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Google Code Jam Winner Announced

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the very-clever dept.

Programming 325

Wild-eyed Visionary writes "According to the San Jose Mercury News, Jimmy Mardell, 25, of Stockholm, Sweden, beat out more than 5,000 coders to win $10,000 in Google's second annual Code Jam programming contest. Second place: Christopher Hendrie (Canada), third place: Eugene Vasilchenko (Russia), fourth place: Tomasz Czajka (Poland). Tom Rokicki, of dvips/Radical Eye Software fame, was the oldest finalist at age 40."

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325 comments

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482142)

the FI+RIST!!!

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482148)

fp

google sponsorship of coding competition (0, Funny)

ed8150 (554077) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482149)

i for one welcome our new search engine overlords

Re:google sponsorship of coding competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482300)

Rusty? Is that you [kuro5hin.org]?

First post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482154)

First post!

Anyone know... (3, Interesting)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482160)

what the problems were?

Re:Anyone know... (5, Informative)

TheIzzy (615852) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482200)

Check out www.topcoder.com [topcoder.com]. They have a list of all the previous problems, and you can even see all the competitors' solutions if you want.

Re:Anyone know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482350)

Er. Do you need a login to see this? I'm just not seeing any of the questions or answers for any competition...

Re:Anyone know... (2, Informative)

jareds (100340) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482366)

The problems and solutions will not be available there because this was a private competition run by TopCoder for Google, rather than a standard TopCoder competition.

Re:Anyone know... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482254)

Although they haven't updated the main 'codejam' page, one linked further in has the list of problems and winners for 2003 Code Jam [google.com].

Re:Anyone know... (5, Interesting)

jareds (100340) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482355)

The easy problem was, given a topographic map (as an array of strings of the same length, with 'A' to 'Z' giving the heights), a point on the map, and a cardinal direction, return the farthest point visible in that direction from that point.

The medium problem was, given an array of integers representing the coefficients of a polynomial, return the largest root. Note that this is harder than it sounds because it's difficult to solve correctly just using Newton's method.

The hard problem was, given an integer n and a fixed, precisely defined set of keystrokes available in a hypothetical editor, return the minimum number of keystrokes required to produce exactly n copies of the same character. This required an efficient search and correct choice of state space.

A sad realization of self (4, Funny)

roninmagus (721889) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482162)

It's a sad thing--if I'd won the money, I'd have just bought more computers. :(

Yes, I did RTFA...and TFWS... (1)

halo1982 (679554) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482165)

But I couldn't find what the hell the contest was. What it involved, what the people had to do. Would anyone care to enlighten me?

Re:Yes, I did RTFA...and TFWS... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482287)

Read this page [google.com]

Re:Yes, I did RTFA...and TFWS... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482349)

what
the
fuck
is
wrong
with
you

Re:Yes, I did RTFA...and TFWS... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482371)

I'm sorry, did you masturbate unexpectedly?

Re:Yes, I did RTFA...and TFWS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482468)

Mod parent down.

What did they write? (4, Insightful)

penguinboy (35085) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482167)

So what exactly did the winners' programs do, exactly? I saw no mention in the article.

Re:What did they write? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482312)

All this information is on the offical Google pages [google.com] for the Code Jam. Ignore the link provided in the story text -- they used the out-of-date entry form one.

Re:What did they write? (1)

SparafucileMan (544171) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482315)

I haven't been able to figure this out either. However the Google Puzzle Championship [google.com] seems somehow related to the Code Jam, and the Puzzle Championship has posted their problems [puzzles.com]. Its probally speculation whether the problems sets are in any way related.

Re:What did they write? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482331)

They are partially related [google.com]. Some of the people organising both are the same. In fact, both contests shared quite a few entrants as well.

Bullshit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482168)

Last time I checked, Google was an AMERICAN company. You think that they would have the decency or the patriotism to give at least one award to an AMERICAN. Sorry Google but you are no longer my search engine of choice. Altavista here I come.

Re:Bullshit (1, Insightful)

Peridriga (308995) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482192)

fucking xenophobe....

you run a company where you don't hire certain people b/c of arbitrary charecteristics and see how well you do.... I want to be your competitor so I can crush with w/ my diverse team of superior intellect and ability because I draw from a larger pool of talent instead of your artifically limited one....

