In our most recent Wednesday evening session, James ran a 1 hour problem solving challenge which the 1st-3rd years tackled in teams of 3. The language of choice was Java, and the goal was to get a flavour for the types of questions sometimes used in job interviews for coding positions.
You can check out the questions here: challenge
Be warned though: these are pretty tough, and only a few teams found elegant solutions to any of the problems. A copy of the slides outlining some solutions is here: solutions. A full solution to the “Knights” problem is here, but obviously this is far more complicated than anything you would encounter in most interviews.
The winning team amassed a whopping 93 points (out of 120), claiming the grand prize of 3 creme eggs per team member.
Dr Rice was less fortunate: his solution to question 1 earned a commendable 18 points, but in a bizarre turn of events his second solution was given -18 points, leaving his tally at 0 for the evening. Better luck next time.