Hey all! Judge Academy has been working from home for a few weeks now, but we are doing our best to continue to move things forward for Judges. With that in mind we have some updates for you!
Technical Difficulties: Technical Difficulties: In recent days as more and more folks remained at home, we began to hear complaints about the website’s load times in certain areas of the world. These ranged from slow speeds to complete time-outs. This was a puzzle to solve and we didn’t want to just blame it on everyone streaming their favorite shows non-stop and move on!
We dove into the issue, our System Admins looked into pressure points, and with the help of community members we were able to run enough tests to diagnose the problem. In the end, it looks like our Content Distribution/Delivery Network (geographically distributed servers used to help get content to end users) was creaking under the internet strain, so we’ve switched to a larger provider to make that delivery more robust. While this seems to have solved the issues that were happening, we welcome your additional feedback and confirmation that your experience has improved.
We’d really like to thank all the individuals that ran tests for us and helped us examine the performance problems. Without a global community of invested and helpful people, this could have been much harder to diagnose and resolve. Hats off to you all!
US Judges and Unemployment: We’ve been keeping an eye on things, and an article popped up this week on NPR that we wanted to share with you. Many states have changed/expanded their laws recently to make it so “Gig workers like Uber drivers, self-employed people, freelancers and contract workers should all be eligible for benefits if they are unable to work because of COVID-19.” You can read more about it HERE so if the temporary lack of large events has put you out of work, take some time to look into your state’s (or country’s) laws and see what options/support is available to you
Shirts: Things are obviously moving a little slower with this than I’d like, but we are still making progress and are now well on our way. We’ve gotten our Mock-ups approved, and have ordered samples, which we expect to come in within the next few weeks. This should include delays in processing that have come up surrounding Covid-19. Once we get those and verify that everything looks good, we’ll be able to move to order processing! I’ve included pictures below.
We spent a TON of time looking for something quality at a reasonable price point for judges to afford. We knew we wanted both Men’s and Women’s cut, and new we needed both a long sleeve and short sleeve option, as many of us have experienced both New Jersey in the winter, or Vegas/Prague in the summer! We wanted to move away from the black as the main floor judge color, to increase visibility. We also understood the strong ties people have to the idea of a GPHJ “Red Shirt” or “Burgundy” and decided to keep that color for that roles. Additionally, we’ve seen a variety of polos make their way to the floor of events, and having a shirt option that wasn’t full button down seemed helpful, but we wanted the staff of an event to have the opportunity to wear what works best for them, while still looking somewhat uniform. That’s where the color-blocked polos came in! While uniform ultimately comes down to the organizer of each event, we think that these options will help judges stand out at events, while taking both professionalism and comfort into consideration.
We also added a Branded Jacket to cover up your shirt when you aren’t on shift, mainly because Steve is awesome and has great ideas! We don’t have prices yet, but will continue to give updates as soon as we can on both prices and distribution plans! We know that the polos, blue long-sleeves, and jackets will be available for purchase to all judges, but we are still working out what we will do for the Head Judge Shirts.
Lastly, I need to say it. Women’s shirts with pockets aren’t a thing. I looked for weeks and weeks at shirts where the pockets were unusable (couldn’t even fit a basic land or a pen without it falling out) or even decorative. Of the shirts with pockets, some were made of flannel or other too casual materials, some resembled medical scrubs, some weren’t available in the size options we needed, or they didn’t have the ability to make Head Judge Shirts in that style, and the one or two that had functional pockets were exorbitantly expensive.
Overall, I’m happy with the options we ended up with, and will just continue to wear our utility-belt/purse/cargo-pants/waitress-apron or whatever else it is you do to make up for the fact that for some unknown reason the fashion industry has decided that we don’t need pockets.