Kahn!!!!!!!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482198)

STFU and get back in your hole.

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482232)

Well, I happen to think that America is a pretty special place. And so do millions of formerly-enslaved iraqis. If you could get by your hatred of us you would see that we are at least as deserving of a code prize as somebody from Russia, a country that did not even support the war.

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482356)

And so do millions of formerly-enslaved iraqis.

Thats just what the American mainstream media are saying.

The last I heard the native population of Iraq like the american occupation and the current state of chaos less than the saddam government.

Sure nigger lover (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482360)

I will go against your company of wogs and niggers against my company of White Boys..

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482361)

fucking xenophobe....

WTF are you on about? Xenophobe? A xenophobe is defined as:

A person unduly fearful or contemptuous of that which is foreign, especially of strangers or foreign peoples.

Since I am the original poster and I'm Canadian, I don't understand why you call me a xenophobe. I was simply stating that it would have been nice to see an American win.

Re:Bullshit (5, Insightful)

monkeyfinger (683580) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482426)

Last time I checked, Google was an AMERICAN company. You think that they would have the decency or the patriotism to give at least one award to an AMERICAN. Sorry Google but you are no longer my search engine of choice. Altavista here I come.

Decency? This was a competion and the best men won, what's indecent about that?

Patriotism? If google ran a crooked competition where an american got a prize they didn't earn would that make you proud? Wouldn't it be better to keep trying until you win fair and square and then take pride in that?

What language did they use ? (1)

clarkie.mg (216696) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482184)

It would be interesting to know what language they used. From the rules :

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.

My bet : C++

Re:What language did they use ? (2, Informative)

jareds (100340) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482265)

You are correct. The four winners used C++.

Re:What language did they use ? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482303)

Actually, according to the official Google page [google.com], they didn't. One of them used mainly Java but coded his native hooks in C++.

parent link = gay (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482351)

do not visit his url yo

Re:parent link = gay (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482362)

Shut up, troll

Google - Champion of the Common Man (4, Insightful)

Pavan_Gupta (624567) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482186)

I don't comment very often, but I always get a little tingly feeling thinking about how Google is one of the very few companies I see in the wide expanse of capitalism that seems to actually enjoy making their customers feel good about the fact that they are giving a little out of their own pocket/time. I would pay to use google, just becase google is not an angry behemoth like Microsoft, Walmart, or Big Bro.

Congrats to the guys who won, and a special congratulation to Google for being my favorite company on planet earth.

Re:Google - Champion of the Common Man (0, Troll)

FunkSoulBrother (140893) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482320)

Eh. I'd rather frequent a company that was interested in making labor feel good, rather than the customer.

Re:Google - Champion of the Common Man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482347)

Than I guess you would never be a fireman or a doctor!

Re:Google - Champion of the Common Man (5, Insightful)

XorNand (517466) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482321)

Your two aforementioned companies are both publicly owned. They are legally bound to do what is in the best financial interests of their shareholders. The actual owners of the company are not involved in the daily management and have only one, single-minded reason for owning stock: profit.

When Google finally bites the bullet and has a billion dollars in other people's money, a old-school board of directors, along with the need to please the SEC and Wall Street analysts, things will change drastically. You'll suddenly see Google become much more conservative because they have so many interests to look out for and competing voices to listen to.

Then some other upstart, agile company will usurp the crown and be the geek's new flavor-of-the-week. It's just how capitalism works. The moral: Don't get to blindly attacted to Google or you're going to feel deeply betrayed--they *are* only a business after all.

Re:Google - Champion of the Common Man (1)

ponxx (193567) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482385)

> they are legally bound to do what is in the best financial interests of their shareholders.

Has anyone ever dared to suggest that it is in the best financial long-term interest of the share-holders to have lots of happy customers?

You can't put a dollar value on everything a company does, but a competition like this I think is very beneficial for google financially, just by creating good will with the community that includes both its customers and employees.

Of course a board of directors would probably see that differently, which is why i think google is much better of *not* being publicly owned. In fact, other than the IPO injection of cash i have never understood why it is good for a company to be listed on the stock market...

