May 2, 2006 12:44 PM PDT
Coding for fame, and dollars
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The TopCoder Open is just one event in a calendar full of competitions run by TopCoder. Monthly online competitions allow participants to submit code-solving problems posed by the TopCoder staff and tweak that code several times over the course of the competition to obtain the best result.
Intel is pushing multithreading development in the monthly competitions, in which it submits its own problems for developers that have been vetted by the chipmaker's staff, said Scott Hay, manager of Intel's software networks.
TopCoder has about 80,000 registered developers on its site, who are rated and ranked based on speed, accuracy and other metrics. More than 35,000 of those developers are from the U.S., while 12,720 are from India and 4,462 are from China. However, in terms of the average rating earned by those developers, the Russian Federation's developers rank on top, followed closely by the developers from Poland and China. The Indian developers have the lowest average rating per developer, while the U.S. developers are second to last.
Ninety-eight percent of TopCoder's developers are male. Slightly more than half are students, with the average age falling between 18 and 23.
But just who wins the competition--a top-ranked, international programming star or a dark horse--is still anyone's guess.
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