HeroX Challenges


The HeroX Fortran Storytelling Competition

Tell us about your experiences with Fortran in the “early years.” Share your story about this long-established programming language

This challenge is closed


This challenge is closed



After launching the High Performance Fast Computing Challenge, it came to our attention that the mere mention of the Fortran programming language really resonated with the challenge community! A lot of you started out with Fortran, back when it was still one of the go-to programming languages for calculation-intensive applications like weather prediction, fluid dynamics, and even computational chemistry.

Even though NASA had to reconsider their approach for improving the access-restricted software in the High Performance Fast Computing Challenge, we thought we could still have some fun with this and crowdsource the best stories about our innovators and Fortran. For the sake of history, appreciating our community’s expertise, and just hearing a good story, this challenge will offer a total of up to $1750 split amongst the top three “Fortran” reminiscers!

How to Get Involved

What we’re asking is simple: just turn on your phone camera and start talking!
We’d suggest you structure your 1 to 3 minute video to include:

  • An introduction to yourself and your participation in the “The HeroX Fortran Storytelling Competition”
  • Introduce your background with Fortran:
    • When did you first learn it, and what was the application?
    • How are you using it now? (if at all)
    • How is it a different experience than it was in the beginning?
  • Encourage voters to vote for your video



The HeroX Fortran Storytelling Competition offers a total prize pool of up to $1,750.  The prizes will be awarded as follows: 

  • First Place - $1,000
  • Second Place - $500
  • Third Place - $250

Additionally, winners will be featured in a HeroX blog post and across our social media channels.


How do I win?

To be eligible for an award, your entry must:

  • Include a link to a YouTube or Vimeo video of yourself that is no longer than 3 minutes long.
  • Be in the top 3 at the end of crowd voting!


Voting Scorecard

When voting for your favorite video keep the following guidelines in mind:



Overall Weight

Unique Story

Lot’s of people learned Fortran in a computer science class in college, how is your story different?


Original approach

Creativity and your unique perspective/approach.



A strong, captivating and/or funny voice with lots of personality will get full points.



A commitment to quality on behalf of the competitor, such as high production value.




Participation Eligibility:

The challenge is open to all adults (18 years and older, or age of majority), private teams, public teams, and collegiate teams. Teams may originate from any country. Submissions must be made in English. All challenge-related communication will be in English.

To be eligible to compete, you must comply with all the terms of the challenge as defined in the Challenge-Specific Agreement.  Submissions that contain inappropriate or offensive material will be disqualified.


Registration and Submissions:

Submissions must be made online (only), via upload to the website, on or before 5:00 pm EDT on June 28, 2017. All submissions will be public on the challenge page once submitted. No late submissions will be accepted.


Intellectual Property Rights:

It is not anticipated that participation in this competition will require the sharing of any intellectual property. As detailed in the Challenge-Specific Agreement – Competitors will retain all intellectual property rights to their technology. HeroX may use submissions in future promotional materials.


Selection of Winners:

Selected submissions will be made publicly visible for the voting stage. Prizes will be awarded to the submitters who have the top 3 vote totals at the close of the voting period.  All votes are subject to review. Any competitor using unfair methods to solicit votes will be automatically disqualified from the challenge. In the case of a tie, the winner(s) will be selected based on selection by HeroX Judges.


Additional Information

  • By participating in the Challenge, each competitor agrees to submit only their original idea. Any indication of "copying" amongst competitors is grounds for disqualification.
  • All applications will go through a process of due diligence; any application found to be misrepresentative, plagiarized, or sharing an idea that is not their own will be automatically disqualified.
  • All ineligible applicants will be automatically removed from the competition with no recourse or reimbursement.
  • No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win the competition.
  • Void wherever restricted or prohibited by law.




Challenge Updates

We Have the Winners!

July 17, 2017, 3:49 p.m. PDT by Maureen Murtha


The votes are in, and here are the first, second, and third place winners of the Fortran Storytelling Competition. In addition to recognizing the winners, HeroX would like to extend our deepest thanks to all competitors for sharing their stories. YOU are the key ingredient that makes crowdsourcing work. So keep sharing, keep innovating, and of course -- keep competing. And now, for the winners:

In first place: 
Jay McInvale with "Oil Refinery Blues"

In second place: 
Stephen Chase with "FORTRAN Over Half a Century Ago"

In third place: 
Terence Dowling with "Computer Architecture has Changed"



July 14, 2017, 1:16 p.m. PDT by Maureen Murtha

Voting officially closes in LESS THAN ONE HOUR! (5 pm EDT)

Rally the troops, everybody, because this is your last chance to cram those votes in and WIN! 
On a related note - huge thanks to all participants who have come this far - you're awesome, and your willingness to share your story is awesome, too. Regardless of the winner, we couldn't do crowdsourcing without all of YOU and your fantastic backgrounds. Looking forward to more competitions like this one in the future! 

Best of luck to all! 

Entries Now Open for Public Voting

July 5, 2017, 9:15 a.m. PDT by Maureen Murtha

Hello All, 
Just a quick message to let you know that today, as of 12:00 pm EDT, the Voting Round is officially open. If your video is on the list, be sure to share a link to the voting page with friends, family, your social media accounts, and everyone else you can in order to max out your possible votes. If you don't have a submission on the list, now is your chance to get involved and let us know who you think should take home the prize for best video. 

Good luck to everyone, and let the voting begin! 



Last Call for Fortran Stories!

June 28, 2017, 5:29 a.m. PDT by Maureen Murtha

This is it, folks, so make it count!

Today is the final day to submit your video entry to the Fortran Storytelling Competition
Be sure to have your submission form completed and ready to go before the cutoff time of 5:00 pm ET.  If you should experience any difficulties submitting, or have any questions about the process, please reach out to us immediately. You can even leave a comment right here on this update -- we'll get back to you as fast as we can! 

May the best stories win!

Only 2 Days Left to Submit!

June 26, 2017, 5:02 p.m. PDT by Maureen Murtha

This is your two-day warning! The Fortran Storytelling Competition closes for submissions on Wednesday, June 28th at 5 p.m. EDT. Don't get left in the dust! We want to hear your story of your humble beginnings with Fortran and where it has taken you since. With such a small community, your chances of winning are pretty darn good! Post any questions or feedback right on this update, in the comments section. We'll be sure to get right back to you. 


Best of luck everyone.