Just as a heads up, Cisco is holding a contest for programming. I was a bit surprised to hear this, since Cisco is not exactly the company I think of when it comes to things that developers write code for. Apparently, Cisco has a new product line of programmable, extendable routers for branch offices. They have a cool $100k in prize money to give out: $50,000 to the first place winner, $30,000 for second place, and the third place prize is $20,000. Not exactly numbers to sneeze at!
When I spoke to them a few weeks ago (I’m a bit tardy posting this), they had around 500 participants registered and only about 60 or 70 submissions. They were extending the deadline to give people in other countries time to enter, since it took a while for the contest information to be translated. From what the Cisco folks told me, I would suspect that people with Linux/*Nix development experience (particularly people who have worked on networked applications on said OSs) will have a leg up in learning to code to this platform. Edit (1/6/2009): As a heads up, I have been informed that the deadline has been extended to February 27th, 2009.
So, if you are interested in scooping up some cash and have the time to do this, give it a shot! With the currently low number of entries so far, your odds are pretty darned good. Good luck!