“We want to create opportunities for students to enjoy programming”
This year marks the 4th iteration of CODE FESTIVAL
which began with this goal in mind.
Thanks to all our attendees at previous festivals,
this event has grown into what it is today.
The theme of CODE FESTIVAL 2017 is “Diversity.”
As with last year, this event is open not only to students from Japan,
but those from countries around the world as well.
We hope to develop this programming contest into an event
which further embodies the original CODE FESTIVAL theme,
“So many ways to have fun,”
and look forward to welcoming people from across the globe as attendees.
(Our dream is that one day students from all 193 countries will join this festival!)
We want Japanese students to have more interactions with people from all over the world,
which is one goal of this programming contest.
Languages supported by AtCoder. Please click below for details.
Detailed rules for responses follow those used by AtCoder, but there are no penalties for submitting an incorrect answer. Please click below for details.
Sun. 22 October 2017, 23:59(JST)
CODE FESTIVAL 2017
Akihabara UDX GALLERY
Please get a user ID from AtCoder, the programming contest operational service that will run the qualification contests.
*Note: if you already have an AtCoder user ID, you do not need to get a new one.
Click the "application" button on this website, which links to the application form. Please enter all required information on the form.
Take part in the online Qualification contests run by AtCoder. Only entrants who pass the Qualification contest may take part in the final.
Take part in the CODE FESTIVAL 2017 final held in November.
Please note that profiles and interviews date from July 2015.
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I am a self-proclaimed NEET (not in education, employment, or training). I dropped out of graduate school in April 2015. That's why I call myself a NEET. I have four years of programming experience. I first came into contact with programming at junior high school, but it was just a hobby. I didn't start programming seriously until I went to university. My best language is Java. My Twitter account, 宇宙ツイッタラーX (uchu twitterer x) is well known, and I now have nearly 100,000 followers.
I heard that one of my university friends had tried CODE FESTIVAL, so thought I would try entering too. However, since I had no procon experience and I wasn't studying in an IT faculty, at first the threshold seemed daunting. My biggest worry was competing in programming skill in a limited timeframe, because you use your head completely differently when you take time over programming at your own pace. But I decided to enter even without procon experience because anyone is free to enter the qualification contest and I figured I had nothing to lose. The result was that I managed to get a ticket for the final in the second qualification contest. I didn't understand how a beginner like me could take part in the final and had no idea what would happen. In the final I came 197th out of 200 contestants, but I had fun at the procon.
Coming 197th out of 200 in the final was a frustrating result. Knowing nothing about dynamic programming or Dijkstra's algorithm, which IT students know as a matter of course, was a big handicap. If I had known about those, I think I could have solved about five questions out of ten, but ultimately I could only solve two. I was really glad that Naohiro Takahashi*, who set the questions, explained them after the final had finished. As well as being a review, it helped me to understand that the questions weren't so hard if you understood the ways of thinking, so in the end I wasn't depressed about my result. I was also glad that there were various other events besides the final. I managed to have so much fun over the two days, luckily coming in the top 16 in the AI Challenge and learning new things in the "Asa Procon" (morning procon) session that everyone was free to join on the day after the final.
*While still at university, Takahashi came third in the world in the algorithm section of the Imagine Cup 2008. He reached the final of the TopCoder Open four years running, and was runner-up once. He now heads AtCoder, which runs programming contests.
Bombing out in the final just made me more determined to do better. I've never been a quitter, and finding out the actual level of top coders was another big motivator, because it enabled me to set my own goals, realizing that I might overcome the barriers if I worked hard. I read the Twitter feeds of top coders and looked at study methods to boost my skills. I tried every procon available. Now I'm a complete procon addict (laughs). In fact, one of the reasons I dropped out of graduate school in my second year was because I wanted to improve my programming skills. In that sense, it was a major turning point for identifying new possibilities for myself. I do want those with no experience in procons to give it a try.
Because I got hooked on procons after taking part in CODE FESTIVAL as a beginner, I want to increase the number of participants and see other underconfident people like me give it a try. That's partly why I will participate in CODE FESTIVAL 2015 as a staff member. Based on my experiences, I also do planning. The interesting thing about procons is that they test your real strengths. Unlike games where people with the strongest items can win, victory in procons is determined by how much effort you put in and how well you think on the spot. At CODE FESTIVAL you can test your skills in a fair environment and learn a lot from doing so. Some people might be worried about doing this, but I was like that and I was fine even with little programming experience. You can still have fun. Give it a try!
I started programming in my second year at university. I got interested by learning Fortran in class and decided to study Python, which is often used in scientific and technical calculations. Since none of my friends were studying programming, I studied entirely alone. Using online study sites, etc. I sometimes spent several hours a day on programming. To motivate myself I tried several online procons. CODE FESTIVAL 2014 was the first on-site procon I took part in.
Although I had tried several online procons, I had no experience of on-site procons, so I was little more than a beginner. I discovered CODE FESTIVAL in an online article and thought it sounded interesting, so decided to give it a try. Moreover, it seemed like I might have a chance, because it was a big contest with 200 people advancing to the final. My biggest concern was that no one I knew was entering with me. Since I was going to university in Osaka, I thought I would be really alone, and I recall being pretty nervous about going to the final. As it turned out, I was excited to make connections with lots of people at the actual event.
In the final I managed to answer five questions out of ten and was ranked about 160th. As a first-timer, I felt that at least I had given it a try. I was really happy to win a top prize and get a badge in the "Asa Procon" (morning procon) session, even though I was in the easy level. The most exciting thing was being able to meet and compete with 200 like-minded people in a real forum. In particular, there was a fantastic sense of togetherness in the "team battle relay" at the end of Day 2, when everyone from beginners to top prize-winners solved problems in teams. Even beginners like me could have fun taking part and there was a real sense of connection to everyone else. I really made lots of friends there. I felt isolated online, but once I tried taking part in CODE FESTIVAL I knew I was definitely not alone, which was hugely reassuring.
CODE FESTIVAL is more than just a procon; it includes diversions such as music games and board games, as well as informative talks and panel discussions. I especially enjoyed the talk by Takuya Akiba, who is a "red coder," the highest rating at TopCoder. I discovered that this exalted coder has made huge efforts to get where he is, and this boosted my motivation for programming by making me want to try harder. Another big plus was being able to actually use the data structures and algorithms I had seen in textbooks at CODE FESTIVAL and see their actual effects. This changed my attitude to studying and spurred me on to further growth. It's fine to take part alone. You can make lots of friends.
Even if you don't know stuff like Dijkstra's algorithm and don't know anyone else there, it's OK. All solving the same problems in the same place is just fun. You naturally make friends by experiencing all kinds of things together over the two days. Some of you may be nervous about wandering in all alone, but there is absolutely no need to worry. Taking part in CODE FESTIVAL prompted me to join Twitter, which now connects me to hundreds of people. I took part on my own, but am now actively exchanging information with others and don't feel alone at all. If you want friends who can spur each other on to become better programmers, you should take part in CODE FESTIVAL.