Congratulations Need for C – winners of the Hello World Open 2014!

After the thrilling excitement of Hello Word Open 2014 that has been going on for the last few months, we are proud to announce the amazingly talented Tomasz Zurkowski, Piotr Zurkowski and Wojciech Jaskowski of team Need for C from Poland as the winners of the first ever coding world championship! Congratulations on behalf of all the organizers behind HWO 2014 from all our hearts!

The team to win the silver medal was Itarama from Brazil, consisting of Luca Mattos Möller and Diego Holanda and the third place was conquered by Resocar from Finland, their bot coded by Pekka Kujansuu, Markku Velinen and Jere Sanisalo. Congratulations for your amazing coding work, Itarama and Resocar! It was a tight contest to right up to the last seconds of the last race and the best were only separated by a few blinks of an eye.

The winners

1st The winner!

Need for C

Team
Tomasz Zurkowski , Google
Piotr Zurkowski , Poznan University of Technology
Wojciech Jaskowski , Poznan University of Technology
Programming language
C++

Creating something from nothing

Tomasz Zurkowski, Piotr Zurkowski and Wojciech Jaskowski are the coding masterminds behind Team Need for C. Wojciech, who credits all the "dirty work" in the team's code to his student Tomas and Tomas' brother Piotr, with himself just advising in AI, started coding 16 years ago and still finds it addictive: "It is like creating something from nothing - and seeing the thing working extensively stimulates the reward system in the brain. At least, in some of them.”

Tomasz started programming at 12 years old and it has been his passion ever since. "However," says Tomasz, "the real fun began at university when I could spend every day doing what I like the most and it's been like that ever since. Just a dream come true." His brother Piotr, who names Tomasz as his coding idol who taught him everything he needed, started coding five years ago and does it now professionally and for fun.

"Rocking is not subtle enough; coding jazzes," answers the insanely fast Team Need for C from Kostrzyn, Poland, to the question on why they think coding rocks.

2nd

ITArama

Team
Luca Mattos Möller , Google
Diogo Holanda , BBM Investimentos
Programming language
C# / Mono

Almost like some kind of wizardry

Diogo and Luca make up team ITArama, the group of finalists that had the virtual sports crowd catch breath with their beautiful racing during the dizzying pace of the American rounds. The coders know each other from the university from which they all graduated in the year 2012. In addition to common group assignments in class, these daredevil drivers have also worked together in a few other projects around programming competitions and game developing, too.

Luca says that he loves to see how the result of good work can be seen rapidly, and how it’s possible to turn these results into something useful extremely fast. ”Imagine you’d like to create a machine, or any sort of engineered device or artifact. The amount of time, or even money, it might take to create a working prototype is just not comparable with the amount of time it takes from you to code something cool, and get it running and working. It feels almost like some kind of magic or wizardry, when it enables us to create so many interesting applications out of a variety of crafted and adjusted instructions.”

3rd

Resocar

Team
Pekka Kujansuu , Housemarque
Markku Velinen , Housemarque
Jere Sanisalo , Housemarque
Programming language
C# / Mono

Solving problems, creating new things

Pekka Kujansuu, Markku Velinen and Jere Sanisalo form Team Resocar, the car of which has made it’s way like a lightning during the HWO 2014 virtual racing spectacle. For some of us, this surely comes as no surprise as Pekka Kujansuu is one of the coding wizards from the famous team Moukari, which won the then-national Hello World Open 2012 Finnish coding championships, and other members of the team are surely no first timers in writing their code.

”I started coding when I was about 11 or so,” explains Pekka and goes on to describe the impact coding had on him: ”I got interested in it because I heard that I could make my own computer games if I learned how to code. Along the way I’ve learned lots of languages, made a bunch of small games, and now I work at a game studio.”

”Coding enables us to solve problems and create new things,” say the guys who find their joy in the limitless possibilities of coding. "There is a whole world inside computers and coding enables us to shape it.”

4th

Scientific Method

Team
Michal Burger , Facebook
Programming language
C# / Mono

If you can think it, you can code it

”The biggest reason why I'm so excited about coding is that it gives you means to unleash your creativity and build anything you want”, says Michal Burger, the software engineer behind the brilliant team that’s getting ready for representing Slovakia in the finals. ”If you can think it, you can code it.”

The Slovak coder says that there’s many unexplored areas out there waiting for you to discover and turn the world upside down: ”Can you even imagine what would world look like without Email, Wikipedia or Google Maps?” he asks. ”And it's not just the virtual world, big parts of the physical world are controlled by computers too and their role will only keep increasing in the future. With technologies like robotics and 3D printing you'll soon be able to bring your imagination to life in a literal way.”

