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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Google Code Jam, or better, how to feel a 100% idiot !

Update 2

Congratulations! The results of the Google Code Jam 2008 Qualification Round are now official, and we're happy to announce that you have advanced to Round 1

Cheers :D


Guys, I do not know what Google judges will think about him/her, but in my mind, the qualification winner, for Python language, is the user camrdale, currently in position 40 of global score grid.

That code is extremely clear (come on, that is Python, how can be different!), essential, and the logic is probably not the perfect one, but is so linear that you can understand the problem even without reading them.

Well done camrdale, and good luck for the contest :geek:

Guys, honestly, I did not think about that kind of selection only to participate, bloody hell!

First of All, the selection started at 11pm, and since I am an employee, and an hard worker as well, I though: who care? I have 24 hours to partecipate.

This is not true at all, I have discovered only after an entire day of work, programming in front at two monitors, drinking 3 red stuff and having 2 coffee, that the classification, or the total score, is based on both results, and when you commit your result.

But who had time to read the task before? Not me, honestly!

This simply means that USA, and vampires a part, nobody could stay in the top of that list.

I was so newbye in this contest, that the instant I went in the page, after login, I started to read the task, downloading automatically the first example file. no way, bad choice as first step, so first task failed because of time, well done!

After that, I chose the second task.
I truly feel like an idiot because I still have not understand at all what the hell is the correct check to avoid trains conflicts. But I hope i will discover soon them, because I am sure somebody more fresh than me understand perfectly the task, and properly solved them.

The last one is probably the most simple one, logically speaking, but at 10:30PM and after 14 hours spent in front of my PC, I really do not know who I am, how can I remember correct geometry permutations?

One think in my mind: I am an idiot!

So thank you for the opportunity Google team, I am sure next year I will ask a week of holidays to participate in another contest like that.

Kind Regards


Anonymous said...

Hi Andrea. I've solved with HTML/Javascript the 2 first problems. I can't solve the third. No way. I've discovered that areas+probabilities are not a good mix for me. I hope that the long sets of the first two problems give me enough score to pass the first phase.

I'll try to publish my code tomorrow at

I don't know if I'm who hasn't understand the rules or if its you. The time counts for the small sets when you download it. You have 4 minuts. If you fail to upload a right answer, you must repair your code and re-download a new set. And finally, when everything goes well, try the long set and cross the fingers because you don't know the result until the end of the contest. The time begins to count with the first download of a problem.

Andrea Giammarchi said...

Alsanan, I am pretty much sure the first big file has been parsed correctly, but as you say, finger crossed anyway.

For the second problem, I started to read flying words, after 11 hours in front of my PC, and I probably did not understand the problem, or my logic was completely crap.

If I am not wrong, they should publish everything in a couple of hours, but about the time, the problem is that, as I wrote, I clicked instantly the first link I found in the page, and I read the problem later, and for the first time.

Anyway, 1 day at work, starting Google contest for the first time at 6:30 pm, and not a single expected result.

Seriously, next year I will get at least 2 days of holidays, so I can read problems without login, use 24 to perfectly solve them, and commit everything in 5 minutes, so I will be the first one in that list.

It does not make sense at all, and I am suprised that the contest was in this way ... but hey, sometime it is a good thing to loose, because you know that you found some limit, whatever it is :)

Anonymous said...

Well, to be honest I must admit that I'm now in holidays. I've started this afternoon, 12 hours after the start time. Best luck next time Andrea. With a little of sleep and concentration I'm sure you'll be between the first 100. I'm only the 3235th.

Here is my source as promised.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, next year I will get at least 2 days of holidays, so I can read problems without login, use 24 to perfectly solve them, and commit everything in 5 minutes, so I will be the first one in that list.

Doesn't work that way. Your score is based on the time from the start of the contest, not when you log in (did you seriously think Google hadn't considered that?). With this strategy you'd likely come in 4000th place (in 5 minutes you wouldn't have a chance to fix any mistakes and resubmit).

But the ranking for the Qualification Round is really really not important. It's essentially a pass/fail course, with the side-effect that you get some idea of how good your competition is. For the real thing, everyone will be in roughly the same time zone when each contest starts so it will be more equitable.

Andrea Giammarchi said...

Thank you Anonymous, that is exactly was I was thinking about, and what I wrote in the post.

I discovered them only after one entire day at work, it was 6:30pm in London, and as you said, and as I though, that kind of classification rank does not make sense because it is only for:
1 - people that do not work
2 - people that live in USA

Thank you alsanan for best wishes, I am not sure I could be in the top 100, but I am sure next time I will be more prepared, knowing how the contest is, and gettin, seriously, holidays to do them.

Kind Regards