Facebook seeks Hacker Cup participants

6 Jan 2012

Registration for social networking giant Facebook’s 2012 Hacker Cup is now open.

Just what is the Hacker Cup? Facebook describes it as “an annual, worldwide programming competition where hackers compete against each other for fame, fortune, glory and a shot at the coveted Hacker Cup”.

PCMag.com speculates that Facebook will likely use the event to lure coders to the company and adds that Facebook has even used hackathons in the past to build products like Facebook chat.

In the Hacker Cup event, programmers will be judged on accuracy and speed as they solve algorithmic problems to advance through up to five rounds of programming challenges, Facebook mobile engineer David Alves wrote in a blog post.

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.