This year’s edition of Game of Codes, the University of Malta’s ICT Students Association (ICTSA) annual programming competition, was held between the 17th and the 19th of February.
Participants were given 48 hours to collaborate and attempt to solve a real-world problem.
This event brings together students from different courses as well as industry teams and a group of University lecturers. Dr Christian Colombo, Dr Jean-Paul Ebejer, Prof. Gordon J. Pace and Dr Chris Porter teamed up to design this year’s Game of Codes problem. Briefly, participants were required to come up with a solution to minimise driving time from an origin city to a destination city. The problem was compounded by the addition of coffee breaks throughout the trip, which resulted in a change in traffic conditions when the drive proceeded - a factor the participants also had to account for.
The event was held at Microsoft Innovation Centre offices at Skyparks Business Centre. It kicked off at 8pm. Teams then began focusing on conceptualising a suitable approach to the problem statement. One could observe each team writing down key points and algorithms on the floor-to-ceiling glass walls since it is easier to visualise rather than from an A4 paper (and looks undeniably geekier).
The environment presented to the participants during such events intentionally provides an insufficient amount of time to fix all the bugs in their code or create the optimal solution. Therefore, it is intriguing to observe the diverse approaches to the problem. The Microsoft Innovation Centre is full of focused minds. However, if one happens to wander around at night, participants are most likely to be found playing video games to let off some Steam (pun intended).