Ponxx

Re:Google - Champion of the Common Man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482423)

Ah but the customer is the person who pays.

Currently google is making the freeloading searcher happy. We'll see if that lasts.

Good for google (0, Troll)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482193)

5000 coders, 10,000 dollars prize... hmmmm

In other news, Google will be implementing 5000 new features which their PR claims to have paid very little for - some sources site $2 a feature.

--
Tired of spammers? Kill them all [si20.com]! Let the irony of this sig sort 'em out.

Re:Good for google (1)

whiteranger99x (235024) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482218)

5000 coders, 10,000 dollars prize... hmmmm

Actually it would be $19,750 as second, third and fourth places get cash prizes too ;)

4996 of these people wont even get any accolades for their work that the company may end up using. But thats the way it is with these type of contests.

Re:Good for google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482273)

actually the Code Jam competition was problem solving tasks, not developing new features with the Google API (like the other google contest), this was a way to attract new employment rather than new features

Re:Good for google (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482319)

However quite a few entries did utilise [google.com] the Google API quite extensively. Admittedly, not the ones that won, but still ..

Re:Good for google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482402)

Um...If all the coders were given the same set of problems each round, would that mean they only add a dozen or so features? That doesn't include the fact that for these competitions, speed produces workable, but dirty code solutions.

No Americans (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482196)

An interesting thing americans should notice is that no americans won.

It's the American way. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482268)

No self respecting American would bother with such menial tasks as coding for Google.

Instead they exploit third worlders and sand niggers to do the work for them. It's the American way.

Well, duh. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482292)

All the good coders have been outsourced to India. Fucking dotheads. And their damn food that gives me the wet shit-squirts.

Anyone notice that the winners are... (2, Interesting)

danielrm26 (567852) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482208)

...all from outside the U.S.?

Our education system is in serious trouble.

Re:Anyone notice that the winners are... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482220)

Canada rules!

Re:Anyone notice that the winners are... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482318)

Here here!

Re:Anyone notice that the winners are... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482357)

(a) it's supposed to be "hear! hear!" not "here! here!"
(b) therefore, if the parent poster is Canadian, it damages the "Canadian education is better" hypothesis since the Canadian education system has turned out at least one moron who can't use English properly
(c) unless parent poster is in fact American, in which case it reinforces
(d) but we'll never know since the fellow posts as an Anonymous Coward
(e) as do I.

Re:Anyone notice that the winners are... (5, Insightful)

XorNand (517466) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482228)

Why is this a warning sign? Looking at it from a purely statistical point of view, the odds were not very good that an American would be among the winners. Stop being so narrow-minded, there are bright people from all over the world--America and abroad.

Re:Anyone notice that the winners are... (1)

danielrm26 (567852) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482257)

"Stop being so narrow-minded, there are bright people from all over the world--America and abroad."

You missed my point. I think there are *more* abroad.

Re:Anyone notice that the winners are... (1)

Impotent_Emperor (681409) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482399)

Of course there are. There are ~300 million Americans. There are over 5.7 billion other non-Americans.

Re:Anyone notice that the winners are... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482233)

Well, you still think London is a COUNTRY , so go figure.

Re:Anyone notice that the winners are... (0)

danielrm26 (567852) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482346)

"Well, you still think London is a COUNTRY , so go figure."

I guess you're going to try and tell me it's a city now. :)

By the way, what does my statement have to do with London being a city or country anyway? Hell, even if it *was* a country it'd still be outside the U.S.

What's your point exactly?

Re:Anyone notice that the winners are... (4, Informative)

Izeickl (529058) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482236)

Check out Country Ratings [topcoder.com]

US comes 13th out of the 16 ranked countries. Funnily enough, for all the outsourcing it gets, India is last.

Re:Anyone notice that the winners are... (1)

Cokelee (585232) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482311)

I believe their ranking system is flawed. Look at how many were rated from the US. That has to pull down the average. Croatia probably has their best 11 programmers signed up and they got sixth place for it. The only country with >200 coders registered is the US. I don't think their stats page is meant to be a rule at all.

