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Google Code Jam 2003 Announced

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the something-to-hack-on dept.

Programming 303

An anonymous reader says "O'Reilly Developer News is reporting details of the newest Google programming contest, Google Code Jam 2003. Prizes range from t-shirts to ten grand and you can use any programming language you want to solve the increasingly challenging problems." Update by J : ... as long as it's Java, C++, C# or VB.NET.

cancel ×

303 comments

Read up, people! (-1, Funny)

inertia@yahoo.com (156602) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986701)

This will help. Pick one (or all) and go to town in 24 hours, and just in time for the contest:Good luck! (Google will grade on a curve, right?)

Re:Read up, people! (3, Troll)

Peridriga (308995) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986813)

Re:Read up, people! (1)

khr (708262) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986881)

Or better yet...

Bobs Teach Yourself Java 2 in Less Time Than Anyone Else
Bobs Teach Yourself C++ in Less Time Than Anyone Else
Bobs Teach Yourself C# in Less Time Than Anyone Else

Re:Read up, people! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6986820)

Hello Mr Sams. No, I don't want to buy any of your damned books, ok?

Re:Read up, people! (2, Informative)

cygnusx (193092) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986853)

> http://www.amazon.com/exe .../inertishomepa-20

Good luck to your Amazon Associates account too.

Which of you moderators modded that ad up as Informative??

SPAMMER I says!!! (5, Informative)

bigjocker (113512) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986937)

Glad to see the real identity of the spammer [slashdot.org] who [slashdot.org] has been anonimously posting links to amazon products with himself (inertishomepa-20) as referrer.

Guess you forgot to check the "Post Anonymously" check box this time. Anyway, this is a spammer people, dont click those links.

On a different note I see you are also the owner of the infamous martin-studio website that has been placing ads on the mirrors for slashdotted stories ....

Re:SPAMMER I says!!! (2, Funny)

Bucky Katt (665485) | more than 10 years ago | (#6987036)

On a different note I see you are also the owner of the infamous martin-studio website that has been placing ads on the mirrors for slashdotted stories .... Even if you do learn to speak correct English, whom are you going to speak it to? -- Clarence Darrow

I didn't know Clarence Darrow read Slashdot.

i am (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6986703)

getting good at this

you are (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6986855)

getting good at YOU FAIL IT

Any language? (5, Informative)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986704)


The submitter writes ".. you can use any programming language you want" but Google's page says "Use Java, C++, C# or VB.NET. Pick any of these programming languages to code your solutions. All are acceptable and none is given an advantage."
Unless I'm parsing this wrong, it sounds like one can't use any language, only 1 of the 4 listed. (It's also odd that C isn't there but some proprietary languages are)

Re:Any language? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6986777)

Submitter is an idiot.

If you can't use lisp, it's not worth doing.

Re:Any language? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6986844)

Here is some winning code:

#!/usr/bin/perl

print "I win!!!!";

You can use any language you want (0, Redundant)

rk (6314) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986780)

as long as it's Java, C++, C#, or VB.NET.

Re:You can use any language you want (1)

Mantorp (142371) | more than 10 years ago | (#6987084)

what, no HTML?

Re:Any language? (-1, Redundant)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986791)

C is a subset of C++

Re:Any language? (1)

jonathan_ingram (30440) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986811)

No, it isn't. It's *almost* a subset, but there are valid C programs which are not valid C++.

Re:Any language? (1)

IvyMike (178408) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986850)

You're correct: one trivial example is any C code that uses identifiers which are C++ keywords.

But if you're writing new C code from scratch, aware that it will be compiled with a C++ compiler, it's trivial to get it all to work.

Re:Any language? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6986864)

It's trivial... unless you need to use the new C99 features.

Re:Any language? (0, Redundant)

millette (56354) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986854)

c++ started out as a superset of c, but the inverse isn't true any more.

Re:Any language? (1)

someguy456 (607900) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986819)

Technically, isn't C++ backwards compatible with C? That is, all C programs should compile and work correctly on any C++ compiler. Do compilers actually use the file extension to differentiate? Maybe if you just labeled your code as .cpp, it will all work out.