5th

FireEdge

Team
Valentin Konovalov , ASDA
Programming language
Java

Black magic, bad code and good luck

”The strategy was fairly simple - I mixed one part of black magic with one part of bad code and one part of luck and then hoped it will hit. It did, indeed,” Valentin Konovalov describes his approach to coding his winning bot. Another secret for his success was a practical incorporation of the HWO 2014 regime to his normal work schedule: ”I’ve been working same way as before but with one significant difference - I replaced reading news and watching funny videos with reading stuff about harmonic oscillators, control theory and math."

Valentin, who nowadays does software development for a living, started coding 17 years ago when his dad gave him a book on Pascal programming. One of the first exercises he ran into in the book was an exercise to find roots of square equation. ”I was very impressed how easily you can solve math problems and I used this knowledge to do my school homework faster,” says Valentin who proved himself to be very crafty at the implementing coding into real world problems solving right from the start.

6th

che

Team
Sergey Chebykin
Programming language
JavaScript

From teenagers’ tech club to professional software development

For Sergey, coding isn’t merely work. It’s been a significant part of his life ever since his dad took him to the teenagers’ tech club in Russia. ”I chose to go to a computer class which was equipped with old Spectrum-like machines”, he says. “The first coding experience made a huge impression on me, and immediately made the programming my hobby. Later at school I tried to program a lot of things - from silly video games to simple compilers. Now coding is a huge part of my life, as I do software development for living. And it is still my hobby!”

What comes to Sergey’s coding idols, he points out various programmers, such as Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg, John Carmack, keep inspiring him, because they can ”put together programmer skills, science, and the ability to come up with great ideas, and use all that to make something that changes the world”.

7th

Working Minds

Team
Caetano D'Araujo , Working Minds
Pedro Jesus , Working Minds
Thiago Garcia , Working Minds
Programming language
JavaScript

Improving lives in the society as a whole

”The feeling of getting good stuff done fast and right in front of my eyes gives me an incredible feeling. Coding is an art, and I love practicing it”, declares Caetano, one of the three coders from Working Minds.

Caetano’s first experience with coding took place when he was only 10 years old. Finding the professional love of his life in a young age is a thing the coder has in common with his other two team members. Pedro tells that he found his long-lasting relation to coding in the formative years, too. ”I discovered my love for the art of programming at the age of 13. It wasn't a programming language though, but RPG Maker 2000. I loved to build scenes and events for a game with this tool, without even realizing that it represented my passion. I only really knew once I began studying computer science at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. Of course, this is it! It’s what I’ll make for a living, and I love it!”

The three guys also work together in a company named, quite foreseeably, Working minds. ”Coding enables us to build anything we can imagine, and it has greatly improved our lives in a society as a whole”, Pedro says.

8th

FastBananaTransform

Team
Vladimir Smykalov , SPb NRU ITMO
Igor Pyshkin , SPbSU
Egor Suvorov
Programming language
Python

CAUSE AND EFFECT

The victorious team was not formed just accidentally for this competition. Two of the team’s members have competed in the same team before HWO 2014. “Igor and I were in the same team (school ACM ICPC-like contests) for several years once upon a time. We’ve known each other since 5th grade (first grade of middle school), when we both started attending math circle,” Egor says. Vladimir, he remembers, he met during a summer math camp around three years ago.

"It’s extremely logical, which I like a lot: ‘Cause and effect’. You can also make absolutely amazing things and programs which improve quality of your life, or even quality of other people’s lives," the passionate coder verbalizes what it is in the essence of coding that is so enthralling to him. "Another cool side of programming is that it is a very important part of robotics, so even if you don’t like pure numbers, you can make a program for a robot and see how it follows your orders," Egor adds.

Creating something from nothing

Tomasz Zurkowski, Piotr Zurkowski and Wojciech Jaskowski are the coding masterminds behind Team Need for C. Wojciech, who credits all the "dirty work" in the team's code to his student Tomas and Tomas' brother Piotr, with himself just advising in AI, started coding 16 years ago and still finds it addictive: "It is like creating something from nothing - and seeing the thing working extensively stimulates the reward system in the brain. At least, in some of them.”

Tomasz started programming at 12 years old and it has been his passion ever since. "However," says Tomasz, "the real fun began at university when I could spend every day doing what I like the most and it's been like that ever since. Just a dream come true." His brother Piotr, who names Tomasz as his coding idol who taught him everything he needed, started coding five years ago and does it now professionally and for fun.

"Rocking is not subtle enough; coding jazzes," answers the insanely fast Team Need for C from Kostrzyn, Poland, to the question on why they think coding rocks.

Almost like some kind of wizardry

Diogo and Luca make up team ITArama, the group of finalists that had the virtual sports crowd catch breath with their beautiful racing during the dizzying pace of the American rounds. The coders know each other from the university from which they all graduated in the year 2012. In addition to common group assignments in class, these daredevil drivers have also worked together in a few other projects around programming competitions and game developing, too.

