Of all the coding competitions, the Facebook Hacker Cup seems the most exciting. It is accessible to almost everybody and while you have to be an elite coder to get to the finals there's a lot along the way for all comers. Start today and who knows you might one day join the elite ranks.
The competition began in 2011 as a means of identifying top engineering talent for potential employment at Facebook. However once people discovered that competing was both fun and challenging, it became popular whether or not you were interested in a new job.
You are faced with a varied selection of algorithmic problems and how you solve them is up to you - although you need to pay attention to the constraints on the input and your program needs to be able to run within the set time limit for uploading you source code and its output.
Competitors need to be registered users of Facebook and also need to register for the competition. The age limit is 18 years and older at the date of registration.
To qualify for the onsite finals of the Facebook Cup 2017 you have first to successfully complete four online rounds, all of which take place this month.
The timetable for this year's HackerCup is officially in PST (Pacific Time) so if you live elsewhere in the world you'll need to do time arithmetic to discover what the deadline is in your time zone. Here I've added UTC (Coordinated Universal Time, which is the same as Greenwich Mean Time GMT)
Online Qualification Round (72 hours) Started January 6, 2017, 4pm PST (00:00 Saturday) Ends January 9, 2017, 4pm PST (23:59 Monday)
As usual, this years Qualification round has three problems with varying number of points available:
The time display at the bottom is the time remaining before the deadline and this is ticking away inexorably.
According to the Scoreboard, with less than 12 hours of the time elapsed, over 2,800 people had already gained at least 25 points and made it through to Online Round 1, since all you have to do to qualify for the next stage is to solve a single problem.
To progress further, the rules are as follows:
Round 1: Everyone with at least 30 points will advance to Round 2.
Round 2: The top 200 finishers will advance to Round 3.
Round 3: The top 25 finishers will advance to the onsite final.
The top 500 finishers from Round 2 will get t-shirts - so when you register remember to specify your size.