You can cut code, but can you cut it?
- Posted on December 21, 2017
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
It’s a Saturday in mid-November. While some of us are just waking up, others are having their cup of afternoon tea on the other side of the world…but we are all preparing for the same thing: Avanade’s Programming Contest. This five-hour long, brain-bending coding competition has everyone on pins and needles, waiting for the clock to click to go time. Across 18 countries, from Japan to Brazil, Avanade folks are gathered, warming up their algorithms and ready to crunch their brains at this chance to compete to prove Avanade programming supremacy.
This all started a few years ago at a company called Infusion, a global software engineering firm where this competition was such a hit, they ran it annually. The competition itself is administered by KATTIS and is inspired by the renowned ACM collegiate contest, considered to be the Olympics of computer programming. Toward the beginning of 2017, Infusion was acquired by Avanade, bringing in new employees and company traditions, like the Programming Contest. Contest problems present a real-life scenario, for example, modeling air traffic control. With the scenario, each contestant must determine the problem and develop algorithms for its solution. The contest typically features 6 – 7 questions, and contestants have five hours to complete as many as possible. Contestants are scored based on the number of problems solved and the penalty points (e.g., one point for each minute it takes to submit a correct solution and twenty points for each incorrect submission). The person with the most correct submissions and least penalty points wins!
With our vision to be “the leading digital innovator, realizing results for our clients and their customers through the power of people and the Microsoft ecosystem,” Avanade has a strong culture of innovation. Supportive internal communities, across a range of expertise, fuel the innovative solutions we create for our clients. Coming together through the Programming Contest shows this cross-team comradery and sharpens our skills with its competitive nature.
Battling through distracting noises from outside and pizza overload, the contestants fly through the questions keeping up with each other via telepresence and Yammer. Everyone is put to the test to solve the challenging problems, solutioning down to the last minute. Finally, the competitors wrap up, letting their brains and fingers rest. At each contest site, the team finally gets to relax and celebrate together over snacks and drinks. The feelings of community, meeting a challenge, and curiosity to know the winner, hang strong in the air.
The following Monday, results are announced and Wojciech Borowiecki (1st place - Raleigh), Andrzej Krajniak (2nd place - Krakow), and Marek Gibek (3rd place - Krakow) were crowned as the 2017 Programming Contest champions!