Nerdlympics, Summer 2008

By , ITworld |  Offbeat, Olympics, Tech & society



Check out winner Matthew Howell's technique at the beginning there. He's employing skills he learned at his last job: those are the sorts of kneading motions that he previously used to get pizza dough smoothed out.

Code obfuscation

Eventually, you might find that you've worked your way up to a programming job, where you'll be proud to produce code that executes quickly and can be quickly and easily grasped by your coworkers and those who will come after you and need to maintain it, right? Ha ha, just kidding, obviously. As you know if you read the invaluable Daily WTF, you'll be far too overworked to do anything but churn out grievous hacks that sort of meet requirements for the time being, while disregarding code readability conventions or even comments. And if that isn't enough, your non-technical bosses will probably be raging paranoids who demand that your mediocre code be written such that your nonexistent competitors can't figure out how it works and steal your company's precious, precious intellectual property.

But will your code really be as obscure as it could be? If you think you have it what it takes, you can enter a code obfuscation contest! The venerable International Obfuscated C Code Contest has been serving as a haven for terrible, terrible C code since 1984; quotes from recent winners include:

  • "To keep things simple, I have avoided the C preprocessor and tricky statements such as 'if', 'for', 'do', 'while', 'switch', and 'goto'."
  • "Why not use the program to hide another program in the program? It must have seemed reasonable at the time."
  • "I found that calculating prime numbers up to 1024 makes the program include itself over 6.8 million times."

And there are other languages in which you can submit your most mangled syntax! Perl once held such a competition, but has refrained since 2000. As the goal was to produce "devious, inhuman, disgusting, amusing, amazing, and bizarre Perl code," perhaps the judges simply couldn't take it anymore. But others can get in on the fun, too, even DBAs (with the Obfuscated SQL Code Contest) .

Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+

Answers - Powered by ITworld

Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+

Ask a Question
randomness