| 6:49 pm on Dec 10, 2010 (gmt 0)|
what does a programming competition have to do with hacking?
This is the 2nd type of these events i've seen labeled some kind of "hacker" thing, A few months ago another one these was going on to my suprise it was just a bunch of people making programs one person was even making a drinking game? I think it was run by techcrunch or something so that explains a lot hahah
ah yes, it was called DISRUPT, i think the only thing they disrupted was pizza huts phone line calling in orders.
| 9:18 pm on Dec 10, 2010 (gmt 0)|
>>what does a programming competition have to do with hacking?
isn't hacking the old fashioned term for programming?
... before it's more common meaning
| 9:29 pm on Dec 10, 2010 (gmt 0)|
|isn't hacking the old fashioned term for programming? |
That's my understanding, too, going back to the early 1960s.
| 9:51 pm on Dec 10, 2010 (gmt 0)|
They're calling it a Hacker Cup to make it sound more exciting. Programming competitions sound like something an uber-nerd would do, while hacking is something Neo from the Matrix would do. That's not my view of course but what I believe the general populous believes. Hacking = cool, Programming = not cool.
Whether hacking meant programming back in the day is irrelevant; hacking is equal to breaking in today's terms. Breaking into files, into computers, breaking websites. It's commonly associated with illegal activities. That said, today's "hackers" are mostly script kiddies, but there are some that are great programmers.
| 10:22 pm on Dec 10, 2010 (gmt 0)|
YAY, we can all work for facebook instead of ourselves!
I forgot that hype isn't cool anymore either.
| 12:40 am on Dec 11, 2010 (gmt 0)|
The original sense of "hacker" was a programmer who could get *anything* to work -- basically by hacking away at the problem until it was solved.
That's not a formal definition, but rather my "internalized understanding" of the term as a person who worked with "hackers" and used the term in the past.
Unfortunately, some hackers are malicious, but the press, when it first caught onto the "hacker" term, dropped the "malicious" qualifier, and now the common understanding is that "hacker" and "malicious hacker" mean the same thing.
I was considered a "hacker" back in the day, because by optimizing code and eliminating redundancy in data, I could fit 8 KiloBytes of code into a 4 KB programmable read-only memory -- for the kind of application that we now call a "BIOS." And, yes, boot PROMs really were that small at one time...
Now the winner of this FaceBook contest will likely have to explain this hacker/malicious hacker distinction to his friends, family, associates, and employer...
| 3:55 am on Dec 11, 2010 (gmt 0)|
In 8th grade I had a teacher we all called "hacker", but that was cause he always kept both hands buried deep in his front pockets ...hacking around for "something".
On that note: Talk about weenie prizes... FB is valued at how many $Billion? And they are offering less than $10K in total prizes split between the top 325 suckers, (um, err.. "hackers").
I had another teacher who always cracked himself up saying;
"Pie aren't squared -- pie are round, cornbread are square".
| 6:54 am on Dec 11, 2010 (gmt 0)|
They're calling it a Hacker Cup to make it sound more exciting.
well lets call a spade a spade, cause the other types are heading to defcon........and these guys eatting pizza and spilling stuff on their shirts.
| 6:42 pm on Dec 11, 2010 (gmt 0)|
A "hack" in programming parlance is a quick and dirty solution to a problem. Therefore, a speed-writing competition in which code is judged for effectiveness (rather than beauty and extensibility, etc.) can therefore be called a "hacking" competition.
That's not to say it's a good choice of name for a competition, but it is reasonably accurate.
| 2:28 am on Dec 12, 2010 (gmt 0)|
Wow. I suddenly feel very old.
| 9:43 am on Dec 12, 2010 (gmt 0)|
|Talk about weenie prizes... FB is valued at how many $Billion? And they are offering less than $10K in total prizes split between the top 325 suckers, (um, err.. "hackers"). |
This was my reaction exactly. I mean really, only five grand for top prize? I would think at least 5 to 10 times that, though I'm guessing Mark does not want to hand out lots of massive raises to existing employees (who already compete in similar hackathons during spare/dull times at the company) or something...
I see you can "warm-up" with some example puzzles. [facebook.com]
Found "Hoppity Hop!" to be extremely simple, is just an hors d'oeuvre of course, and is exactly modeled after (verbal) drinking game we played in high school which we called "biz-buzz" and I said was too easy so modified to "biz-buzz-booze" with "booze" as multiples of 7. Ahh, takes me back...
| 10:30 pm on Dec 12, 2010 (gmt 0)|
Yeah - my sentiments exactly.
Im a programmer with 25 years experience in industry and for myself - Ive done some of the nastiest assembler and C code you could imagine. Ive programmed mainframes to unix boxes and PC's.
5K for a top prize - you get more than that for sweeping the streets for a couple of months.
I guess thats all us programmers are worth these days.
I think i'll go and finish that bot which auto creates fake FB profiles at 30,000 per day. Its worth more than lining up to be their sycophant hero of the moment. 5k - LOL
| 5:30 am on Dec 13, 2010 (gmt 0)|
I guess thats all us WEB programmers are worth these days.
there you go.
| 5:55 pm on Dec 13, 2010 (gmt 0)|
LOL, Sure the prize money sucks, but do you not think the Top 10 aren't going to get offered a job? I mean this thing is basically a glorified job interview, those that do the best get the job.
What better way to weed out those that can't do the job and only hire the best of the best.
It would cost him more to interview a bunch of people, pick those that passed the interview, have them do some training, then find out they can't cut it. Instead have them show you they can do everything you need and more before they even get offered the job or waste your time.
Wish I could do this with my business.
| 5:57 pm on Dec 13, 2010 (gmt 0)|
I have a feeling that Facebook's current "hack-a-thons" are not only for employee enjoyment and morale, but also to keep them sharp and find out who truly is the cream of the crop. Its the best way to pick your top people and move them into the most important projects.
I find it to be a pretty brilliant idea.
| 11:36 pm on Dec 13, 2010 (gmt 0)|
I think in last weeks 60 Minutes interview, Mark Zuckerberg was asked about why he called it hacking and he said something to the effect that it was high performance programming (my words, not his!)
| 10:25 am on Dec 14, 2010 (gmt 0)|
@Strapworks hmm a competition based around solving algorithmic problems and you can't even use Fortran - bit lame obviously they don't want real programmers :-)
Ps I have written Billing systems in Fortran and I did do some work on a CFD model for a Breeder Recator (which is a mummy bomb)
| 12:48 pm on Dec 14, 2010 (gmt 0)|
"Sure the prize money sucks, but do you not think the Top 10 aren't going to get offered a job? I mean this thing is basically a glorified job interview, those that do the best get the job. "
The thought of world class programmers needing a "job" makes me sick.
| 1:36 pm on Dec 14, 2010 (gmt 0)|
It may be a glorified job interview, however, the competition will find the best quick and dirty coders, not the best programmers, not even close. If they are lucky, they will find good analytical brains, but that is certainly not guaranteed.
| 1:59 pm on Dec 14, 2010 (gmt 0)|
|It may be a glorified job interview, however, the competition will find the best quick and dirty coders, not the best programmers, not even close. If they are lucky, they will find good analytical brains, but that is certainly not guaranteed. |
Yes, but they will find the best programmers willing to work hard for barely any money. How perfect is that?
|The thought of world class programmers needing a "job" makes me sick. |
I think most of the participants will be younger people in high school or college. I think the 5K prize should weed out the best programmers(unless they compete only for the "glory" of winning a Facebook event).