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about 9 years ago

Announcing the Winners

We’re thrilled to announce the winners of CodeCombat Challenge. See the blog post here:

The Winners

1st Place - MacBook Air: basicer (Rob Blanckaert) for his Lua parser, Lua 2 JS

I'm a software developer from NYC. I first saw the challenge posted when I was at the TechCrunch hackathon. I had previously been working on some code that use the Mozilla AST format to do model generation for a DBO project. I was having a lot of fun messing with the AST and code generation, so this challenge seemed right up my alley.

The contest had already been running for a while when I found it, but I got caught up quickly. I wrote the bulk of the code in a giant twenty four hour chunk of coding fury and presented it on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt. It got a lot of applause from the programmers in the audience, but didn't seem to impress the more business/product-minded judges. In the morning the parser was running Lua code, but there was still a lot of work ahead catching corner cases and integrating with Aether. I spent he next two weeks trying to get more and more samples of other peoples code running, as well as hanging out with the other awesome contestants in the CC chatroom. It was really awesome how the other contestants helped each other with their integration and really a great experience.

Tied for 2nd Place - iPad Air: vickychijwani (Vicky Chijwani) for his Clojure parser, Closer.js

I'm a software developer at Adobe by day, and work on my own projects by night. I have a huge drive to learn more about all things programming, because creating valuable stuff from thin air makes me feel like -- well, like an archmage. I also wanted to learn Clojure. The CodeCombat challenge was a perfect fit to satisfy my curiosity!

Initially I wasn't serious about participating. The idea was to give myself a reason to learn Clojure. So I went through a lot of tutorials and books, familiarizing myself with the fundamentals and idioms of the language. It started becoming more and more fun as I got my hands dirty with other cool stuff -- compilers, functional programming, TDD, CoffeeScript -- and suddenly I realized, I had a real shot at making this work. After that, the idea that thousands of young programmers would be able to learn Clojure and functional programming by playing on CodeCombat was more than enough to keep me going. One huge advantage of participating was that I quickly got to know tons of extremely useful Clojure functions and data structure subtleties that I otherwise would've known only with a few years of experience with it. Altogether this was hands down the most fun I've had with a side project!

Tied for 2nd Place - iPad Air: differenttmatt (Matt Lott) for his Python parser, Filbert

I'm a SF-based software engineer. I had filed CodeCombat away as a cool project to contribute to, and when I got back to it the parser challenge had just started. I enjoy researching programming languages, so it was a perfect fit.

Writing a parser is a cool academic and practical exercise. I know Python and JavaScript a whole lot better now, and recommend anyone interested in programming give it a try.


Fourth Place - iPad Air: dariusf (Darius Foo) for his Io parser, Iota

I'm a second-year Computer Science student at the National University of Singapore. Since starting school I've had a deep fascination with programming languages, and this challenge felt like a great opportunity to teach myself more about the area.

It was great fun. I've always found writing parsers and compilers to be a mental workout, much like solving a puzzle, and writing this was no different. In the process I learned a lot about Io, the node.js ecosystem, and parsers in general.

That said, the project was not easy: there were moments of self-doubt, and times where I was stumped as to how to move forward. It was, however, immensely gratifying to see the parser take shape, and that made it worthwhile.


You can view all the parser submissions in the Gallery.

In addition to JavaScript and CoffeeScript, you can now play any CodeCombat level in Python, Lua, Clojure, or Io! Thanks again to everyone who participated and made the challenge a great success.

The CodeCombat Challenge team