Code hunt: Gamifying teaching and learning of computer science at scale

Nikolai Tillmann, Jonathan De Halleux, Tao Xie, Judith Bishop

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Code Hunt ( is an educational coding game (that runs in a browser) for teaching and learning computer science at scale. The game consists of a series of worlds and levels, which get increasingly challenging. In each level, the player has to discover a secret code fragment and write code for it. The game has sounds and a leaderboard to keep the player engaged. Code Hunt targets teachers and students from introductory to advanced programming or software engineering courses. In addition, Code Hunt can be used by seasoned developers to hone their programming skills or by companies to evaluate job candidates. At the core of the game experience is an automated program analysis and grading engine based on dynamic symbolic execution. The engine detects any behavioral differences between the player's code and the secret code fragment. The game works in any modern browser, and currently supports C# or Java programs. Code Hunt is a dramatic evolution of our earlier Pex4Fun web platform, from which we have gathered considerable experience (including over 1.4 million programs submitted by users).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages2
StatePublished - 2014
Event1st ACM Conference on Learning at Scale, L@S 2014 - Atlanta, GA, United States
Duration: Mar 4 2014Mar 5 2014


Other1st ACM Conference on Learning at Scale, L@S 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAtlanta, GA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Software


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