Code Jam 1A :/


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Well, I started off round 1A feeling good. By the 6min mark I had solutions for the small and large inputs for problem A submitted, then… everything fell apart. It was my first time in a long while writing code under live competition conditions, and I’d forgotten just how tough it can be. Time for more practice.

Ignoring my total failure to get working solutions across the finish line, the next two problems weren’t actually hard – they could fit in as medium problems in a qualification round. In fact, so many people solved them that getting a perfect score wasn’t even enough to get to Round 2.

By the way, my Python solution for problem A brings me to 9 languages in this Code Jam. Will I keep going? That depends on how jet-lagged I am for rounds 1B and 1C.

Code Jam 2016 Qualification Round


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This year’s qualification problems were all straightforward puzzles. None of them needed sophisticated implementation techniques, or advanced algorithms, or complex data structures. They just needed patient analysis and careful coding. That’s nice from one perspective, but unfortunately it’s hard to make a good comparison of programming languages when every problem can be solved with just loops and arrays. Still, I succeeded in my goal of producing every output with a different (sometimes terrible) language.

Here’s my code and commentary on the problems. Warning: spoilers ahead. If you haven’t looked at the problems yet, go do that first.

Registered for Code Jam 2016



I’ve just registered for Code Jam, Google’s annual programming contest. Unfortunately, the schedule means I might have to do a round or two while on the road, but I’ll give it a shot.

I’m a firm believer that programming languages are tools, and using the right tool for the job matters, so I’ve always used multiple languages for Code Jam. For a bit of extra fun this year, I think I might try for a personal record for language count.

In particular, this is my first Code Jam in a few years, so it’ll be the first one where I’ll use D. D’s standard library is weak on containers (at least for now), but otherwise it’s a really good language for problems like this.