Karlstad Programming Contest 20172017-10-17
A maximum of three members per team could participate in the Karlstad Programming Contest, held at Karlstad University on 7 October. Dan Wolff, developer at Altran, formed a one-man team and managed to solve most problems in the shortest time, thus becoming this year’s programming champion.
The Karlstad Programming Contest is a leg of the Nordic Collegiate Programming Contest (NCPC), which was held simultaneously at 21 universities and university colleges in the Nordic countries. Teams consisting of a maximum of three contestants had to solve eleven programming problems in five hours. They were only allowed a computer, literature and their own skills.
Dan Wolff has a Master of Science in Engineering and works as a consultant for Altran. This was the fourth time he participated in the NCPC. The first time he took part was in Lund in 2008.
“I would like to participate next year too. I think it is fun, but it always gets frustrating at the end, when I get the feeling that I ought to finish more problems,” says Dan Wolff. “Having participated a few times before was an advantage, because I recognised the format of the contest and the problems. I could quickly see which problems were easy and possible to solve, and then I could prioritise. Many of the others got stuck on a problem they thought was easy, but which turned out to be very difficult.”
If the results are compared with those from previous years, it seems as if the problems were more difficult than usual. Jonathan Vestin, contest organiser and PhD student at Karlstad University agrees.
“The contest usually has one easy and one very difficult task, with varying difficulties for the rest. I thought the problems were more difficult this year, and this is confirmed by the results. Here in Karlstad and in Sweden, one had to solve one fewer problem than last year to win.”
Students, alumni and representatives from local IT and technology businesses participated in the Karlstad Programming Contest. The contest was again sponsored by Sogeti in Karlstad, and the three best teams received prizes.
“At Sogeti we think the Karlstad Programming Contest is a good initiative for getting students involved in programming. That is why we have sponsored the event several years running,” says Åsa Maspers, consultant manager at Sogeti in Karlstad. “The contest also gives our consultants a good opportunity to develop the problem-solving skills and to see how their programming skills measure up against those of others, both students and colleagues in the branch.”
”For us at the university, the programming contest is a good way of keeping in touch with alumni and businesses in the region,” says Jonathan Vestin. “Next year we will maybe also organise a programming contest in the spring, partly as preparation for the autumn contest.”
On 25–26 November, the Northwestern Europe Regional Contest (NWERC) is held, and only teams that did well in the NPCP can qualify for this contest. The different contests form a type of ladder from the Nordic contest, up to regional European contests and finally to the world contest.