23 February 2022
by Hans-Wolfgang Loidl, Heriot-Watt University
The most recent instance of the SICSA Programming Challenge finished with a clean sweep of the first three places by students from the University of Glasgow. This makes it 2-1 for Edinburgh vs Glasgow in this series of SICSA wide programming challenges.
The series of SICSA Programming Challenges was started during lock-down in June 2020 and is bringing us full circle to a setup where we can hopefully all return to a more familiar mode of operation. On reflection, the first instance, still early in the lock-down period, attracted the highest number of students, with more than 100 students from across Scotland. While numbers have declined – the most recent challenge in January 2022 was attended by 23 students – we now have a good coverage across Scotland, with participants from at least six SICSA institutions.
We are continuing to use the OpenKattis platform which provides a huge repository of online problems, and performs automatic scoring of programming challenges submitted by students. As many of these platforms, it markets itself as a tool for preparing for technical interviews and honing programming skills, thus it is highly relevant for computer science students, who will be entering the job market soon.
After running three SICSA-wide challenges, we now have an organising team from six different Scottish universities in place. We encourage other academics to get in touch in order to grow the effort and expand the base of potential participants. We plan to build on the success of this challenge and run more SICSA-wide instances of this programming competition. Our thanks go to SICSA for funding the prize money for the winners of the event and for promoting this event.
More information on the programming challenge is available on the web site.