Google Hashcode 2017

Wed, 1 Nov 2017 (tags:contest)
Google has its own contest called Hashcode which happens each year with thousands of attendees and hundreds of hubs all around the world. Yet it never happened in my college and in my city (WIT/Waterford), so I decided to change this.
After setting up the posters in our campus and with a dedicated online forum for people to socialize who are interested in the contest, I got a good few interested students to sign up. The contest was open to professionals as well so in the end some engineers from local companies joined as well. Not all interested followed through with registration and one whole team canceled in the very last minute, but still in the end I got 13 contestants and 4 teams. For small college and first time event it’s not that bad.
Have to say Google’s staff responsible for the contest was very helpful, outgoing and made the organization part easier on me.
Of course few things went wrong, original premises got canceled and I had to find replacement premises quickly, I think the main culprit is that it happened in very late hours, which meant that not just the hosting company, but owner/management of the building had to change few things with security to allows us stay there late. Because in these contests each minute can count, therefore I needed to be selective and find a place with a decent/stable internet connection so there will be no hiccups during the contest. Because I was intending to compete in the contest as well, having to resolve some issues during the contest would affect my performance as the contestant.

The big day

Few things went wrong and things were not perfect, but overall it was good. I had Google’s goodies package, prepared the balloons and  I designed and 3D printed keychains for everybody to give it some personal touch. 
The contest challange itself was not just a pure theoretical dry textbook problem, but it had YouTube theme, which was a nice touch. If anybody is interested I’m attaching here the spec and input files for the first round and for the final round as well.


What was cool was that our team won the local round in the WIT hub, placed 20th in Ireland, then placed 3rd in Ireland in the extended round, which put smile on my face for a good while.