Re:Any language? (2, Funny)

PaulBu (473180) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986869)

Good luck compiling a C program which has a variable named 'new'! ;-)

Paul B.

no. (1)

pb (1020) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986888)

\\ no, it isn't.

Re:no. (1)

Neon Spiral Injector (21234) | more than 10 years ago | (#6987001)

You mean: // yes it it, as of C99

Re:no. (1)

lederhosen (612610) | more than 10 years ago | (#6987035)

double false = 3.0;

try that in c++

Re:Any language? (1)

joe_plastic (704135) | more than 10 years ago | (#6987040)

No it is not strictly backwards compatible. There are a few areas where they a strictly conforming c program will either not compile or give different results if compiled as if it were a c++ program.
Obviously c++ keywords in a c program would give different results.
There are also other things like the value of sizeof('x') . Is it 1 or 4?
There are somethings were being more verbose explicit can lessen the differenrces.
is f() interpreted as void f(void) or int f(...)

Re:Any language? (4, Informative)

Ruds (86067) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986828)

Google is running this through TopCoder, which started out Java/C++ only and has recently added C# and VB.NET. TopCoder challenges are object-oriented in nature, although in some cases, this is basically a thin veneer over a non-object-oriented problem.

Matt

Re:Any language? (4, Funny)

SeanTobin (138474) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986877)

Time to break out my perl to C converter! You haven't seen obfuscated perl until you've seen it in C!

Re:Any language? (0, Redundant)

MarvinIsANerd (447357) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986958)

C++ is a superset of C. You could code an entire program in C and it would also be valid C++...

Re:Any language? (1)

lederhosen (612610) | more than 10 years ago | (#6987013)

No it is not, just allmost.

Your choices (4, Funny)

955301 (209856) | more than 10 years ago | (#6987000)

Yeah, the limit on programming languages reminds me of The Jerk. No, not my grandfather, but the Steve Martin movie. Specifically, a scene where he is working at a carnival stand:

Carnival Goer:
What'd I win?

Navin:
Uh, anything in this general area right in here. Anything below the stereo and on this side of the bicentennial glasses. Anything between the ashtrays and the thimble. Anything in this
three inches right in here in this area. That includes the Chiclets, but not the erasers.

blogs (2, Funny)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986705)

you can use any programming language you want to solve the increasingly challenging problems

Like how to stop blogs from screwing with google's results? :)

I'll use VB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6986861)

I'll rewrite the google pagerank algorithm in VB.Net. If google starts using it I will have solved microsoft's challenging problem of beating google.

All right! (4, Funny)

anon*127.0.0.1 (637224) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986707)

Finally, a chance for me to show what COBOL can really do!

Re:All right! (1)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986725)

Lisp will totally kick cobol's butt. :)

Re:All right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6986761)

Oh so true, too bad Google is being a language chauvinist here....only C++, Java, VB, C#

Re:All right! (4, Funny)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986816)

(((If (You can ((keep track of) all the)) crazy )) brackets ) !)

Re:All right! (5, Funny)

tuffy (10202) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986921)

(((If (You can ((keep track of) all the)) crazy )) brackets ) !)

You missed an open-paren

;)

Re:All right! (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 10 years ago | (#6987073)

... the words of a lisp programmer after a quick glance? :-)

That reminded me of the old MS-DOS days (eep!) where you got so used to the short file name rules, that it took a fraction of a second to see that the file name IBFDATA01.BIN was one character too long, and you became equally quick to shorten names to optimal length while still being as descriptive as possible. :-)

Re:All right! (1)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986984)

That's always what I thought what TinyMUSH was created for.. bracket matching training.

5 years later and I can still count parenthesis with the best of 'em.

Re:All right! (1)

inkedmn (462994) | more than 10 years ago | (#6987027)

/me whips out brainfuck, all flee in terror

C++ only? (4, Interesting)

pigscanfly.ca (664381) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986713)

If I write C code that compiles under C++ would that be considerd "C++" (for the purpose of said competition . While I can program C++ if its a timed competition C would be faster for me) .

