Facebook today announced open registration for its second annual Hacker Cup, an annual algorithmic programming contest open to engineers from around the world. Programmers will be judged on accuracy and speed as they race to solve algorithmic problems to advance through up to five rounds of programming challenges. The winner will receive the title World Champion for Facebook's 2012 Hacker Cup.
"Programmers from around the world will be judged on accuracy and speed as they race to solve algorithmic problems to advance through up to five rounds of programming challenges," Facebook mobile engineer David Alves wrote.
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Interested participants must solve at least one problem correctly in an online qualifying round that will take place on 20 January. Three subsequent rounds will follow on 28 January, 4 February and 11 February. The top 25 will then be flown to Facebook's headquarters in Palo Alto, California, for the final round.
There are indeed actual prizes to be won. The winner will receive US$5,000 and their name will be inscribed on the Hacker Cup trophy. The runner-up wins US$2,000 and the third-place competitor will receive US$1,000. Everyone else gets a prize, too. Competitors who rank from fourth to 25th place will be awarded US$100.
Last year's Hacker Cup got off to a rough start. Some users on the Quora social networking site complained that the contest's procedures were confusing and sometimes contradictory. The social networking giant had improved the process by the end of the contest, though, participants reported.