Tips for Programmers

As already mentioned Challenge24 is an International 24-hour Programming Contest in Hungary. Programmers and talented people from all over the world do have the possibility to participate in this famous competition in order to show and demonstrate their individual programming skills. The contestants have to build teams of three persons and solve a special programming task or problem within 24 hours. Strictly speaking the tasks are characterized to be very complex and demanding which requires different skills within the teams itself in order to split up the whole task into several smaller parts.

Furthermore it is very important to know that at the end of the challenge every task, for instance a prototype, has to be finished in order to get rated by the Challenge24 commission. So decisive criteria are the functional efficiency of a prototype, the specific approach to solve the task and build the prototype as well as the quality of the programming. Concerning the quality of the programming the commission examines three important main aspects which could also be described as so-called Hinweise fürs Programmieren:

  • The code must be able to show a clear structure in order to demonstrate that the respective team has worked out a conceptual design before starting programming. In this case we are talking about structured programming which can be seen as a subset of procedural programming. This method enforces a logical structure on the program in order to make it easier to understand for others and modify. Tip: Programmers should use a so-called top-down design model, in which they could map out the overall code structure into various separate subsections. Furthermore you should keep in mind that almost any programming language is able to use structured programming techniques in order to avoid pitfalls of unstructured sections and general structural problems. If you do not observe the rules of structured programming, your coding may result in poorly organized programs. Also object-oriented programming (OOP) can be considered as a special type of structured programming. It generally uses structured programming techniques and does also provide more structure for data to the whole model.
  • The second very important aspect of computer programming consists in commenting the code. The commission says that commenting your code can be seen as cleaning your bathroom. Of course you are not really interested in doing it but it actually creates a more pleasant experience and mood for both you and your guests, strictly speaking the readers and ‘assessors’ of your code. Without any additional information other persons have difficulties when it comes to reading the code of the prototype. So be sure to use comments in order to summarize code, to explain your programming intent and to make the source code easier to understand for other developers or the commission itself.
  • Moreover the whole source code has to be clean. Strictly speaking keeping your code ‘beautiful’ can actually save time within the long run. So fact is that clean and beautiful codes make it easier to read and find things. Besides, be sure to remove all the extra white spacing in your HTML code in order to optimize your whole website or prototype for fast load speed.