge® interview in front of a live audience, testing their talent and tenacity for solving brain-bending coding challenges. Viewers vote for their favorite, while learning to code and compete from home.
Whiteboard Challenge® is based on a tech industry interviewing practice where naturally introverted software engineers are asked to step out of their comfort zone by solving a coding challenge, hand written on a whiteboard, in front of a panel of experts. This is the standard, yet unnerving process across the tech industry.
This original series holds the unique entertainment value of being both compelling to watch and a program for learning. While most series use general knowledge as a basis for game/challenge, our series presents and illustrates a skill that requires incredible talent, but is also becoming a skill requirement on a basic level even among elementary school students.
Whiteboard Challenge®, created by Michael Kureth and co-produced by Michael Garcia and Daniel Munoz, is the first and only show of its kind featuring an intelligent and competitive take on the software engineering interview process in the form of a game show.
In “Diversity and Inclusion”, the pilot episode of Whiteboard Challenge®, each contestant portrays a prevalent societal topic with women in tech, age discrimination, and homelessness. The judges on the show represent Latino and African American engineering leadership in tech.
The algorithm solved on the pilot episode is a basic form of the formula used in the creation of randomized levels for games and determining the quickest route for driving directions. We see a visualization of the code being run in the form of a self driving car race.
After one contestant is eliminated, the final two compete in a microsecond timed playback of their code.
Following in the tradition of an actual interview where personal preference weighs in the hiring decision, the winning contestant at the premiere was influenced by the number of votes received.
At the free premiere and tech event on September 21, 2019, attendees were encouraged to volunteer and donate to People Assisting The Homeless. A theme for each episode on the show is to benefit and raise awareness for a cause in tech.
The primary judge on each episode is a celebrity talent to gain viewer interest. The two remaining judges provide balance and insight as engineering managers and executives in the tech industry.
The contestants on the show are software engineers representing different and relatable qualities of the viewers. These include: people of color in tech, women in tech, older engineers, etc. These roles give empathy and broaden the audience.
The host of the show is Michael Kureth who has 20+ years of both technology and entertainment experience. The target audience will expect and respect this role portrayed by someone with this experience.
The audience of the show votes on the contestant to win which adds additional points to performance. The audience is also encourage to learn the code challenge and compete from home.
Each episode has a main theme which is represented by the code challenge. This teaches the audience how common applications and services are built as well as intrigue viewers into the field. Each contestant is asked the code challenge individually as the judges discuss related topics with the host. The question is the same for each contestant while teaching the viewer.
Once each contestant has completed the challenge, feedback is provided by an assigned judge using questions similar to those at an interview. When all three contestants are complete, the judges eliminate one contestant.
The remaining two contestants then transcribe their answers to functional code. This is then run through a visual simulation for the audience to see. The winner of the show is based on audience votes and code efficiency. The judges then provide feedback on how they would answer the question and give reasons to this answer.
Official Whiteboard Challenge® series pitch deck: https://mkureth.s3.amazonaws.com/whiteboard-challenge/Whiteboard-Challenge.pdf
Whiteboard Challenge® S01 E00 – Diversity and Inclusion
The pilot episode delves into discrimination based on age, social introversion, and other factors along with educating non-technical viewers on how useful applications and games are built.
The goal of the show is to enlighten and encourage change in society by humanizing the people behind today’s modern technical wonders and giving a voice to those who have been silenced.
In contrast to all other tech related films and shows, the entire cast of Whiteboard Challenge® consists of only software engineers, not actors. The show’s creator, Michael Kureth, and two co-producers, Michael Garcia and Daniel Munoz, have over half a century combined experience in software engineering.
Empathetic to the Los Angeles homelessness crisis and a theme of the pilot, the world premiere on September 21, 2019 benefited the homeless with a free event, food, and drinks along with People Assisting The Homeless accepting volunteers and donations.
Whiteboard Challenge® S01 E01 – Hidden Figures
“Hidden Figures” was inspired by Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Gobels Johnson for calculating the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit. In this competition episode of Whiteboard Challenge, contestants, all African American women, write an algorithm to navigate a spacecraft from Earth to Mars.
Whiteboard Challenge® S01 E02 – Born with Curiosity
“Born with Curiosity” was inspired by Grace Hopper who invented the first computer compiler. In this competition episode of Whiteboard Challenge, contestants, all women, write an algorithm to transpile sets of code into another computer language.
Whiteboard Challenge® S01 E03 – A Beautiful Mind
“A Beautiful Mind” was inspired by John Forbes Nash Jr. who made contributions to game theory and partial differential equations. In this competition episode of Whiteboard Challenge, contestants, all with hidden disabilities, write a machine learning algorithm that uses game theory to predict optimal behaviors.
