Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Woe is me!!

I am tired. I seek rest. But first I shall disburden myself of some of my thoughts.

Question - What is the difference between blowing someone and participating in the Programming contest at Concepts '05, PICT?
Asnwer - Both leave you with an unpleasant taste in your mouth, but at least in the former case a mint gets rid of it!

Today, Kunal T and I were two of the unfortunate souls who had to experience that tribulation. Concepts normally attracts excellent sponsorships and we had high hopes. We couldn't have been more mistaken!
Firstly, the Elims - all theory questions! Everything about polymorphism, inheritance, abstraction. Horribly framed questions, ambiguous choices for answers, and a weird marking scheme that we weren't even aware of. The Elims were on the computer and the software designed for conducting it was pathetic to say the least. The questions weren't completely visible and each answer involved clicking about 5 different buttons!
Somehow, strangely enough, we managed to get through the Elims; but that's when we were given a stark reminder of the old "out of frying pan, into fire" cliche! The sponsors for the Programming Contest were Capsilon and the finals were judged, and to a large extent conducted by an asshole who had come from the company. That was a harbinger of what was to lie ahead.
The three problems were once again extremely theory related rather than logic related. We were supposed to solve any two of the three with Problem No. 3 given extra weightage. We solved no. 3 and no. 2 pretty satisfactorily. Or so we thought. When he came to judge us, he barely glanced at our code and only tried the output for a couple of inputs all of which worked. A few questions and he was gone. Not bad, we thought.
Then after he's done judging everyone, he starts dropping the real bomb-shells. He says he 'expected' industrial standard coding and comments!?! What the hell!! The only reason people use comments and industrial standard coding is because in the industry you or someone else is going to look at your code after a few weeks or months and is going to have to understand what you have coded. Here, when our programs are never going to be viewed again post the contest, why the need for all this shit? That too when there's a time limit for the damn thing!!
Anyways, we didn't win (maybe he just didn't like my unkempt look!?!) and we didn't even get finalists certificates. However, we did get a Capsilon T-shirt and a sales talk of why we should join the company when we pass out. Oh, and yeah, that unpleasant taste in our mouths!
If only I could write a program to supply some people with brains!! *sighs*

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