New Platform For Code Jam 2018
Written by Sue Gee   
Friday, 09 March 2018

Code Jam, Google's annual coding competition that challenges programmers to solve algorithmic puzzles, is back for its 15th year with a new interface. In addition more contestants will proceed to Rounds 2  and 3 than previously. This year's World Finals will be held in Toronto, Canada.



Code Jam is one of Google's treasured traditions that, according to Marisa Pareti of the Code Jam Team:

 keeps the world’s best programmers coming back for more. 

She also points out that most of the team of Google engineers who design the algorithmic puzzles were Code Jam competitors before working at Google. Two of them are quoted in her recent blog post:

Petr Mitrichev, a 2005 finalist and 2006 winner says:

“Competitive programming helped me find friends all around the world who share my interests and my values.” 

Pablo Heiber, a 2005 Finalist notes the steep ability curve:

“Every year the contestants get significantly stronger and the problems need to play catch up.” 

This year's contest will be run on a new platform - providing a  new contest interface, submission system, and scoring system. The new platform gives you the option to code in the browser and offers server-side code evaluation it also supports interactive problems, which will add a new level of complexity. 

According to the Code Jam FAQs, the new platform offers the following advantages: 

  • It levels the playing field. Every contestant's code runs on the same server, against the exact same tests.
  • It eliminates input/output files, which could be time consuming for contestants, and sometimes constrained the limits we could set and the tests we could write.
  • It eliminates some forms of cheating.
  • It enables interactive problems (and, potentially, other interesting problem formats).
  • It makes it easier to participate via a variety of devices, e.g., Chromebooks.

Distributed Code Jam and Kickstart, a version for university students looking to develop their coding skills and potentially pursue a Google career. with online rounds on dates throughout the year, will continue to use the old platform. 

While many programmers participate in CodeJam just for the fun of solving algorithmic puzzles, and to win a t-shirt  that depicts an iconic image of the World Finals location, there is a substantial prize pool:

     Code Jam (GCJ)
Distributed Code Jam (DCJ)
1st  Place       $15,000        $10,000
2nd Place         $2,000      $2,000
3rd Place         $1,000 $1,000
4th - 26th            $100


In addition the fastest solver of each Finals problem gets a small trophy with the name of that problem. The 1000 top scoring contestants from Code Jam Round 2 and the top 500 from Distributed Code Jam Round 1 are eligible to win Code Jam t-shirts. Here is the 2017 design when the finals were in Dublin:



To understand how tough this contest is, no contestant has ever achieved a perfect score in an onsite Code Jam or Distributed Code Jam Finals round.  

Many of the important fact about the 2018 contest are in its short trailer:  


On the Code Jam site you can find all the past problems and try them for yourself. This is great preparation for the contest if you fancy having a go. Students and professionals are equally welcome but see the Terms and Conditions to discover the restrictions on eligibility. 

Registration for Code Jam is now open and you are recommended to register before the online qualification round begins on Friday April 6 at 23:00 UTC. The registration form, which requires not only your name and address, but also a nickname that other contestants will see,the country or region you are representing so that it's flag appears next to your nickname, and the language you feel most comfortable coding in.  It also asks where you heard about the event. If it was here please choose Other and type in "I Programmer website".





More Information

Code Jam site


Terms and Conditions

Related Articles

Google Code Jam 2015 Adds Distributed Contest 

Google Code Jam - 45,000 Registrants, One Winner

Google's 10th Code Jam Starting Soon

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 24 November 2018 )