Get to know Google’s Coding Competitions

Posted by Julia DeLorenzo, Program Manager, Coding Competitions

Google’s Coding Competitions provide interactive rounds throughout the year to help you grow your skills, challenge yourself, and connect with developers from around the globe.

Google has three flagship Coding Competitions: Code Jam, Hash Code, and Kick Start. Each competition is unique and offers different types of challenges from algorithmic puzzles to team-based optimization problems. Our Coding Competitions are designed and tested by a team of Google engineers and program managers who craft new and engaging problems for users to tackle.

Google’s Coding Competitions have been around for quite a while (two decades!) and this passionate group of contributors and fans around the world makes each new season even more exciting than the last.

Hear from two program managers on the Coding Competitions team:

Emilly Miller, Google’s Coding Competitions Lead Program Manager

Emily Miller Headshot

“My first year working on Coding Competitions was 2013 with Code Jam. The Finals were hosted in London that year — video proof — and I've been hooked ever since! It's been incredibly rewarding and a whole lot of fun to interact with coders from around the world over the years.

I find it so cool that even after 20 years of Code Jam, the space of online competitions continues to evolve and grow. To me, it's a testament to the strength of the global online community and the value that products like Code Jam, Hash Code, and Kick Start provide developers to connect and learn from one another. Plus, the problem statements are so creative and fun!

My advice to future participants is, jump in and try it out! We're all here for something unique to us, so find out what that is for you and pursue that. Hitting roadblocks along the way is likely, so don't get discouraged. Remember there's a global community of coders out there waiting to help you!”

Julia DeLorenzo, Google’s Coding Competitions Program Manager

Julia DeLorenzo Headshot

“My first introduction to Google’s Coding Competitions was in 2016, when I had the chance to volunteer at the Code Jam World Finals in New York City. The excitement and energy of that Finals stuck with me – four years later, in 2020, an opportunity to work on Coding Competitions full time came up and I jumped at the chance!

I love that Google’s Coding Competitions offer different ways to participate. No matter where you are in your competitive programming journey, there’s a Competition for you. People who are new to competitive programming can get familiar with space by participating in Kick Start; those who want to participate with friends or teammates can try Hash Code; and folks looking for a challenge should try Code Jam. Some people participate in all three! The problems you’ll see are always different and creative so you’re sure to have fun along the way.

As cliché as it sounds, my advice to future participants is that failure is an opportunity for growth. Don’t let imposter syndrome or fear of failure stand in the way of trying something new. If you come across a problem you can’t solve – that’s great! It’s an opportunity to challenge yourself and try a different approach.”

Stay Tuned!

Over the next few weeks, keep an eye on the blog – we’ll be spotlighting each of Google’s Coding Competitions in a series of blog posts to help you understand the ins and outs of each competition.