Whiteboard Challenge® S01 E04 – The Imitation Game
“The Imitation Game” was inspired by Alan Turing, the cryptanalyst who solved Enigma, the device used by the German military command to encode strategic messages. In this competition episode of Whiteboard Challenge, contestants, all war veterans, write an algorithm to encrypt and decrypt a complex set of messages.
Whiteboard Challenge® S01 E05 – The Internet’s Own
“The Internet’s Own” was inspired by Aaron Swartz, the child computer prodigy who advocated for information to be free. In this competition episode of Whiteboard Challenge, contestants, all child prodigies, write an algorithm to catalog large sets of data with indexing and search functionality.
Whiteboard Challenge® S01 E06 – Poetic Science
“Poetic Science” was inspired by Ada Lovelace, known as “the first computer programmer;” daughter of poet, Lord Byron; and mathematician physicist, Lady Byron. In this competition episode of Whiteboard Challenge, contestants, all musicians and poets, write a program to rhyme phrases and create syllabic stanzas.
Whiteboard Challenge® S01 E07 – Silicon Valley Originals
“Silicon Valley Originals” was inspired by Roy Clay Sr., known as the “Godfather of Silicon Valley” who wrote software to simulate how particles spread after an atomic explosion. In this competition episode of Whiteboard Challenge, contestants, all with startups, write the core algorithm for particle generation.
Whiteboard Challenge® S01 E08 – Crash Override
“Crash Override” was inspired by Julian Assange, known for creating WikiLeaks and hacking government, educational, and corporate networks. In this competition episode of Whiteboard Challenge, contestants, all reformed hackers, write algorithms to hack data from unknown sources before optimizing for archival.
Whiteboard Challenge® S01 E09 – The Pursuit of Happyness
“The Pursuit of Happyness” was inspired by the many homeless software engineers in Los Angeles and San Francisco. In this competition episode of Whiteboard Challenge, contestants, all homeless or formerly homeless, write an algorithm of a self driving vehicle as the core mechanic behind a ways based map application.
Whiteboard Challenge® S01 E10 – The Gamer
In “The Gamer”, the semi-final episode of Whiteboard Challenge, contestants diagram, architect, and plan the technical architecture and project charter for a game similar to Pokémon Go which includes everything from user experience design for mobile and web front end development to server side scalable architecture to support billions of active unique users.
Whiteboard Challenge® S01 E11 – Digital Streaming Service
In “Digital Streaming Service”, the semi-final episode of Whiteboard Challenge, contestants diagram, architect, and plan the technical architecture and project charter for a digital streaming service similar to Netflix, Disney, Amazon Prime, Google YouTube, and Cinedapt which includes everything from user experience design for mobile and web front end development to server side scalable architecture to support billions of active unique users.
Whiteboard Challenge® S01 E12 – The Social Network
In “The Social Network”, the semi-final episode of Whiteboard Challenge, contestants diagram, architect, and plan the technical architecture and project charter for a social network similar to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Zennect which includes everything from user experience design for mobile and web front end development to server side scalable architecture to support billions of active unique users.
Whiteboard Challenge® S01 E13 – Culture Fit
In “Culture Fit”, the season finale of Whiteboard Challenge, contestants answer behavioral and situational based questions while connected to a polygraph machine. The winner is decided by votes from the audience based on personal preference unrelated to the contestants’ skill and ability.
Whiteboard Challenge® (USPTO #88926705) is a registered trademark of Michael Kureth.
IC 025. US 022 039. G & S: pants; shirts; skirts; jackets; hats; wristbands as clothing; belts; hoodies. FIRST USE: 20180101. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20190921
IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: Entertainment and education in the nature of a reality based series on the interview process within the tech industry provided through television broadcasts, webcasts, and digital video streaming platforms; Entertainment in the nature of competitions in the field of software engineering; Entertainment in the nature of an on-going series featuring elements of education, competition, game show, talk show, tech show, and comedy show, and also featuring software engineers and tech-based interviews, broadcast over television, satellite, audio, and video media; Entertainment and education in the form of organizing, arranging, and conducting competitions featuring software engineers; Entertainment and educational services, namely, providing a television program in the field of software engineering and software engineering based entertainment, via a global computer network; Entertainment and educational services, namely, providing a web site featuring information and non-downloadable videos, photographs, audio recordings, and articles in the field of software engineers and software engineer based entertainment and education. FIRST USE: 20180101. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20190921
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