Ralf Hinze, the general chair of ICFP 2007 asked us already at the end of 2005 if we would like to organise the ICFP Programming Contest 2007. I tried to collect a group of people from the Software Technology group of the Computing Sciences department of Utrecht University that were willing to help. That turned out to be rather easy: the majority of the people I asked were enthusiastic about it. In the first months we had frequent meetings, to discuss the several aspects of organising such a contest. Furthermore, we extended the team with several young colleagues. In particular with people that had participated in a couple of previous contests, which was really helpful.
After two months we stopped meeting to wait for the 2006 contest. We participated in the 2006 contest with four members of the team. As I mentioned in the blog message about the 2006 contest, I think this was a great experience.
We resumed brainstorming at the end of summer 2006. We ended up with three or four problem ideas. Each idea was investigated by a small group of people, and in October we selected one of the ideas, based on the practical requirements for a task we have formulated in a previous blog message.
In the following months we implemented several components for the task, and we tried to solve the several problems we envisaged with our problem idea. In January 2007 we were pretty convinced that our problem idea had no fatal flaws, and we started working out the many details that we had left open.
Since then we have been working on the implementation of the several components, testing, and quality control.