Re:C++ only? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6986789)

Anything that compiles with a C++ compiler is C++ in my book (ignoring the cries of the "int main" C++ Nazis of course)

Re:C++ only? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6986804)

Think for a second about your question. How exactly would they tell the C apart from the C++?

C is C++ (1)

ProfessionalCookie (673314) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986969)

Of course you know that C++ is a superset of C.

would that be considerd "C++"

That's like saying "We're gonna have a race, you can use bikes.
Racer #664381: Um can I use a Schwinn since it works like a bike.

Re:Not 100% true. (2, Informative)

botzi (673768) | more than 10 years ago | (#6987083)

Of course you know that C++ is a superset of C.


It's quiet easy to write C code that does not compile on C++ compilers(malloc() casts anyone??? etc.), so the answer to this question is more likely to be:
"Yes, you may write C code and it'll be accepted as long as it compiles on our compiler package.".

Looking for telecommuters? (4, Interesting)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986714)

This is an interesting way of looking for recruits. An individual interview is one thing -- I've seen some real losers get past that process. Google seems to be looking for a way to entice and reward developers who can use their l33t coding sk1llz in a team environment. It's one thing to be able to write good code -- the ability to work with other great coders is valuable indeed.

Here's what Google values, from their Job Opportunities [google.com] page:
What we look for when hiring great people:
* People with broad knowledge and expertise in many different areas of computer science and mathematics, including distributed systems, operating systems, data mining, information retrieval, machine learning, performance optimization, algorithms, user interface design, statistical inference and information theory, and related areas.
* People with world-class programming skills.
* People with excellent communication and organizational skills.
* People who are passionate about their work and are great colleagues.
* People who enjoy working in a high-energy, unstructured environment on very small project teams to build amazing products used by millions of people every day.
* People with diverse interests and skills.
What intrigues me personally is that this contest takes place in an online collaborative environment. Does this mean that Google is considering opening up to remote working -- as in, I can live in Dallas and "work" in the Googleplex? As much as I'd love to work at a place like Google, there's no way I'm moving to Cali-fall-into-the-ocean-fornia [slashdot.org] .

Mmm.. (3, Funny)

Trolling for Profit (686234) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986715)

Give away your software and ideas for free (or in this case a t-shirt, that's close enough).. and then possibly get a reward afterwards? Sounds a lot like soviet communism with it's quality reward program.

No - pure captialism (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6986886)

Screw the workers and profit.

1) Worker bends over
2) ???
3) profit!

Re:Mmm.. (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986965)

Plenty of business models involve a loss-leader, which is what this is, from a personal standpoint.
I daresay RMS isn't starving; he just isn't shackled with a large company for his effort.

Re:Mmm.. (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#6987056)

It sounds more like professional sports to me. Particularly auto racing where the idea that you use to win today is used by all of your competitors to beat you tomorrow.

You won't find many auto racers who are communists. The structure inherently attracts rabid individualists and fanatical Libertarians.

Kinda like computer geeks. Gearhead is just a subcatagory of geek, as is bithead.

Also, never forget the maxim that the only thing sweeter than money earned is money won.

People will die trying to win a penny where they wouldn't work for a million bucks.

Much of human behaviour that appears mysterious is hidden in this simple fact.

KFG

TopCoder! (5, Informative)

Chromodromic (668389) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986719)

The Google Code Jam is being conducted in conjunction with TopCoder [topcoder.com] , the coolest, best implemented regular online coding contest. You can go there and download the Arena applet to get an idea of the format of the contest and to get ready by practicing with sample problems. In fact, that's highly recommended since the applet accommodates a very specific kind of contest.

Also, it would be wise to participate in a few live TopCoder rounds, which are held weekly, if you have any hope of being competitive.

