Mad, Beautiful Ideas
Upcoming Programming Contests

Summer has come, and with it a bevy of Programming Contests for all who are interested. In addition to the already mentioned Underhanded C Contest, there are two major contests starting in the next few weeks.

First, is the International Conference of Functional Programming’s (ICFP) Annual Programming Contest. The 2008 Contest begins on Friday at Noon Pacific Time, and has been organized by Portland State University and the University of Chicago. Unfortunately, we won’t know what the challenge is yet, as they won’t announce until the last minute, but the last few years have been interesting. I’m hoping to once again get The Bobcat Hackers together to work over the weekend. All we really know is that a Live CD image will be available, and our programs must run in that environment.

With more information is Google’s Code Jam, scheduled to start next week. Unlike the ICFP contest, there is real money behind this one, but it’s an individual sport. No Teams. Plus, there is a qualifying round beginning next Wednesday. Like the ICFP Contest, there is a tight time-limit, though luckily there are smaller problems for the Code Jam.

The only way to really keep up on Programming is to practice. Events like these are great practice. I’ll be giving my impressions once the contests are over, but in the meantime, take part. You’ll be glad you did.