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Joost Volunteer moderator says

Hi guys!

Last year I was late, but this year I remembered.. Google CodeJam 2012 is about to start! It’s an anual programming contest hosted by Google – there’s a grand prize for the winner and an actual Google t-shirt for a thousand runner ups, but it’s of course great fun and practice for those of us who don’t take home the trophy ;)

This years qualifiers start next friday and last until sunday, which is also the deadline for signing up. The rules are very loose; you can program in whichever language you prefer and do whatever you like, and google accomodates various timezones in the follow-up rounds. As a way of getting acquainted with the system, you can already practise by solving previous year’s challenges.

So in short: if you’re a coder and like a challenge, be sure to check it out! :)

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RikdeVos says

I’m in!

I just tried question A of the 2008 qualification round, and I got the right solutions :D Working in PHP is probably not the fastest, but it gets the job done!

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andrew8088 says

Hey that’s cool! Thanks for posting this. Did a couple of the practice (previous) questions; might have to enter, if I can find the time to actually do it. :)

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Joost Volunteer moderator says

I’m in! I just tried question A of the 2008 qualification round, and I got the right solutions :D Working in PHP is probably not the fastest, but it gets the job done!

A friend of mine is also competing using PHP – sure, it’s slower, but if you manage to write an efficient enough algorithm you’ll still be able to manage within the deadlines :) And, of course, having little to no type restrictions causes a lot less typecast-related headaches ;)

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aaranmcguire says

did challenge 1 but cant submit it… it requires a file names Case #1: but mac does not allow : in file name… am i doing this wrong?

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RikdeVos says

did challenge 1 but cant submit it… it requires a file names Case #1: but mac does not allow : in file name… am i doing this wrong?
No, you can just send it as a .txt, but the contents of the file must look somewhat like this:
Case #1: your answer
Case #2: your answer
Case #3: your answer

Good luck to everyone! :)

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Landonw says

Problem 1 is insanely confusing, so I don’t think I’ll be participating. I’m not good with mind games!

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Joost Volunteer moderator says

Aannnnd I’m in. Time to pop on the headphones and fire up Eclipse. See you in an hour or two :P And guys, problem one is ridiculously easy.. ;)cough Caeser Cipher cough

EDIT : I just failed twice, once on file formatting and the second error I still havn’t found – whoops xD

EDIT2 : “Judged response for input A-small: Correct!” Finally! :delicious: Friggin pesky errors!

If you guys are competing; what are your usernames? Mine’s Joost

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iamthwee says

In my opinion the best languages for this has always been C++/java or c# due to the fact they have most of the libraries you need to solve these problems already in place, and you will definitely need to use a (binary) tree at some.

Now, most of these leet programmers tend to have various algorithms memorized and use shortkey macros to speed up their progress…

In general most of the problems tend to be repeated… Understanding mathematics and algorithms is key here… I think the book by knuth is a good starting point.

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