Hash Code was created back in 2014 by a few engineers in the Google France office. These engineers were coding competition enthusiasts and wondered if it would be possible to create a new kind of coding competition, one that looked more like the type of work they did each day.
While Hash Code shares similarities with other programming competitions, there are four things that we think make it especially Googley:
Hello, Google.The first ever Hash Code challenge was inspired by a Street View project that an Engineering team in Paris was working on around the same time. Today, the competition’s problems are still modeled on real Google products and challenges. Hash Code teams have tackled things like figuring out how to design the layout of a Google data center, perfect video streaming on YouTube and compile code at Google scale. These challenges are unique in that they focus on real problems that can be solved with technology. Check out the Archive page of our site for a full list of past problems and to get practicing.
Teamwork makes the dream work. Just like software engineers at Google, you work in a small team during Hash Code. So while coding ability is important, so are teamwork and communication skills. Don’t have a team? Don’t worry: You can register and find a team later using our Facebook group.
Launch, iterate, repeat. There’s never a “right” answer to a Hash Code problem. Teams spend the entirety of each round working on one challenge, continuously trying to improve their solution. In computer science, this is referred to as an optimization problem, and it’s similar to problems you’d encounter working as an engineer at Google. Also, here’s one pro tip: Your team should submit early and often during the competition so you can test your solutions and keep improving them.
Visit Google’s European headquarters. Hash Code takes place over two rounds: First up is the Online Qualification Round on Feb. 20, after which the top teams will be invited to Google’s Dublin office for the Final Round on April 25 (check out last year’s Final Round highlights). While it’s awesome to make it to the Final Round, we encourage teams taking part in the Online Qualification Round to focus on trying their best, learning something new, and—of course—having fun!
Want to get involved? There’s something for everyone in a Hash Code challenge, so whether you’ve just started coding or you’ve been participating in programming competitions for years, head over to g.co/hashcode to register today and be part of the #HashCode fun. We’ll see you for the Online Qualification Round on Feb. 20!