Code Hunt: Experience with Coding Contests at Scale

Judith Bishop, R. Nigel Horspool, Tao Xie, Nikolai Tillmann, Jonathan De Halleux

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Mastering a complex skill like programming takes many hours. In order to encourage students to put in these hours, we built Code Hunt, a game that enables players to program against the computer with clues provided as unit tests. The game has become very popular and we are now running worldwide contests where students have a fixed amount of time to solve a set of puzzles. This paper describes Code Hunt and the contest experience it offers. We then show some early results that demonstrate how Code Hunt can accurately discriminate between good and bad coders. The challenges of creating and selecting puzzles for contests are covered. We end up with a short description of our course experience, and some figures that show that Code Hunt is enjoyed by women and men alike.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2015 IEEE/ACM 37th IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE 2015
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages398-407
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781479919345
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 12 2015
Event37th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE 2015 - Florence, Italy
Duration: May 16 2015May 24 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Conference on Software Engineering
Volume2
ISSN (Print)0270-5257

Other

Other37th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE 2015
CountryItaly
CityFlorence
Period5/16/155/24/15

Keywords

  • Code Hunt game
  • Programming contests
  • Symbolic execution
  • Unit tests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software

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  • Cite this

    Bishop, J., Horspool, R. N., Xie, T., Tillmann, N., & Halleux, J. D. (2015). Code Hunt: Experience with Coding Contests at Scale. In Proceedings - 2015 IEEE/ACM 37th IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE 2015 (pp. 398-407). [7202990] (Proceedings - International Conference on Software Engineering; Vol. 2). IEEE Computer Society. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICSE.2015.172