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Joost Volunteer moderator says

Hey guys,

Not sure if you heard, but Spotify is holding a programmers challenge this afternoon UTC (so in like 5 hours – sorry for the late call, I.. sort of.. forgot :bashful: ). Their main goal with these things is to scout for new employees, but I generally just find it a whole lot of fun to participate. Oh and, you can win prices sponsored by Sonos and Spotify t-shirts. :)

The programming puzzles are generally math-related optimization problems, pretty similar to Project Euler and in fact quite difficult. You get 4 hours to complete 10 puzzles as fast as you can, or as many as you are able to complete within the time limit.

Just figured I’d let you guys know. Have a look if you’re interested. Not sure when the registration closes, though..

I’m not 100% sure if this falls under advertising (although I’m in fact not gaining, I just intended to share some fun), but if I’m breaking any rules just remove the thread :p

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theflyingtinman says

That all I need: Another time sink! ... Google Code Jam just consumed about half the waking hours of my life (and most of the ones that should have been spent sleeping were spent awake) since a colleague told me about it last week. Too late to enter but I got drawn into solving the practice problems (past contest rounds) – I would have been better off entering because then I’d have been working to a time limit. Instead, some of the more challenging problems activated my OCD gene :) :

For anyone who likes a extra challenge try solving “All Your Base” in Actionscript. :) The algorithm required is relatively easy to come up with and Actionscript’s parseInt() makes implementing it quite easy, at least for solving the three small sample cases, but handling the input files (especially the large input) is a whole other ball game because then you start working with numbers larger than AS can represent … but it can be done :)

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Joost Volunteer moderator says

That all I need: Another time sink! ... Google Code Jam just consumed about half the waking hours of my life (and most of the ones that should have been spent sleeping were spent awake) since a colleague told me about it last week. Too late to enter but I got drawn into solving the practice problems (past contest rounds).

Google Code Jam looks great too :o A pity the qualifiers for this years edition have already closed. Oh well, practise problems can be great too. Sent myself a reminder to be on the lookout for next years edition :)


For anyone who likes a extra challenge try solving “All Your Base” in Actionscript. :)

Coding them in Actionscript surely makes things difficult to optimize – not sure how Google Code Jam deals with execution times, but with the Spotify Programmers Challenge, I wasn’t able to solve a problem because I couldn’t stay within the 1 second execution limit (using C++, which is supposed to be pretty fast). I guess my algorithm was just too crappy – it solved the example inputs instantly and correctly, but I guess it must’ve buggered up for the larger inputs ;)

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theflyingtinman says

- not sure how Google Code Jam deals with execution times, ..

It isn’t primarily concerned with execution time .. but during the 2.5 hours in which you get to solve a problem in a round, when you think you have implemented an algorithm that works you start a “solution submission clock” by downloading the small data set. From the time of download you have four minutes to produce a correct output file. During that four-minute period you must run your algorithm on the data set, upload the output (which is instantly checked for correctness) and, if not correct you must debug, re-download (the data set changes with each submission of a candidate solution) re-run and resubmit, so effectively your program could take up to four minutes to run (assuming you got it right first time and didn’t need to debug and resubmit) For the large data set you have eight minutes.

... but with the Spotify Programmers Challenge, I wasn’t able to solve a problem because I couldn’t stay within the 1 second execution limit (using C++, which is supposed to be pretty fast). I guess my algorithm was just too crappy – it solved the example inputs instantly and correctly, but I guess it must’ve buggered up for the larger inputs ;)
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