The dates have been announced for the 2015 Facebook Hacker Cup contest and registration is now open. All the online rounds will take place in January 2015.
The Facebook Hacker Cup is one of the very few competitions that actually is about programming skill in the sense of thinking up algorithms and implementing them and provides a great way for all developers to face a challenge.
The 2014 contest caused both confusion and disappointment as all the qualifying rounds took place in 2013 and clashed with exams for many of the hackers who wanted to participate.
The schedule has now returned to "normal", which is to start the competition in early January and proceed as follows:
Qualification Period: January 8 - 11, 2015
Online Round 1: January 17, 2015
Online Round 2: January 24, 2015
Online Round 3: January 31, 2015
Onsite Finals at Facebook HQ: March 5 - 6, 2015
If you've previously registered you'll be automatically registered for this year's event. If you want to register as a new participant, or need to change your details, the sign up form is:
By virtue of it being a Facebook page the site is very accessible. It is also a little chaotic. At the moment the only details for the 2015 contest are the dates and there isn't a link to the FAQs. However, it is very likely to proceed in the same way as previous competitions which takes the form of a knock-out contest.
Anybody who has registered can take part in the online Qualification Round which runs over 72 hours from Thursday January 8th to Sunday January 11th and consists of multiple questions. Everyone who gets at least one problem right will advance to the next online round.
The other online three online rounds take place on sucessive Saturdays. The questions get progressively tougher and fewer and fewer contestants progress to the next one.
- Round 1: The top 500 finishers will advance to Round 2. Everyone that gets the same number of points as the person in 500th place will also advance to Round 2.
- Round 2: The top 100 finishers will advance to Round 3.
- Round 3: The top 25 finishers will advance be flown on an expenses paid trip for the onsite final at Facebook HQ in California on March 5-6.
If you want to see the type of problem that contestants will be facing, problems from the 2013 qualification round are available to anybody who has registered for the competition. If you dig around the site there are also solutions to last year's Rounds 1 and 2 - but without the questions!
Facebook hasn't yet announced the cash prizes for 2015 - or the number of T-Shirts it will hand out. Stay tuned for these and other details.
If you want to be in with a chance of having your name engraved on this coveted trophy, start honing you hacking skills now.
To repeat this competition is worth your consideration not because it is Facebook sponsored or for the prize. It is one of the few high profile competitions that is actually about an ability to create and implement algorithms. It is the programmer's competition.
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