Re:Anyone notice that the winners are... (1)

asavage (548758) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482314)

Look at the number of US that are rated though. 1658 coders compared to only 24 for #1 placed Sweden. It just shows there are more amateur US coders entering the competition.

Re:Anyone notice that the winners are... (4, Informative)

ponxx (193567) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482408)

then again, Sweden only has a population of ~9M. If you scale this to the population of the US (300M) then you get 24*300/9=800.

Admittedly that's still only half as many entrants/population as the US, but the disparity is not as huge as you suggest...

Ponxx

Re:Anyone notice that the winners are... (2, Insightful)

Cokelee (585232) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482479)

Shouldn't it be scaled to the coding population, not just the population? You're scale assumes that everyone in the country is a potential programmer.

Re:Anyone notice that 95% of earth's population... (1)

cperciva (102828) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482249)

is outside the U.S.?

Ok, many of those people haven't had much experience with computers. But even if you just look at the US, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and the EU, you've still got easily enough people to make the lack of US success attributable to chance.

Re:Anyone notice that 95% of earth's population... (1)

anethema (99553) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482298)

Er, it must be nice to be able to dismiss it like that, but as was previously mentioned: If you look at topcoders country ratings, usa is near the bottom of the ranked countries. Just under canada there. The top countries are Sweeden, Poland, and Germany, in that order. The link to that page is in the comment above yours, take a look.

If it were the olympics you wouldn't say 'ahh, there are so many countries, USA is bound to lose most of the time.' Thats downright unpatriotic of you :)

Re:Anyone notice that 95% of earth's population... (1)

jareds (100340) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482411)

The country ratings are not meaningful because the competitors are not randomly selected from each country. There are fewer competitors from Europe, and those that do compete are quite good, whereas there are many amateur competitors from the U.S.

Re:Anyone notice that 95% of earth's population... (1)

danielrm26 (567852) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482304)

"But even if you just look at the US, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and the EU, you've still got easily enough people to make the lack of US success attributable to chance."

True. I guess I am adding this to a larger body of observations on my part. I just don't think our system is keeping up. The number of people I meet from other much smaller countries that have really strong computer skills seems disproportionate. This could just be a perspective issue though. My comments aren't based on anything scientific - it just seems like it's the case to me.

Re:Anyone notice that 95% of earth's population... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482337)

yeah but some of us americans only buy domestic goods, and only support companies that keep jobs, goods, etc in the United States.

Re:Anyone notice that the winners are... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482291)

My guess is that all of the talented American coders were, gee, I dunno, working at their real job? The fact that this contest was won bt some coders in socialist nanny states that pay them to sit at home and surf the Internet is not meaningful to me. America is still home to the greatest talent in the world and the fact that they produce instead of taking part in stupid Internet contests is just another example why.

Re:Anyone notice that the winners are... (1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482307)

My guess is that all of the talented American coders were, gee, I dunno, working at their real job?

Nice spin!

Re:Anyone notice that the winners are... (1)

stardazed0 (558289) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482363)

The reason is that the top coders in America are already happily employed by companies such as Google. They have less incentive to make a name for themselves through these competitions.

Re:Anyone notice that the winners are... (1)

mantera (685223) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482421)


probably 'cos most US coders are busy trying to keep their jobs... than take part in a coding contest... for real... US workers, not just US coders, are some of the most overworked in the world, slavery aside, and take the least amount of leave... some Europeans have the 35 hours weeks as law... that leaves them able to do much else...

Re:Anyone notice that the winners are... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482427)

well what do you expect, the damn school system teaches that computers all have Microsoft on them and all you have to do to know how to use them is click that icon.

click that icon
click that icon
click that icon
click that icon
click that icon

you can thank, the USD of America and Microsoft for dumbing down the kids in schools in the USA. (truely pathetic)

Re:Anyone notice that the winners are... (1)

Shazow (263582) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482466)

Or maybe all the smart hackers liked their music sharing, so they moved away from the US to avoid the RIAA. =8-]

- shazow

it figures (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482234)

I gues we in the US can no longer complain that the jobs for coders are leaving the country.

