This would be geek nirvana, but there aren't any girls.
One hundred of the best and brightest coders (all dudes, natch) competed today in Google's Manhattan headquarters for head geek honors and their share of $151,000 in prize money. Google flew the contestants to NYC from around the world. The winner will be announced tonight at 8 p.m. Until then, have a look at these purty pictures I took during the competition today.
Code Jam is Google's annual online challenge that invites nimble-fingered geeks to solve a series of algorithmic problems. According to Google's Manhattan engineering director Craig Nevill-Manning, the goal of Code Jam is to get people passionate about computer science. He says Google doesn't use the contest as a hiring mechanism, though contestants that do well "would get a step up in the interview process" if they were to apply.
The contestants this year hailed from 23 different countries. The Russian Federation had a whopping 33 coders in the finals, making them the dominant country. China was second with 12 coders, and Poland was third with 11. The United States was on their somewhere, about seventh or eighth place I think. India didn't have any contestants. A reporter from the Christian Science Monitor by the name of Ben Arnoldy told me the reason Russia and Poland do so well is they have schools that offer classes specifically for contests such as these.
If you're not all about the Code Jam photos, check out these photos from an earlier trip to Google's headquarters.