Google sponsoring coder contest

Wednesday, 15 October 2003, 1:37 PM EST

Here's your chance to be Silicon Valley Chief Geek: Beat out thousands of the nation's programmers in a Google-run contest to solve coding problems on deadline.

The Google Code Jam 2003 is the Mountain View search company's second such annual competition. The official prize is cash -- $10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second, $3,000 for third. But the unofficial stakes are much higher: Google's recruiters will look favorably on your win, though they aren't making any promises.

About 3,000 programmers have already signed up, in a reflection both of the limping economy and of Google's lure as one of the few companies that can still make it big in the IPO market. The deadline for registration is Wednesday. Go to www.google.com/ codejam, and make sure you do homework on things like palindromes and binary strings.

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