Not worth it (-1, Troll)

Amsterdam Vallon (639622) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482253)

The first prize was only $10,000. This means that 99.9% of all applicants spent at least a hundred hours of their own time for nothing -- no reward, no fame, etc.

One-hundred hours of my time is worth about $7,000 (100 hours * 70 dollars per hour salary).

I think it's obvious to see who the losers are in this deal -- the contestants who were conned by a company who should be doing their own R&D and not making fake contests that barely compensate for the time it takes to enter the contest.

Sorry, but you've been had people.

Re:Not worth it (1)

SparafucileMan (544171) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482403)

You're assuming that the contestants were knowingly doing it for the money and not just for the hell of it, or the challenge. Besides the top placers will probably get a job out of it, if they don't have one already.

Re:Not worth it (2, Informative)

jareds (100340) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482472)

This was not the same format as last year's Google Code Jam. This was a algorithmic problem solving contest where competitors given the same set of problems try to solve more problems faster than the others under a short time frame. Google could in no way benefit from the competiors' solutions because they already had solutions for testing purposes. RTFA for the exact format of the contest.

my school career belongs to Jimmy Mardell (5, Informative)

weetjerm (637949) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482263)

This guy is no stranger to programming. Many a day in middle school, and high school, was spent playing games Jimmy made for the TI-85 and TI-92. Specifically, he programmed Boulderdash, Tetris, Solitare, and many more to the various calculator platforms. A comprehensive list can be found at ticalc.org [ticalc.org]. Thanks man! Sqrxz was great.

if it isn't jimmy mardell! (5, Interesting)

sm.arson (559130) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482288)

The Google Code Jam winner was certainly famous for his skills a long time before this... even ordinary kids in my suburban high school new about Jimmy Mardell 8 years ago.

Jimmy Mardell [ticalc.org] was one of the pioneers of assembly programming for the TI calculators way back when. Without his ZTetris program (with two player link capability, no less!), high school math class would have been really boring for me.

I credit Jimmy Mardell's work for sparking my interest in game programming. It's good to see he's still on top of things.

I want that on my resume... (0)

crashnbur (127738) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482290)

Imagine being able to list Google as one of your former employers. (For that matter, why would "former" need any place here?) I'd imagine that ranks reasonably high among Slashdot readers, at least in relation to Microsoft...

Yay Jimmy! (4, Insightful)

YodaToad (164273) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482302)

I just want to take the time to congratulate Jimmy on a job well done. I knew someone from the "TI Community" would make it big some day.

I'm sure everyone who's ever owned a recent TI graphing calculator (TI-83 and up) will remember zTetris, among other puzzle games, that Jimmy wrote.

Jimmy Mardell [ticalc.org]

Interesting that the winner was from Sweden.... (1)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482324)

It seems that the Scandinavians/NE Europeans are very talented with all parts of computing, such as programming and gaming. If i'm not mistaken, the Counter Strike clan that won the latest CPL were Swedish. I see a lot of good quality mappers that are from this part of the world, 3D-Mike [3d-mike.com] and this guy [mazy.net] for example. Oh, let's not forget Linus Torvalds. I hear that the broadband infrastructure is excellent in those parts of Europe and I suppose that will do anything but harm the situation.

Would any Eastern European /.'ers like to comment?

Re:Interesting that the winner was from Sweden.... (2, Funny)

eddy (18759) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482381)

I think we're seeing the results of having a large C64 and then Amiga demo scene.

Re:Interesting that the winner was from Sweden.... (0)

jimi1283 (699887) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482456)

Life is good when the goverment pays for all your higher education :)

Re:Interesting that the winner was from Sweden.... (1)

lastninja (237588) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482486)

And I was thinking it was our tax money doing that, Silly me.

Re:Interesting that the winner was from Sweden.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482514)

North Europeans got much further than the other nations in their evolution through selective process.
Eastern Europe is very corrupted by influence from Asia but still their roots go to Scandinavia. That's why there is a talent among relatively big number of marginal.

No one from India in the list which is a good indicator that they do not have any talent but use illegal practices (fraud, bribes, lying) to secure themselves in the IT market.

