Hackathon vs contest
Sometimes we are asked if it is difficult to organize a hackathon like the CCC. It is important to emphasize that we have never been organizing hackathons but coding contests – since 2007. Hackathons usually have a broad topic and are rather creative approaches, but not necessarily bound to coding. In our case – in a coding contest – you get a well-defined description of a problem and four hours of time. The problem is broken down into 5–8 levels that get progressively harder and harder. So the first to find the solutions to all levels wins.
The challenge of the recent contest was about solar energy. The participants had to help in averting the energy crisis which will cripple our planet in less than a few decades. They had to code an efficient way to also preserve each country’s resources.
To organize such a big event like the Coding Contest wouldn’t have been possible without our enthusiastic and reliable partners: our hosts. They took care of the event locations, catering, moderation and local organizing. They were in touch with the CCC-orga team from week to week to have an overview about the event and be prepared in time. They are our local ambassadors who prepared the places for the coders and took care of the show.
It is a pleasure to have lots of host cities that have been with us for many years – and it is also fantastic to be able to gain new hosts for our initiative. On November 8th, WIFI in St. Pölten, Prezi in Budapest, PanonIT in Novi Sad, Fronius in Thalheim bei Wels and the HTL in Traun hosted their very first CCC: we are very proud of them and of what they have achieved!
Romania, the unique space
Romania is a unique part of the coding contest: our biggest CCC location is in Cluj-Napoca with around 600 seats each time, and a big part of the contest game development is also done in the Catalysts office there. If you were to look for the quickest coder worldwide, where would you guess he/she is from? You guessed it – Romania.
It is amazing that we had lots of places which had already been overbooked before the contest started: congrats to Rybnik, Cluj, Chișinău, Craiova, Oradea, Pilsen, Timișoara, Cugir, Traun, Iași and Miercurea Ciuc for their full-house event in the 32nd CCC!
Although the coders could work on their solutions in lots of cities onsite, there were programmers who couldn’t join us physically but took part only online. 333 contestants wanted to solve all levels in classic CCC and 379 pupils & students challenged themselves in the school contest. Our online attendees joined us from Afghanistan, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, China, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Korea, Moldova, Mongolia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, USA, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.
It’s the people that made the CCC special – and a couple of other small things as well. In Amstetten, for example, besides the classic-contest they conducted a school-contest for the first time and to celebrate it properly, they organized food, energy-drinks & goody-bags and a great after party with a live band. Fronius knows how to celebrate the future generations: The hosts in Thalheim bei Wels created a special trophy for this occasion. The Vienna-team invited the attendees inside the beautiful Rathaus where a special guest stepped on stage: Jörg Neumayer, who is responsible for digitalization in the city of Vienna. He opened the prize-giving ceremony with the following thoughts: “Digitalization is one of the most important topics of our time and offers new job and development opportunities that need to be promoted. Such contests like the Coding Contest give the talents the opportunity to show their skills, to measure themselves and to network. The mood and enthusiasm of the attendees was great during and after the contest and showed how important it is to give young talents a stage. In the future, I am particularly pleased to be able to turn our city into the digitalization capital of Europe together with these top IT young talents.”
See you next time
It is humbling that Cloudflight was represented worldwide on November 8th thanks to the 32nd coding contest. Are you curious what will happen at the next event? Stay tuned and follow us on our social media channels. You can practice and prepare yourself with our previous games on catcoder until the next contest takes place.
Thanks for participating and making this happen! See you on April 3rd at the 33rd CCC!