Mozy Contest Impressions

Nicholas Leippe nick at
Mon Nov 6 09:20:25 MST 2006

On Saturday 04 November 2006 20:43, Dave Smith wrote:
> Just wanted to share my impressions about the Mozy coding contest. I
> found that the majority of the questions had to do with the ability to
> parse text and manipulate strings. Only one question had to do with
> anything else, and it was thrown out. I can only conclude that BDS
> thinks people who can write programs to parse text in 10 minutes or less
> are worth a $10,000 award. I personally think the breadth of the
> questions was lacking. Maybe phase 2 had a wider breadth of problems --
> I didn't advance, so I don't know.
> I personally felt limited as my strongest language (C++) lacks good text
> processing in its standard library. Since I was not allowed to use my
> favorite libraries (Qt has an awesome string class that would have made
> the problems *much* easier), I was unable to complete several of the
> problems in the alotted time.I did complete one of the problems in 2
> minutes using Perl, while most of the others left me gasping for air
> after 10 minutes of C/C++. Oh well. :)
> Curious how others did, and also wondering if the $10k was awarded today.

I felt similarly.  I managed to finish all but one--which I was less than 30 
seconds from finishing.

I did it all in PHP--as that is what I currently use most.  I am proficient 
with C and C++, but as I haven't used them in my day-to-day for a long time I 
am a bit rusty.  A timed contest isn't the best time to brush up.

PHP is also not the best at text processing, at least I do very little text 
processing in a normal day. I found the preg functions highly useful, and 
throughout the entire round I kept thinking that some perl monger is gonna 
clean up.

I didn't advance to the second round, but it was still fun.

If anyone is interested I can post my solutions to the six round one problems.

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