The Prize 

WP_001278 (2)Every year I try to participate in the main polish programming contest Potyczki Algorytmiczne. It takes 1 week during which you are completely detached from your life and family. Since the level is quite high only it is impossible to get to the top 20 which takes part in the finale for people who don’t participate in such events on regular basis. So why waste a week every year?

It is just like running in marathons. You run (I don’t, but it makes for a nice metaphor) to stay healthy, to show that you can endure the distance, to prove something to yourself. To have an achievement of some kind. And the same goes for programming contests like this. You want your brain to stay sharp, to still be proficient with the things you learned during your studies, to prove to yourself that you can tackle problems ordinary people can not. And you train C++ STL usage heavily which is good for your regular job. Luckily the PA contest gives T-shirts to first 256 contestants (there is about 1000 people participating each year) so you have some souvenir for your struggles.

This year there were some cool problems, many dealing with primality testing. I made and environment consisting of UT, acceptance tests and gprof (total overkill) to ensure I don’t loose any points easily. You don’t want to loose your weekend for nothing!

(Phew, it was hard to make this post about something else than bragging about having the 2013 t-shirt finally delivered.)