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As I know some of you guys like programming contests as much as I do (Google Code Jam etc), I figured I’d point this one out in case someone feels like joining in. Facebook is hosting their third annual programming contest this year. They seem to be using a system similar to Google, so anyone who participated in GCJ will know that it’s properly organised and bound to be fun! :)

The problems are generally algorithmic in nature. You get a limited amount of time to come up with small programs to solve the problems (72h in the Qualifiers, 24h and 4h in later rounds). Once you’re confident about your solution you can download the input file, after which the timer of 6 minutes starts running – you’ll have to submit a correct output file within that time to score points. Highest scorers proceed to the next round :)

You can use any language of your choosing, as long as a compiler or interpreter is freely available!

This year, the stakes have been upped to $10.000! To add to that; the finals are in Facebook HQ and they’ll fly you over if you make it there ;) For those of us (including me) who arn’t going to make it to the finals, though, Facebook is giving away tshirts to anyone who makes it into round 2 (or round 3 – I’m not 100% sure).

I’m perhaps a bit late to post this, as the qualifiers have already started. You can still register and compete until Sunday the 27th by clicking here. Each consecutive round is held every weekend from now – you can find it all in the FAQ on their page.

For more details check out the Facebook page or this article on Techcrunch

EDIT: Just passed the Qualifiers on a score of 55/100 – 20/100 is enough to advance to round 1 :)