Who would have predicted that?

June 6, 2010

Back in 1994 I developed a football prediction game which I ran across several offices during the World Cup that year. It worked! It was great fun, everyone got involved, even those that did not really follow football. We each paid a small fee to play and had a prize fund at the end for the top part of the leaderboard and even for finishing last, which was not as easy as it might sound!

Back then the application was written using Alpha Four which then was a dos based database development tool. It made the administration of the competition easy and allowed everyone to enjoy participating with all the banter you might expect during such a tournament. It was a success, and not just with the football followers. It gave everyone the opportunity to have a go. You did not need to know football, indeed at times it felt like a real handicap!

The success of the game led to it being extend to the following English football league season where we had monthly leaderboards and an overall winner. All of this administration handled by Alpha Four.

So here we are, sixteen years on and after several requests to run a competition again I have taken the plunge! Technology has moved on, anyone heard of the internet? So has Alpha Software! The latest “blow your socks off” version of Alpha Five (jumped from four when windows arrived) is 10.5 and with it comes a whole bunch of features to help rapidly and effectively develop applications for whatever you need. They can be desktop based or browser based and oh boy the program really does pack a punch!

www.goal-count.co.uk was developed from scratch in TWO DAYS!

For the technically minded, the original application used .dbf technology and in the two days, those basic table structures were converted to a mysql database and a robust registration process* created. Scripts have been written to handle the game predictions and the other features of the competition. Using Alpha Five version 10.5 to bring it all together has made this possible. I really don’t know of any other development tool that comes close to providing this sort of functionality and ease of use.

So how will this competition go? The answer is “who knows!” The only thing I can predict is that when it comes to sport, the results can be so unpredictable but how much fun is it to try and predict the outcomes!

* registration process with massive help from AlphaToGo.com