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University of Saskatchewan Programming Contest

October 7, 2009

U of S Programming ContestMarcos and I attended the University of Saskatchewan Programming Contest where students were competing for prizes and the chance to attend the Regional Programming Contest at the U of S on Oct 30, 2009.

The contest had eight coding problems to solve. To win you just needed to correctly solve the most questions. However, in the event of a tie the team who solved the problems in the shortest amount of time wins. The questions ranged from very simple to extremely difficult. If you are interested in seeing some sample questions (Or would like to test yourself!) you can check the U of S Programming Contest sample page.

Students competing in the contest ranged from novice to advanced, however there was also an opportunity for anyone interested, to form a team and compete for fun! (count us in for next year). The contest is not just about writing code, but more about focusing on problem solving where you prove your solution with a small program. Of course the competitors who are able to solve each problem with small simple applications definitely have an advantage.

While at the programming contest we had the chance to meet the co-ordinator of the programming contest, professor Christopher Dutchyn. He gave us an overview of the contest, how scoring was handled, and walked us through some of the problems teams were attempting to solve. During our discussion, Marcos chanllenged the winners of the U of S contest to a programming contest with Point2 employees.

During our weekly professional development time we plan to put together a team to practice similar problems to the ones solved in the programming contest. We hope to prepare ourselves for a fun challenge. We know the competition will be tough, but we hope to give students a fun practice session before they go on to another competition. We hope to set something up some time over the next few months. If not, then we will enter a team next year and compete for fun.

At the end of the contest there was an awards ceremony where some prizes donated by Point2 were presented to the contest winners. Marcos and I also had an opportunity to tell the students a little bit about Point2. We hope to see many of those students applying for positions offered through the U of S Internship Program for next spring.

After having a chance to spend a day on campus it sure makes me miss my time their as a student. The faculty and staff were great hosts.

by Brian Richardson and Marcos Tarruella

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