Top programmers still in Eastern Europe..

Discussion in 'Automated Trading' started by Copernicus, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. Choad



    now tell them to quit writing hacks, cracks and trojans and get a real job... :D
  2. Not really a problem .. hopefully people at Stanford and MIT are not focusing on being "top programmers" but rather, top scientists.
  3. yeah but is shows you that for non $ intensive research US is lagging, its the $ thats here thats allows for discoveries to a greater degree than the brain power
  4. The best and the brightest american kids don't want to become programmers, they want to become lawyers or stock brokers. Better yet they want to become executives, outsource programming jobs to Eastern Europe and India and make sure that next generations of americans are not interested in technical, computer and scientific careers either.
  5. I used to participate, then served as a faculty advisor for the ACM programming contest (went to the final 3 times, highest finish was 6th). The problems are similar in nature, but algorithmically a bit harder than the problems I just looked at in TopCoder. Last year, no US university finished in the top 20 (MIT and Caltech finished in a 10 way tie for 29th).

    However, having done these contests, the foreign universities would take months, sometimes years to practice, and would literally code up thousands of practice problems in anticipation. Naturally the Russian, the Chinese took these competitions very seriously, and the US university substantially less so. I remember we would meet 4-5 times and discuss some interesting algorithms, and that's the entire extent of our "practice" sessions. Where as some of the better prepared participants can code up a arbitrary large number division code (a standard data structure problem) in under 3 mins, which would take 150 seconds of *typing* alone.

    But those contests are great, since the participants are all kids (22 is considered *old*, I was 25 and an advisor, and was considered waay over the hill), everyone was dirt poor (the free fudges and sodas was well received), and everyone had a real sense of pride.
  6. So, whats the value of the contest then if its simply a bunch of people flinging themselves at a wall to prove they can generate a standard solution - or a minor variation - 1 minute faster than someone else ?

    Quality of output is not necessarily correlated to speed of output or the quantity of output.

    Here is a radical idea: US students and organizations dont view this type of contest as very valuable and that is why they dont participate. They also are probably working and really dont have a lot of time between work and school to bother with trivialities like these.

    Its a funny thing: many people still dont realize that programming is not necessarily engineering or science..... but these days the distinction has been blurred.

    People in the US dont really want to be programmers anymore: they want to work in interesting areas that allow decent compensation and some control over their destiny - same as always. Scientists and people that can engineer new things are still in demand ... but are too busy to engage in useless marketing excercises ....
  7. Well, the east Europeans impressed the hell out of me.
  8. Well, yes. There is talent worldwide. My experience is that no single locale has a monopoly on talent.

    My point was that a lot of talented people view these contests - even ones sponsored or affiliated with the ACM etc - as marketing excercises for the societies and academia.

    If you know what you are doing then wasting a lot if time on someone elses marketing contest does not make a lot of sense. Most people want to get paid for their time and efforts and dont have a lot of spare time for such nonnsense: even at 22 I was working on research. Time for contests ? No way ...
    #10     Nov 23, 2005