For Fun

Node Knockout is for fun. While we applaud a competitive spirt, the competition is about spending a weekend with other node.js peeps building awesome stuff, not winning prizes.

At the end of the day, try to remember that no matter what happens to your score, you’ll still have had a great time, built something awesome, and gotten a ton of exposure for your idea.

How Scoring Works

Entries will be judged on a 1-5 scale across 3 dimensions:

  • Innovation - How original is the idea and execution?
  • Design - How good does it look and feel to use?
  • Utility / Fun - Is the site offering a service I'd use again and again?

Additionally, a Popularity score will be calculated based on the number of votes an entry gets from the general public.

In order to ensure all reviews are anchored similarly, we ask that people try to grade along a curve with a mean of 3.5.


All voting will take place between 0:00 UTC on Monday, Nov 13th and 23:59 UTC on Sunday, Nov 19th.

There will be three groups of voters:

  • contestants
  • expert judges
  • general public


Due to the fact that there are many more contestants than judges, we expect the majority of voting in this year's Node Knockout to be done by contestants voting on each others’ entries.

In order for contestant scoring to be succesful, we need lots of contestants to vote. To encourage this, we will only show contestants the scores for teams that they have judged. So if you want to know how your app is doing relative to the competition, you will need to vote.

Contestants should remember that votes are attached to their public GitHub profiles. Also, since any contestant can vote on any other contestant's app, contestants should try to be as fair and balanced to others as they expect others to be to them.

We reserve the right to disqualify teams from the contest for inappropriate or unfair judging behavior (as determined by the organizers).

Contestants will not be allowed to vote on their own entries (because it would give teams with more members an unfair advantage).

Expert Judges

We have an amazing and diverse panel of expert judges who are volunteering their time to provide thoughtful feedback on contestants’ work.

Unfortunately, it just isn’t possible to get enough expert judges to ensure that every entry gets an adequate number of expert votes. Thus, this year expert judges will only vote on the top entries and pitch videos will be required for expert judging.

Each expert judge will be asked to review an initial batch of 5-10 entries. After they do their initial batch, judges will be encouraged to review a handful more of the top entries that pique their interest. Experts will be asked not to vote for teams who they know.

The hope is that this will allow all the top entries to get at least 2-3 thoughtful expert reviews and that the best entries will get enough reviews that the law of large numbers ensures fairness.

General Public

General public voters will not score on 3 dimensions, but will instead simply vote up the entry. These votes will contribute exclusively to the entry's popularity score.

Any member of the general public will be allowed to vote. You are encouraged to get as many people as possible to vote for your work, as these votes form the entirety of the popularity component of your team's score.


A team's score will be determined by combining the expert judge score and the contestant scores for each dimension along with the popularity component derived from each entry's public vote count.

The overall score will be the average of all 3 components (innovation, design, utility / fun). Popularity is counted separately for the Popularity Prize.


There will be the following 6 prize categories:

  • Judges Favorite - team with the best score by Expert Judges
  • Contestants Favorite - team with the best score by the Contestants
  • Innovation - the highest innovation score
  • Design - the highest design score
  • Utility / Fun - the highest utility / fun score
  • Popularity - the entry with the most public votes

A team may only win one prize and will earn the highest prize (in the above rank order) for which it qualifies, opening its spot in the running for lower prizes to the next most qualified team.

See the prizes page for a list of prizes.


This is a competition for fun. The honor code applies: we're trusting you to do the honorable thing.

We have implemented a number of mechanisms to detect and to eliminate ballot stuffing, and we have a zero tolerance policy towards cheating. If you are provably caught cheating, you will be disqualified immediately, be banned from all future events, and generally be thought of as a bad person by all of the organizers and potentially many, many, more people. Trust us, it's not worth the risk.