Challenges in Organizing Large Scale Programming Contests

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Challenges in Organizing Large Scale Programming Contests

Anand Shenoi.jpg

Anand Shenoi, Associate Site Director, ACM ICPC, Asia Amritapuri Site anand@am.amrita.edu

Anoop Vijay, Manager, Systems & Networks, Amrita University, Amritapuri anoop@amrita.edu

Rathish Gangadharan, Project Lead, CREATE @ Amrita rathishg@am.amrita.edu

ABSTRACT

Programming contests are now quite common across the engineering institutions all over the world. It is easy to conduct a local programming contest with the infrastructure available within the campus. It is rather difficult and challenging to hold a contest in the internet with a large participation. IT infrastructure is the primary requirement for running programming contests with huge participation. We are here to present a scenario where contest was hosted by Amrita University for the software giant in India. The role of the university was to run the contest by hosting the necessary software, problem set, prepare the ranking on par with ICPC. The university witnessed more than 4000 teams participating in the contest. All the students were from the engineering institutions across India. All the types – the novice, amateur and professional programmers participated in the contest. The contest was hosted in DOMjudge. With one application server and around 25 judging nodes, the contest hosted in a distributed fashion. These judging nodes were part of LAN in the university campus. The main topic here is to present the challenges faced when such a contest was hosted. The issues were not confined to the technology as well as the infrastructural part, but also with the knowledge level of the participants. The conclusion was that there is a long journey to bring up those novice programmers.