Re:TopCoder! Is Pure Evil (2, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986872)

I don't know if they fixed it or not. But I hated it when I beta tested it a while ago. I found it had trouble compiling anything even a hello world application. The fact that you must get use to using TopCoder is a reason not to use it. Besides I am against programming competitions because they encourage speed in programing not not a good planned layout of thought. The primary reason why most of the code out their is crappie is because their is lack of design and everyone trying to write this super optimized code. So once their is a problem the code is so optimized that it cannot be fixed. But if you win Congrads, if not dont take it seriously you could still be the better programmer.

Re:TopCoder! (4, Interesting)

Thuktun (221615) | more than 10 years ago | (#6987102)

The only problem is that TopCoder style programming contests select for speed of implementation over quality, efficiency, readability, and maintainability. Worse, since your code is challenged by other coders, the more unreadable and impenetrable your code, the less likely subtle bugs in your code will be detected in the short challenge period.

Still, it was nice when they were awarding $300 for first place in your room in Division I for contests every week. When they dropped the prize money for weekly matches, there wasn't a compelling reason to spend my time on it.

Cheap Labor (5, Funny)

inputsprocket (585963) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986722)

When your stuck on how to code something....
run a competition and let others do the coding for you.

oh and don't forget to through in a t-shirt or to for all the hard work

Re:Cheap Labor (2, Funny)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986766)

oh and don't forget to through in a t-shirt or to for all the hard work

That's more than some coders in the US get :(

Re:Cheap Labor (4, Interesting)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986836)

When your stuck on how to code something....
run a competition and let others do the coding for you.

oh and don't forget to through in a t-shirt or to for all the hard work


And lather, rinse, repeat if you're after some original designs for t-shirts for your website...

To be honest, I like the idea of this Google competition. I'm not going to be winning it (my programming skills aren't fantastic) but it's a great way of fostering relationships between you and your user base, finding good coders (and potential future employees), getting some good code and/or code ideas and, above all, having a little bit of fun with the community as a whole.

If all companies were like Google then we'd all be happy as Jay and Silent Bob at a weedfest.

Re:Cheap Labor (5, Insightful)

MagPulse (316) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986839)

Ha ha. Except:
  1. They pay problem writers to come up with fully tested solutions in all four languages.
  2. These problems are variants of well-known CS problems and distilled to their essence. Real-world problems are 80% special cases.

Re:Cheap Labor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6986840)

" When your stuck on how to code something.... run a competition and let others do the coding for you. oh and don't forget to through in a t-shirt or to for all the hard work"

When your stuck on grammer, post to slashdot and let all the pedants do the proofreading for you. Don't forget to through or in a t-shirt to for all the criticism

Re:Cheap Labor (1)

blibbleblobble (526872) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986857)

"oh and don't forget to through in a t-shirt or to for all the hard work"

suggested second prize: a dictionary?

Please define "any programming language"... (-1, Redundant)

Raphael (18701) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986723)

The submitter has stated that "any programming language" can be used. The announcement on O'Reilly Developer News says: [...] and you can use the programming languages of your choice to solve the problems thrown at you.

But the Overview page for the competition contains the following paragraph:

Use Java, C++, C# or VB.NET. Pick any of these programming languages to code your solutions. All are acceptable and none is given an advantage.

This is far from "the programming languages of your choice". My choice would be plain old C for some tasks (using object-oriented paradigms if necessary, such as in glib and gtk+) and scripting languages such as Perl or Python for other tasks. I hope that they still accept C in the C++ category, but it looks like no other languages are allowed. Sigh!

Re:Please define "any programming language"... (1)

pigscanfly.ca (664381) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986754)

Here here .
The page says a number of the components (entry rounds and what not) will be timed . For a quick little job perl can cut hours of off C/C++ style work .

Re:Please define "any programming language"... (1)

RevMike (632002) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986934)

Wimp!

If you want to use another language, just write a quick compiler/interpeter in C and then use whatever language you want. Personally, I'm going to write a quick and dirty emulator then code in Z80 machine code.

Thank you, captain obvious! (1, Funny)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986728)

I assumed everyone knew about the contest already, or I would've submitted the story myself! Argh! Oh well. You can all expect to see sir_haxalot take time off from being an artist for a few minutes, in order to use the force and attempt to gain at least a t-shirt.

