Coding Challenge Wrap-Up: Who Won the Map

Roman Trade Network
Compared to our previous coding challenges, May’s was a modest affair, with just three entries coming in from Rick Matter, Jon Pattinson and Jay Nagel. And, despite opening the entries to include Delphi, Go and Python as well as C/C++, Java and C#, all three were written in Java! (You can find all the competition files here.) In this challenge, you were given a 20×20 map that contained 20 trading islands, each occupying a square. Each island was a trading… continue…

How to Process an Image in Code

I’ve recently begun working on a space-themed game that will be set in a galaxy and I’ve decided to create the background based on a photograph. I generate the background by displaying a 100×100 grid of colors, with the color of each block determined by the brightness of the corresponding section of the photograph. The image I started out with is a 600 x 600 pixel photograph of a spiral galaxy from NASA (above), which I divided into a 100×100… continue…

May’s Programming Challenge: Resource Trading

Posted In Living in Tech
Roman Trade Network
In this problem, you are given a 20×20 map that contains 20 trading islands, each occupying a square. Each island is a trading port for gold, iron and wood. The map also contains a few reefs and uninhabited islands. The goal is simply to sail a ship from the top left square (0,0) and eventually end up at the bottom right (19,19) having earned as much as possible. Click here to find Java developer jobs. Your ship can sail to… continue…

Coding Challenge Wrap-Up: Who Won at Sevens

Posted In Living in Tech
Dice Coding Challenge Winner Badge
This was the contest I thought would never get started. Although the game Sevens is easy to play, getting the bot-runner code to run the compiled bots proved to be harder that I thought. I solved it for C, C++ and C# easily enough: These are all languages that produced a compiled .exe, but for running Java programs it took a bit longer. Then, when I solved that and started running the contest, it turned out that several of the… continue…

2 Free C Compilers Worth a Look

Posted In C++/C#, Working in Tech
Debugging in Pelles
It’s surprising how important the C programming language remains, as it’s now over 40 years since it was first created. It’s a simple but useful language that gives you a very low level view of memory and how variables are stored. It doesn’t have any high-level libraries for hash maps or lists; ANSI C only gives you arrays and pointers. If you want advanced data structures you have to either write them yourself using pointers or get third party or… continue…

Tournament of Sevens: Week 1 Results

Though the Tournament of Sevens coding challenge took much longer to get off the ground than expected, I’ve taken steps to sort out the bot bugginess and the contest is now roaring ahead. The first week included 16 viable competitors, out of 19 entries. One obstacle in getting this going was from Eclipse projects. The problem with them is that their source files end up in different places and the IDE is a bit fiddly building and deploying the class… continue…

Skills You Need to Be a Digital Media Engineer – Now

Posted In Looking in Tech
CGI Racecar
“There’s a caveat,” says Traylor Woodall as he opened the conversation about his career as a digital media engineer. “My degree was in graphic design and fine arts but it evolved. I’m in the creative end but very involved with the technology. You might say I’m a bridge.” Woodall is the CEO of Fivestone Studios in Nashville, Tenn., a company that creates CG product marketing videos, network show packaging and special effects for broadcast spots. As a designer, he began… continue…

Programming for iOS With Xamarin Studio

Posted In C++/C#, iOS, Working in Tech
Xamarin Thumbnail
Back at the start of July I began a contract to develop an iOS app for a Taxi firm. I decided to invest in Xamarin Studio so that I could develop the app in C#. The development took a bit longer than expected due to issues with the server, but it’s now very near completion. Xamarin, while appearing to have come out of nowhere, is actually a renamed and rebranded version of MonoTouch, so it’s a couple of years old… continue…

Tournament of Sevens Contest Update: A Saga

Posted In C++/C#, Living in Tech
Tired Runner
I picked the game for this contest with the thought that it would be simple and straight forward. Was I ever wrong! The contest was due to start Jan. 1, but a sudden unexpected vacation took me to Vegas through Jan. 2. With jet lag and such, I wasn’t really up to sorting the entries it for a day or two after. I had most of my competition runner created, though I hadn’t debugged it. By that point, there were… continue…

A Changing Job Market for Women in Gaming

Woman Playing Video Game
Although the gaming industry is known as a boys club, women in the business say the perception is unfair. Yes, they’re underrepresented, and yes they face discrimination, but they believe breaking into gaming may not be any more difficult than it is in any other area of tech. The big difference, says Kate Edwards, executive director of the International Game Developers Association, is that the sector remains relatively young when compared to other parts of IT. That, she speculates, may… continue…