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EghtesadOnline: Sharif University of Technology is set to hold a coding contest on August 29, calling on students, independent programmers, IT companies, tech-savvy individuals and related firms all across the country to take part in the event which revolves around writing and deciphering spaghetti codes.

In the competition, participants are assigned the task of writing spaghetti codes, i.e. codes that are difficult to maintain, reported ICTNA.

The deadline for registration is August 16; those taking part in the event should hand in the spaghetti codes they have written one week in advance.

Those interested can hand in their codes during the writing process as well so as to receive counsel. Programmers can visit to find more information or sign up for the event, Financial Tribune reported.

 Spaghetti Code

A spaghetti code is an unstructured and difficult to maintain code with a complex and tangled control structure, resulting in a program flow that is conceptually like a bowl of spaghetti, twisted and tangled.

Spaghetti codes relied on “GoTo statements”, whereas recent techniques are defined by “for and while loops” and logical variables which are based on more conventional methods namely structured, modular and object-oriented.

Spaghetti code can be caused by several factors, such as volatile project requirements, lack of programming style rules and insufficient ability or experience.

A code is unreadable if the instructions are so convoluted that the only possible way to figure out its output is to execute the instruction cycle.

Participants in Sharif’s Spaghetti Contest should use the C++ coding language. Each instruction execution cycle should print a specific one or three-character thread on the screen; the thread must be constant printing a similar output upon each execution cycle. After being run on another computer the code should produce the same output as well.

 Event’s Procedures

Competitors are initially divided into random groups with two to four members. The groups will be handed programs written by others, challenged to determine the code’s output.

The code whose output is figured out by the fewest number of groups will be announced as winner. If two teams score a draw, the one having decoded more programs is set to win, and in case that entails a tie as well, the one taking less time will beat the other.

The programs must be sent to the jury a week in advance. After evaluation, some may be rejected, and those accepted will enter the contest.

During the contest and for deciphering the rivals’ codes, participants will have access to the ASCCI table (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) which is a character encoding standard for electronic communication. However, they are not allowed to use computers or smartphones. 

 Participation’s Advantages 

Sharif’s spaghetti code contest is not merely a technical competition but is set to function as a brain teaser, contributing to the knowledge and skills of programmers. 

Those taking part in this contest are given the chance to learn new programming tricks by conducting code reviews and writing codes.

It will also be a good practice as they hand in the spaghetti codes to the jury and receive mentorship and verification, and have a chance to assess their abilities and skills. The top candidates will qualify for the final stage, showcasing their programming skills in front of peers.

In addition, contestants are provided with ample job opportunities as reputable companies supporting the event will be observing the contest closely.


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