Examples of problems (5, Funny)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986779)

A typical Google sample problem: Suppose there are X lockers in the hallway, and someone is opening every Nth locker where n is a prime number. Write a program to parse all the html files on the internet and return something useful. :)

Not quite ANY programming language... (0, Redundant)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986734)

Unfortunately, they won't let you use ANY programming language, your choices are: Java, C++, C# or VB.NET.

I was really hoping someone would join and attempt to do everything in FORTRAN or assembly.

-- Dr. Eldarion --

Re:Not quite ANY programming language... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6986774)

Hahaha...right. I aimed a little lower, and thought for sure someone was going to try to use Brainf*ck.

Re:Not quite ANY programming language... (2, Interesting)

mikeee (137160) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986897)

When I was in school, one sick $#%@#$$ did a programming problem set in Postscript. You had to send his code to the printer to execute it. :)

can't wait (1)

kemster (532022) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986735)

while (true) { System.out.println("Don't bother entering, because I am going to win!"); }

Re:can't wait (1)

speakup (662416) | more than 10 years ago | (#6987014)

while (true) { System.out.println("Don't bother entering, because I am going to win!"); }

You lost precious seconds with the unnecessary braces. Maybe you should rethink your print statement.

If you enter "Google code jam 2003" in Google (5, Funny)

TasosF (670724) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986739)

What you get is a page full of Perl Jam.

Uhhh... Specs, please (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6986762)

But what are the problems they want solved? It sounds like they want h0xerz/crackers, not real problem solvers/programmers.

The penis bird is back. And brought his brothers! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6986763)

See it here [boners.com]

Programming competitions, give me a break (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6986790)

Google is looking for engineers with the programming skill to rewrite the world's information infrastructure.

Yeah, right. As somebody who manages a number of programmers, I know that the kinds of people who win competitions like this (such as topcoder) simply won't make very good employees. The best programmers I work with are team players who know how to communicate, document and manage working relationships. The high-intensity macho time-critical programming that these competitions fosters is usually counterproductive in a business environment.

- W G

Re:Programming competitions, give me a break (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6986818)

Very good point!

-PJ

Re:Programming competitions, give me a break (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6987018)

The high-intensity macho time-critical programming that these competitions fosters is usually counterproductive in a business environment.

Very good point! A company hiring programmers who think that they are the best (fastest or whatever) is just asking for trouble. These programmers are usually bringing conflicts when working in teams... Unless all other members of the team listen to them religiously and shut up, but then this can bring even more trouble if the "best" programmer was wrong and nobody dared criticizing his ideas.

Re:Programming competitions, give me a break (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6987054)

It's not about hiring people who think they are the best, it's about hiring people who are the best.

The problems you are described occur because of management problems.

Traveling? (5, Informative)

-Grover (105474) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986807)

Hrm...

Sounds like to win any money you have to travel, so keep that in mind when you sign up.

"The top 25 performers in Round 2 will be invited to compete for cash prizes in the Championship Round onsite at the Googleplex (Mountain View, CA) on November 14th."

They are floating the bill though, according to the terms [topcoder.com]

" Google will provide travel accommodations for each finalist to attend the Championship Round. In addition, Google will provide overnight accommodations and all travel arrangements to and from the airport, as well as to and from Google's headquarters. All other expenses are the responsibility of the contestant. "

Re:Traveling? (1)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986923)

Sounds like to win any money you have to travel, so keep that in mind when you sign up.

But like you said, they're paying for the transportation [greyhound.com] to Mountain View [mapquest.com] , plus hotel [motel6.com] accomodations... I think I can deal with the other [tacobell.com] expenses [mountaindew.com] .

Obviously looking for people to hire (5, Insightful)

Washizu (220337) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986812)

Friday, October 17 8:00 AM
Monday, October 20 8:00 AM
Friday, November 14 4:00 PM

Who with a job could participate?

