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An Algorithm For Teamwork

Students at the BattleSnake competition.

A team of University of Victoria students won the third annual Battlesnake programming competition.

Credit: Dylan Moore

A team of University of Victoria (UVic) students took first place at the third annual BattleSnake competition hosted by the university in February.

More than 300 students and developers tested their artificial programming skills at the competition, which builds on the arcade game "Snake." Teams of two to five programmers used an app to write code together for "intelligent" snakes and compete for $5,000 worth of prizes.

The game of survival took place on large screens at the main event. Sponsored by Heroku Software, the competition also included teams from Camosun College, Royal Roads University, Vancouver Island University, Women in Engineering and Computer Science (WECS), and local IT companies.

WECS' Aldyn Chwelos says the competition is a fun way to meet and network with local technology companies. "I think what makes BattleSnake stand out is how welcoming it is to programmers of all experiences," Chwelos notes. "Coding competitions can seem pretty intimidating and the organizers really made an effort to make it a welcoming environment to anyone."

Sarah Ing, a fourth-year UVic student and coordinator of BattleSnake, says the competition is a great opportunity to gain hands-on experience. "It's a project that [students] can put on a resume and portfolio when they go out and apply for jobs," she says.

From The Ring (University of Victoria)
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