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Having played in the ACM Collegiate International Programming Contest once in the late 90's, I believe the allowed languages were C++, Java, and maybe Fortran. No one ever used Fortran. Few of us new Perl at the time, but it would have been a tremendous edge.

Our team placed 30th in the region. There was like a 200 way tie for 30th. Yeah, that bad. The regional winning team, I think, solved 3 out of the 6. Do you want to know why? All of those languages are very bad at "glue". Well, ok, that, and our team really didn't study at all -- but that's another point. Good thing was, they had lots of free snickers bars and chips. Free food in college is like gold :)

Perl would have opened up a can of you-know-what on that contest. Half the time we spent doing things that Java or C++ was very poor at, like file I-O and parsing. I think we actually used C++ at the time, since Java was relatively new to us and we wanted to be able to build more complex (specialized) data structures without a lot of casting and so on. That contest was heavy on graph theory, recursion, map traversal, that sort of thing.

I'm an algorithms guy, and I naturally flow to whatever language I can quickly get at the algorithm without having to write a lot of code that isn't related to the problem space.

I'm still kicking myself for not getting question #1. Couldn't code up the intersection of three spheres correctly. Well, at least I've grown smarter over the years.

Anyhow, when you get into college, check out the ACM's ICPC if it's still around. Those programs will blow your head off. Join up with your local ACM or IEEE chapter if you can too -- great for job contacts and learning what the industry is up to.


In reply to Re: Competition fuels obsession over Perl by flyingmoose
in thread Competition fuels obsession over Perl by snowsmann

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