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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

TCS Top 100 Shell Scripters

From this year my employer, TCS, started conducting programming contests round the year. They call it as TCS Top 10 programming contest. These contests range from programming languages to scripting languages and to even complex SQL queries. Though the goal of the contest is to select top 10 coders in every programming language, they do select top 100 coders and publish their names in TCS website. The only difference between an employee who featured in top 10 and an employee who featured between 11 to 100 is just the TCS gems points. Yes, thats too bad.

Recently they had a shell scripting contest. TCS Employees from round the world participated. It was a two level contest. The first level which is a screening contest had 30 scripting questions.

The second level was the actual programming contest. TCS has an internal platform called Mooksha in their website where the coder has to submit his code/script. Mooksha will automatically compile/interpret and input your code with all possible test cases. It wouldn't give a detailed description if your code runs into issues. It would just say Yes or No indicating whether your code runs as expected or not. As it throws very little information, it puzzles the programmers to find out where actually the issue is. And only after that, it is possible to troubleshoot the issue.

TCS contest had two scripting questions that need to be coded in shell script and the time allotted was 4 hours. I have had glanced at questions that figured in Google programming contest in the past. Though no contest can be compared with Google's, i was surprised to see the tcs questions framed in a similar way. The questions explained a real time situation in a very detailed manner and provoked the coder's logical brains. He has to transform those logics into programs. Though, i should scream a bit because Mooksha didnt work as expected. Overall, it was a nice experience and i was rated in the top 100 out of 4000.

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