Now THERE'S a Polish Joke for you! (2, Informative)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482332)

Finals results

Google CodeJam
Onsite Championship Round
Handle Score
Yarin 569.58
ChristopherH 482.17
venco 359.85
tomek 331.87

Topcoders ranking:
Top 10 Coders
Rank Handle Rating
1. tomek 3450
2. SnapDragon 3285
3. reid 3169
4. snewman 3132
5. Yarin 3058
6. NGBronson 3005
7. bladerunner 2928
8. John Dethridge 2912
9. ZorbaTHut 2881
10. WishingBone 2858

Poland Rules!

Google is snobby.. I hope this wakes them up (0, Flamebait)

king_ramen (537239) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482336)

Google is a great company founded by a bunch of academic aristocrats that will not consider employees that we not good students from good schools (Ph.D. at Stanford is par for the course). I bet if they looked at the results of their challenge they would se SEVERAL people who did very well with little or no academic training.

Meritocracy is the way to determine who knows their stuff and academic merit does not hold up well to real world merit in my experience. Of the best coders I have ever met many are college dropouts and others did their college in totally different subjects (chemistry, physics, music).

----

Re:Google is snobby.. I hope this wakes them up (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482396)

That's bullshit. Nowhere on their website [google.com] does it indicate such snobbery. If ever there was a company that based its employment on meritocracy, it's Google. Why do you think they ran this contest in the first place?

Re:Google is snobby.. I hope this wakes them up (1)

king_ramen (537239) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482413)

This is based on reality and my personal knowledge -- not what is on their website. PhD in CS for a damn INTERNSHIP! http://www.google.com/jobs/internship.html

Contest Languages (1)

SparafucileMan (544171) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482345)

I wish topcoder would let people write in Common Lisp or something more fun than Java, C++, and fucking C#. Since any problem solved is just going to have to be rewritten anyway when it is implemented in the real world (or on google.com), you'd think they'd allow people more freedom than OO styles. I mean, Lisp can do OO, too!

Re:Contest Languages (1)

reflective recursion (462464) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482425)

Not to mention the fact that they are all much more verbose than Lisp/Scheme. I'd probably have to write the solution in Lisp and then translate to C++, simply because I would be able to try 10 solutions in Lisp in the same time it would take me to write one in C++ or Java.

someone was asking about job postings? (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482353)

How about, "Rack yourself against 5,000 of the world's best programmers for a 1/5000 chance at $10,000 and an outside shot at a job offer. Salary is negotiable and depends on experience."

Re:someone was asking about job postings? (1)

jareds (100340) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482380)

This wasn't a lottery. The probability of winning depended on skill, and the four winners certainly had a better than 1/5000 chance of winning.

First line of the article (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7482390)

Turns out the Europeans can beat the best of Silicon Valley.

Well, first of all, I don't agree with that. It kind of assumes that the best of Silicon Valley were attending that contest instead of actually trying to make a go of their company!

Secondly, however, I think it might point to a weakness in our current US culture. Nearly every young person that I talk to now (I am 50, by the way), when talking about majors in college, puts any kind of technical degree at the bottom of the list. In fact, of the few that did express an interest in a technical degree, it was always with the assumption that a business degree would soon follow (direct quote from one: "Electrical Engineering with a Master's in Business Administration").

And why not? The big rewards now all go to CEO's, CFO's and a lot of other CxO's that don't really create anything, they just manage it. Aside from a few entrepreneurs who started their own technical businesses (and, no, Bill Gates does not count, I've seen the code that he "created" in the early days of his career; he's better off managing!), there are few high-profile creative technical people in the US right now. Rightly or wrongly, a helluva lot of the credit (and, lately, a lot of the blame) goes to the managers of companies, not the people who sweat blood creating products that make companies what they are today.

Unless things change radically in the next few years, I would guess we'll see a lot more of this.

Code Jam was fun (1)

BoneFlower (107640) | more than 10 years ago | (#7482404)

Some fun string manipulation stuff... can't recall the problem I completed in the qualification round(I managed to declare a few varialbes on the second problem I had to do then my time ran out) but it was a lot of fun and definitely educational. I never used typedefs before then... use them all the time. never used stringstreams either. Now I do...

Placed something like 160 in my group... only the top 100 advanced:(
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