Google Code Jam

by Dave Cross

The second Google Summer of Code gets under way today. But for those of us who haven't been students since the last century there's also the Google Code Jam where Google are offering large cash prizes and money to Europe's best programmers.

The only problem is that the only allowed competition languages are C++, Java and C#. All nasty restrictive languages that make you jump through ridiculous hoops in order to achieve anything even moderately complex. And if you believe Paul Graham all the really great hackers are using dynamic languages like Perl, Python and Ruby.

I wonder why Google chose that particular set of languages?


2006-05-02 08:39:23
Google wants REAL programmers with REAL skills. They don't appear interested in scripting language...anyone can write scripts.
Dave Cross
2006-05-02 08:47:13
Care to explain why languages like Python and Ruby don't require real programmers and/or real skills?

Bear in mind that as I understand it, most of Google's internal programming is done in Python.

Wai Yip Tung
2006-05-23 09:56:22
I have done some analysis by language on the Google Code Jam. C++ does not get a lot of buzz these day but C++ programmer's performance tops the competitiors:

Top language in Google Code Jam

If you look at their solutions, you will be impressed by their STL wizardry.

Being a Python guy I have tried to solve the problem in Python and then translate it into Java for submission. But given the intense time pressure this doesn't work out.

So would it make a difference for scripting language programmers if the competition offer their favorite language. I think it is yes and no. On one hand you can't win unless you can use the top tool. On the other hand solving the problem is independent of the language. And the algorithm is essentially the same across different languages.

By the way the competition is ran by TopCoder. It looks like the language choice is made by them, not Google.

2006-08-14 16:38:16
Well, I suppose if you were Paul Graham or the like, you could code in Lisp and then spit out idiomatic Java using Linj
2006-08-15 16:53:58
You can use Python (albeit with a warning about performance), this year :)

2007-03-27 02:19:45
"Bear in mind that as I understand it, most of Google's internal programming is done in Python."

If by 'internal programming' you mean _scripting_, well, then yes. Most Google software is written in C++ and Java. Paul Graham's essay on how Google only hires Java programmers that also know Python is a bunch of ***bleep*** nonsense. You only need to spend 5 seconds looking at Google jobs to figure that one out.

And for all you Perl programmers/sysadmins (aka script-adminies), I can't wait for the day that the Google codejam allows submissions in Perl. A lot of people are going to be eating crow when they realize there is quite a bit more to programming than changing all forward-slashes to back-slashes. "Like what do you mean this is a graph problem... they didn't say anything about math or geometry in the problem", said the sysadmin who learned Perl/Python from LJ articles and then thought he could program.