Q. Can I participate in both Code to Win and Design to Win?

A: In the preliminaries, yes, but as you can only write one challenge at a time, you would have to write one of them in person at your school, and the other challenge virtually. If you are selected to move to the Finals in January, you would have to choose to compete in either Code to Win or Design to Win.


Q. Do you have to be in a specific year, or program, to compete in Code/Design to Win?

A: No. The competition is open to any college or university student, in any year and in any program, who feels they have the skills to compete.


Q. What if I’m a student but I’m taking a year break?

A: Sorry you aren’t eligible to participate. You must be currently enrolled in classes, on co-op or internship to participate in the challenge.


Q. What if I am not able to attend the challenge at my school?

A: Do not worry! There will be a virtual challenge held at the end of Preliminaries for those that missed the challenge at their school, or who would like to try the other stream. Please monitor the Code to Win homepage for date/time and instructions on how to register.


Q. Do I have to bring anything with me to the challenge?

A: Code to Win – bring a fully charged computer (we cannot guarantee power at each desk) along with a power cord in case you do need to charge at one of the outlets around the room. Design to Win – the challenge is paper-based so all that is required is your writing tool of choice. Both – bring your student number and student ID card.


Q. Will there be food available?

A: Yes. We want you to have fun! We will provide pizza and drinks while you write the challenge.


Q. What sort of problems will we see at Code to Win?

A: The questions are algorithmic in nature. An attempt has been made to find ones that resemble the sorts of coding challenges faced by real-world developers but it is safe to say these are still largely artificial and academic. 


Q. What language do I have to code in?

A: We use HackerRank’s system, which accepts around 30 languages. You can use a different language for each case question. Most common modern languages are accepted. C, Java, JavaScript, Lua, Python, Ruby, Scala, Haskell, Common Lisp, even cobol-84; there’s a bunch. Swift is likely not supported, nor newer ones like go or rust. Only standard libraries are included, no additional frameworks or libraries are permitted


Q. Do we need to put comments on our code

A: No, comments are not required.


Q. What type of Design is expected for Design to Win? 

A: The challenge will be a paper-based, simplified version of a Google Design Sprint. We will provide you with a problem statement and ask that you design a program or app to solve the problem. We are looking for early-stage prototyping and a creative thought process. At the start of the challenge, we will share examples of what we are looking for.


Q. Is this an individual or team challenge?

A: Individual.


Q. What happens if there’s a tie?

A: In the event of tie, the fastest time will rank higher.


Q. Will expenses be covered for the final challenge in January?

A: You will be provided with a travel stipend based on the location of your school. The stipend should cover travel expenses (flight, bus, or mileage) if used appropriately. We will make sure you don’t go hungry and have a nice hotel to stay in while you are in Waterloo Region for the weekend! 


Q. When will I be notified whether or not I am selected for Finals?

A: Notifications will be sent mid-November.