Re:Obviously looking for people to hire (1)

bmalia (583394) | more than 10 years ago | (#6987020)

No kidding. Why couldn't they do at least the initial round on a Saturday. Sunday's no good, football takes priority.

Re:Obviously looking for people to hire (4, Funny)

What is a number (652374) | more than 10 years ago | (#6987038)


The same people who read slashdot while at work...

---
I type this every time.

Re:Obviously looking for people to hire (1)

Smid (446509) | more than 10 years ago | (#6987074)

Who with a job, in europe can participate?

9pm EST = 3am uk time (4 continental europe)

Then again, less and less of us programmers have
jobs in europe though.

Stick with modern tradition, make it Indian time.

Art contest announced (5, Funny)

FuzzyBad-Mofo (184327) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986849)

In related news, the American Art Foundry(*) has announced an open art contest. Artists are free to use whatever medium they choose, as long as it's oil on canvas.

* Not a real organization

Free Money (1, Funny)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986859)

Prizes range from t-shirts to ten grand and you can use any programming language you want to solve the increasingly challenging problems." Update by J: ... as long as it's Java, C++, C# or VB.NET.

You can withdraw as much money from my bank account as you want!*




* Must be a deposit of at least $1.

Wheee... (0)

G33kDragon (699950) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986865)

So that means I can use pseudocode, right? #1 Google answer was: "Think about problem. Drink caffeine. Problem solved." :)

For charity ! (3, Informative)

Elie De Brauwer (656349) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986866)

As stated in the conditions: (http://www.topcoder.com/pl/?&module=Static&d1=goo gle&d2=google_rules_overview) Participants who do not meet the citizenship requirements to win prize money are still eligible to compete. However these individuals will be required to donate any cash prizes to charity. Participants will choose a charity to receive their winnings from the TopCoder approved list of charities. A prize-winning participant may request a new charity be added to the list, however it shall remain in Google's sole discretion to add that charity after reviewing the proposed charity's credentials. It sucks to be belgian :( while UK and irish residents may enter, hasn't anybody heard of Europe over there ? I wonder what the topcoder approved charity list looks like.

Re:For charity ! (3, Funny)

-Grover (105474) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986924)

TopCoder approved charity list:

1) TopCoder
2)

New definition (2)

Mostly a lurker (634878) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986873)

O'Reilly Developer News is reporting details of the newest Google programming contest

This must be some new meaning of the word details with which I an unfamiliar. The www.topcoder.com page certainly contains details in the normal sense. The O'Reilly page contains what I would call a brief summary. Interesting concept though.

My submission (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6986901)

#include <unistd.h>

int main() {
execlp("/usr/bin/perl", "google.pl", 0);
}

great idea (1, Insightful)

zarniwhoop (698439) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986905)

how about running a competition to tackle large, real-world problems? Like efficient search engines, indexing etc - these problems are big problems that need solving.

TopCoder competitions low on quality (5, Interesting)

Agave (2539) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986909)

the way to win a TopCoder competition is to not only be analytical enough to figure out the solution but also to able to type quickly and accurately as well as to take shortcuts like using short variable names. I certainly wouldn't want any 'TopCode' in a production system.

I was disappointed with my experience in the TopCoder competition at Java One because even on day three, when I was comfortable with the TopCoder IDE, knew that speed was king, and I knew the solution right away I was still beaten out by over two minutes. I mean, I knew the solution, typed it in, compiled first time, ran a test case, passed, and submitted the solution. Damn near perfect in my mind but I was very low man on the totem pole time-wise (~4min vs ~2min).

I guess learning to touch type by MUDing just doesn't cut it :)

flee
flee
flee

Can't I use Pascal ?!? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6986912)

...you insensitive clod!

No mention of TopCoder? (4, Informative)

leibnizme (264472) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986919)

Lest we forget, TopCoder is powering this contest. Here's an e-mail I received describing everything in more detail:

-----------

Google is pleased to announce the Google Code Jam 2003 competition, powered by TopCoder. Compete against the top programmers in the world for a share of $25,000 in cash and enormous bragging rights. Google is growing and actively seeking top engineering talent to help solve some mind-bending programming challenges on a global scale.