Luca says that he loves to see how the result of good work can be seen rapidly, and how it’s possible to turn these results into something useful extremely fast. ”Imagine you’d like to create a machine, or any sort of engineered device or artifact. The amount of time, or even money, it might take to create a working prototype is just not comparable with the amount of time it takes from you to code something cool, and get it running and working. It feels almost like some kind of magic or wizardry, when it enables us to create so many interesting applications out of a variety of crafted and adjusted instructions.”

Solving problems, creating new things

Pekka Kujansuu, Markku Velinen and Jere Sanisalo form Team Resocar, the car of which has made it’s way like a lightning during the HWO 2014 virtual racing spectacle. For some of us, this surely comes as no surprise as Pekka Kujansuu is one of the coding wizards from the famous team Moukari, which won the then-national Hello World Open 2012 Finnish coding championships, and other members of the team are surely no first timers in writing their code.

”I started coding when I was about 11 or so,” explains Pekka and goes on to describe the impact coding had on him: ”I got interested in it because I heard that I could make my own computer games if I learned how to code. Along the way I’ve learned lots of languages, made a bunch of small games, and now I work at a game studio.”

”Coding enables us to solve problems and create new things,” say the guys who find their joy in the limitless possibilities of coding. "There is a whole world inside computers and coding enables us to shape it.”

If you can think it, you can code it

”The biggest reason why I'm so excited about coding is that it gives you means to unleash your creativity and build anything you want”, says Michal Burger, the software engineer behind the brilliant team that’s getting ready for representing Slovakia in the finals. ”If you can think it, you can code it.”

The Slovak coder says that there’s many unexplored areas out there waiting for you to discover and turn the world upside down: ”Can you even imagine what would world look like without Email, Wikipedia or Google Maps?” he asks. ”And it's not just the virtual world, big parts of the physical world are controlled by computers too and their role will only keep increasing in the future. With technologies like robotics and 3D printing you'll soon be able to bring your imagination to life in a literal way.”

Black magic, bad code and good luck

”The strategy was fairly simple - I mixed one part of black magic with one part of bad code and one part of luck and then hoped it will hit. It did, indeed,” Valentin Konovalov describes his approach to coding his winning bot. Another secret for his success was a practical incorporation of the HWO 2014 regime to his normal work schedule: ”I’ve been working same way as before but with one significant difference - I replaced reading news and watching funny videos with reading stuff about harmonic oscillators, control theory and math."

Valentin, who nowadays does software development for a living, started coding 17 years ago when his dad gave him a book on Pascal programming. One of the first exercises he ran into in the book was an exercise to find roots of square equation. ”I was very impressed how easily you can solve math problems and I used this knowledge to do my school homework faster,” says Valentin who proved himself to be very crafty at the implementing coding into real world problems solving right from the start.

From teenagers’ tech club to professional software development

For Sergey, coding isn’t merely work. It’s been a significant part of his life ever since his dad took him to the teenagers’ tech club in Russia. ”I chose to go to a computer class which was equipped with old Spectrum-like machines”, he says. “The first coding experience made a huge impression on me, and immediately made the programming my hobby. Later at school I tried to program a lot of things - from silly video games to simple compilers. Now coding is a huge part of my life, as I do software development for living. And it is still my hobby!”

What comes to Sergey’s coding idols, he points out various programmers, such as Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg, John Carmack, keep inspiring him, because they can ”put together programmer skills, science, and the ability to come up with great ideas, and use all that to make something that changes the world”.

Improving lives in the society as a whole

”The feeling of getting good stuff done fast and right in front of my eyes gives me an incredible feeling. Coding is an art, and I love practicing it”, declares Caetano, one of the three coders from Working Minds.

Caetano’s first experience with coding took place when he was only 10 years old. Finding the professional love of his life in a young age is a thing the coder has in common with his other two team members. Pedro tells that he found his long-lasting relation to coding in the formative years, too. ”I discovered my love for the art of programming at the age of 13. It wasn't a programming language though, but RPG Maker 2000. I loved to build scenes and events for a game with this tool, without even realizing that it represented my passion. I only really knew once I began studying computer science at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. Of course, this is it! It’s what I’ll make for a living, and I love it!”

The three guys also work together in a company named, quite foreseeably, Working minds. ”Coding enables us to build anything we can imagine, and it has greatly improved our lives in a society as a whole”, Pedro says.

CAUSE AND EFFECT

The victorious team was not formed just accidentally for this competition. Two of the team’s members have competed in the same team before HWO 2014. “Igor and I were in the same team (school ACM ICPC-like contests) for several years once upon a time. We’ve known each other since 5th grade (first grade of middle school), when we both started attending math circle,” Egor says. Vladimir, he remembers, he met during a summer math camp around three years ago.

"It’s extremely logical, which I like a lot: ‘Cause and effect’. You can also make absolutely amazing things and programs which improve quality of your life, or even quality of other people’s lives," the passionate coder verbalizes what it is in the essence of coding that is so enthralling to him. "Another cool side of programming is that it is a very important part of robotics, so even if you don’t like pure numbers, you can make a program for a robot and see how it follows your orders," Egor adds.