Competing individually in the Mozy Code Deathmatch
, SCI developers McKay Davis
, Michael Callahan
and Bryan Worthen
represented three of the eight finalists and shared in the grand prize of $10,000. This unique coding contest was conducted with two online preliminary rounds and a final round held at Mozy.com
's American Fork (Utah) office. The first round, lasting just an hour, required contestants to solve six small programming puzzles. The second round challenged the remaining contestants with four more difficult problems. The eight finalists then were invited to Mozy.com's office to compete head-to-head. In the final round, the contestants were asked to write - in under ninety minutes - a small web server capable of handling 10,000 simultaneous connections. To assess the contestants' efforts, the judges then used a test client to connect and to establish a data connection with each server 10,000 times in a short period. Each server then had to sort the data and retrieve three specific pieces of the data. Although all finalists managed to develop a functioning server, none of their servers scaled well enough to meet the full scope of the challenge. After some debate, all agreed to declare the competition a tie and to split the prize money equally among the finalists.
"It was a bit different than the average programming competition. It looks like they not only wanted to judge our ability to solve a problem, but also to judge other things like our understanding of computer systems and our ability to figure things out we might not have learned before. I had a little bit of socket and thread programming experience going into the competition, which did help, but I ended up having to look up specifics, and I assume most of the rest did as well." - Bryan Worthen
"I thought the Mozy guys did a great job with their contest and we all had a good time. Here's hoping more such contests happen in the future! - Michael Callahan