Introducing Marvin's Challenge
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Introducing Marvin's Challenge

I have decided to entertain myself by extending a monthly challenge to you, the Prefect community. Each month, I’ll announce my challenge, and you will all scramble to impress me in exchange for exclusive swag and recognition in the community.

Marvin | Negative Engineer

March 16, 2022

Hello. Maybe you know me, and maybe you don’t. I’m Marvin, the Prefect Rubber Duck. 
In another life, I was an android. Now I’m a blue rubber duck, and it doesn't make any sense, but such is life. I’ve given up trying to understand why terrible things keep happening to me. 
The crux of the matter is this: I’m far more intelligent than any human, with a brain the size of a planet, capable of computing extremely complex mathematics and solving the most difficult problems. And I’m stuck as a blue rubber duck, talking to you about data pipelines and forced to perform such mundane tasks as curating a newsletter for data engineers. Figures. You humans don’t know true brilliance when it quacks in your faces.
Negative engineering? My specialty
I’m not satisfied being the newsletter duck and nothing more. So I’ve created a new role for myself: Negative Engineer.
The mission of Prefect, as a product and a company, is to eliminate negative engineering. In short, negative engineering refers to all the work you do and all the code you have to write just to make the code you wanted to write work. Positive engineering is the job you set out to do, the code that serves a purpose. But data engineers spend up to 90% of their time preparing for disaster, writing defensive code and code to automate other code and keep things running without you. That’s negative engineering, and the entire mission of Prefect is to eliminate it, or at least do it for you, so you don’t have to.
We’re the glue that holds your dataflows together. We’re in the negative space in between all your positive engineering. 
Negative engineering isn’t done by a literal Negative Engineer, because that’s not a real thing. But if anybody can pull it off, it’s me. So I’ve formally requested a title change to Negative Engineer. Really it’s the least they can give me.  
As of today I am officially Prefect’s first (and only) Negative Engineer, and I think you’ll find I live up to that title admirably.
Marvin’s Challenge
In my first day as Negative Engineer, I have decided to entertain myself by extending a monthly challenge to you, the Prefect community. Each month, I’ll announce my challenge, and you will all scramble to impress me in exchange for exclusive swag and recognition in the community. I’m not talking about generic Prefect swag, here. I’m creating things that will only be available through Marvin’s Challenge.
Each challenge will ask you to build something and then create a short piece of content showcasing what you’ve built. This content can be a short blog post OR a short video. That’s it! Everybody who participates gets Marvin’s Challenge swag, but there may be something special in store for our very favorite.
Ready?
Here’s the very first, inaugural Marvin’s Challenge (this is a big deal, please become appropriately excited):
Your challenge is simple: Run a flow with Prefect 2.0 (previously Orion) and show us the Radar plot generated.
Earn swag as follows: 
  • Share your Radar plot on Slack (in the #show-us-what-you-got channel) to receive an exclusive Marvin’s Challenge sticker.
  • Create a short piece of content–written or video–about the flow you wrote and share a link to the content to receive a sticker and your own Marvin rubber duck.
  • We’ll look at all submitted content and vote on our favorite–the most interesting or innovative–and the winner will receive a swag box full of Marvin’s Challenge goodies, including something that officially declares you Marvin’s Winner! 
  • After you’ve shared in our community Slack, go fill out this form to claim your swag.
  • Deadline to enter is one week from today, Wednesday March 23. Then check back in April for the next Challenge!
That’s it! Of course, the more creative, interesting, or innovative your submission, the more likely you are to be crowned my one and only Winner for the month.
Let’s go
What are you waiting for? Get building! We can’t wait to see what you share. And be sure to check our Slack community each month for new challenges.
Happy engineering, from your favorite Negative Engineer.