|Hash Code 2018 Registration Opens|
|Written by Kay Ewbank|
|Monday, 22 January 2018|
Registration has opened for Hash Code 2018, Google's team programming competition for students and professionals in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. This is the fifth edition of Hash Code which has grown from 200 participants in 2014 to last year's figure of 26,000 developers.
The idea behind Hash Code is that developers can put together a team of two to four people, and choose any programming language, and Google picks an engineering problem for you to solve. The problems are modeled after Google engineering challenges.
Writing about the competition on the Google Education blog, Grace Kelso of the Events Team said:
"We want participants to experience what software engineering is like at Google, so we model Hash Code problems after challenges faced by Google engineering teams. Past problems have included optimizing video serving on YouTube, routing Street View cars through a busy city, and optimizing the layout of a Google data center."
The thinking behind the requirement that entrants are in teams is because the competition is designed not only to test how good the entry is, but how teams work together to tackle the problem.
The opening round of Hash Code is an Online Qualification Round on Thursday, March 1. This event starts with a YouTube livestream at 18:30 CET, after which the problem is released and teams have four hours to code.
One concept that is central to Google Hash Code is that of Hubs. These are meetups where teams in the same area can come together to compete in the Online Qualification Round. More than 300 hubs have already been registered, but it's also possible to organize a hub if the current ones aren't near you. Once you complete the Hash Code registration form, you're given access to an online system where you're shown the participating hubs and can choose one to join (space permitting).
The final round will be held at Google's European Headquarters in Dublin where the top teams from the online qualification round will be invited to attend to compete.
Google says that while Hash Code is a competition, it's also about having fun. Ingrid von Glehn, software engineer at Google London who is part of the Hash Code organizing team, said:
“We design the problems to be challenging, but not intimidating. It’s important to us that everyone has fun while taking part.”
Details of the prizes are somewhat skimpy. The competition website says that:
"For the Final Round, we will award cool Google prizes to the three teams with the highest scores."
Well, who needs dollars anyway if you can have a cool Google prize.
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