The competition will consist of a two-week registration period from October 1st to the 15th. All TopCoder members who intend to compete in this competition must register for the event through a new registration path that has been set up exclusively for the tournament.

All registrants must then participate in the Qualification Round. The Qualification Round will be open from Friday, October 17th at 8:00 AM EDT to Monday, October 20th at 8:00 AM EDT. During this 72-hour period, a competitor must complete one randomly generated problem set. All competitors will be given a score for their performance on that one problem set.

The top 500 participants from the Qualification Round will advance to the first online round to be held at 9:00 PM EDT on October 24th. All competitors in this round will be sent a t-shirt commemorating the Google Code Jam 2003. The top 250 scorers from Round 1 will advance to Round 2, which will be held at 9:00 PM EST on October 27th.

The top 25 scorers in Round 2 will win an all expense paid trip to the Googleplex (Google's corporate headquarters) in Mountain View, CA. Here, they will compete in-person in the Championship Round for their share of $25,000 on Friday, November 14th at 4:00 PM EST (1:00 PM PST).

The grand-prize winner will be awarded $10,000. Second, third and fourth place winners will be awarded $5,000, $3,500 and $1,250, respectively. The remaining finalists in the Championship Round will each receive $250. In order to receive a cash prize, a competitor must be at least eighteen years of age and a lawful permanent resident of one of the nine countries approved for cash prizes. All other cash prize winners will choose a charity to receive their prize.

Google's engineering organization is pleased to sponsor this contest and is looking forward to meeting the top coders. Participating in this contest propels you to the front of the line for consideration for open positions in our engineering group. You are encouraged to submit your resume for immediate consideration for open positions at any time during this competition. Please visit http://www.topcoder.com/googlecodejam for more information. And remember to register starting on October 1st!

Best of luck to you in the Arena!

The Google Team

And next... (2, Funny)

K-Man (4117) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986944)

Google Temptation Island!

Insane offtopick but nice anyway (1)

MTWZZ (409893) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986950)

For the dutch (-speaking) people: Koekel [hagenezen.nl] .

As the lady said, faster's not better (4, Insightful)

orthogonal (588627) | more than 10 years ago | (#6986952)

Programming with a time limit is not a great indication of how likely someone is to writes= robust, durable, re-usable code.

My best code usually results from refactoring, and is made up of several small classes made up of small functions, where each function does one thing and does it well, and each class has a well-defined role, usually in collaboration with other classes.

This is the result of crafting and thinking, not a result of typing as fast as I can, trying for a quick and dirty solution to one specific problem.

CANT WAIT!!! (1, Funny)

Serapth (643581) | more than 10 years ago | (#6987015)

To watch the live telecast on ESPN!

Hey... if they will televise spelling bee's, they damned well better televise a coding contest!

Hmmmm.... ok... im a geek, and even I would find that dull as hell.

Bleh, sounds like a regular topcoder compo (2, Interesting)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 10 years ago | (#6987037)

I donno, maybe the problems will be more 'google specific' but it sounds like a regular TopCoder compo. I'm glad TC is able to find some sponsors, but this isn't really all that exciting.

Anyone remember when TopCoder gave out TONS of money? They would give out cash to 3/8th of the participants like 3x as week. It rocked. And it was distributed to each 'room' so you only had to compete against 8 other people (so in order to get cash you only needed to beat 5 people). Despite this, I only placed once :P. They accidentally sent me two checks though.

The craziest thing was that they started this after the dot-com crash, so everyone thought they were basically insane, but we were happy to take free money :).

Anyway I might play this time around. Of course, you'll need to do better then n-249, rather then 3 but it still might be fun :)

TC used to allow C++ though, I wonder why they gave up on that.

I use Objective C you insensitive prick! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6987046)

I use Objective C you insensitive prick!

If you use VB to win... (4, Funny)

Enrico Pulatzo (536675) | more than 10 years ago | (#6987075)

you also get a mask, to protect your anonymity ;) Just kidding!
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