Hello World Open challenges programmers to develop AI for virtual racing game

Finland gears up for coding world championship

A new coding world championship targeting top programmers around the world is set to take place in Finland this year.

Called the Hello World Open, the event is being organised by Clash of Clans developer Supercell and tech firm Reaktor.

The competition tasks teams of one to three people with developing an AI to take part in a virtual car race. Coding begins from April 15th and ends on the 29th, at which point working code must be sent off ready for the contest.

The championship will be split into two rounds, qualifying and the finals. Qualifying will take place on May 6th, 7th and 8th with teams facing off against other teams in their country. The two best teams from each region will then get a place in the finals in Helsinki on June 5th.

All finalists will have travel expenses paid and the winners of the contest will receive €5,000. 

Applications to take part in the event must be sent by April 7th.

Speaking to Develop Hello World Open head of communications Veera Voutilainen said organisers wanted to create a platform for programmers to show off their skills in a sports-like event.

"We think that coders are already superstars," she said. "That’s why we wanted to provide them an amazing chance to showcase their programming skills in an exceptional global race – to find the next heroes. Coding might be seen as a hard-to-grasp concept, but we’re making it enjoyable, exciting and challenging by bringing it to a level where everyone can follow it. At the same time, we do also naturally provide a really tough challenge for the world’s top coders."

She added: "This contest is a sporting event: it makes coding visual, exciting and possible to rank. We hope the coding world championship also makes programming understandable to those who do not code too.

"Coding is a skill that isn’t usually that easy to follow by looking at the backs of talented coders while they’re doing their thing. We wanted to create a contest that is interesting for both the top coders and the public – as in sports there’s the heroes and the one’s who can enjoy it, understand it and cheer their favourites on to victory."

The internatioal contest comes two years after organisers hosted the first ever Finnish championship of coding, which Voutilainen said was a huge success.

"After that, it was very clear that we needed to take coding championships global and bring the next programming superheroes together," she said.

"Now that we’re organising the first ever coding world championship, we’ve got a great feeling about it since the world championship aims to provide something for both the developers and the wider public. It’s inspiring for the wider public yet for the programmers it’s actually going to be quite of a challenge."

Visit the official website for more information.

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