Programmers to compete for cash and rubber ducks

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March 16, 2018
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March 16, 2018

Programmers to compete for cash and rubber ducks

Nemo Jones, a senior CpS major and one of BJU's best hackers, brushes up on his programming skills. Photo: Robby Jorgensen

While computers may be a source of stress for some people, computer science  (CpS) majors from BJU find them both fun and challenging in the Computer Science Programming Contest.

The contest held by the CpS faculty is open to students of any major. Dating back to 1989, the competition will be held tomorrow on Mack Library’s second floor from 8 a.m. to noon.

Much like the Extemporaneous Writing Contest, the Computer Science Programing Contest is a competition that students can attend to present and hone their skills.

Dr. Stephen Schaub, a member of the computer science faculty at BJU, said, “Computer programmers enjoy writing programs to solve problems. It’s something they find fun to do. It’s also an opportunity for our students to get together in competition. There’s a social aspect to it.”

Local companies often fund the contest. Others send representatives for student recruitment.

“They’ll give a little bit of a pitch about their company at the end of the contest, and the students that do really well often get talked to and recruited,” Schaub said. Usually around 30 to 40 students compete in the event.

“I know some go to look for jobs. Others go for the thrill of it. I just go for the rubber duck,” Dominic Palermo, a computer science major at BJU, said about the Computer Science Programming Contest, “It is a good way to show off and hone our skills as CpS majors.”

Each placeholder receives a monetary prize. The contest consists of various problems to be solved by a program that the students create.

The first-place winner is awarded $300, second place $200 and third place $100. “Everyone who solves at least one problem gets a rubber duck,” Palermo said.

“It’s a cute little thing, but it’s kind of like a good luck charm for programmers. I haven’t been to one where someone wasn’t able to solve any problems.”

Palmero said the problems vary in difficulty. “It [the contest] challenged me big time. The problems range from easy to painfully difficult.”