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Software developers are shaping the future. As the demand for tech talent grows exponentially each year, events like CODE100 aim to showcase developers’ skills and get more people excited about coding. In this in-depth look at the CODE100 competition, key organizers share behind-the-scenes insights on creating an energizing celebration of all things development.

The idea for CODE100 emerged when the WeAreDevelopers team wanted to showcase developers’ talents in an exciting large-scale event. The goal was to bring the enthusiasm of e-sports and TV game shows to the coding world.

Chris Heilman on WaD stage
Chris Heilman on WaD stage

As Tomislav Tipurić, one of CODE100’s organizers, explains:

We wanted to build something for developers that's going to have a look and feel of the huge show, lightning everywhere, the experience that can actually bring them to the fullest in terms of, okay, let's now showcase to the world what these people are actually doing, what these people are all about.

Tomislav Tipurić, one of CODE100’s organizers

The organizing team aimed to make the competition intense but accessible. Sead Ahmetović, WeAreDevelopers CEO, notes:

We wanted to have a fair competition, we wanted to have it not be exclusive to anyone, no matter what programming language you use, no matter what technology stack you mostly work on.

Sead Ahmetović, WeAreDevelopers CEO
Winner of the CODE100 Felix Wotschofsky
Winner of the CODE100 Felix Wotschofsky

We have recognized the challenges of CODE100 and have extended a helping hand.

Our mission is to empower software development teams by providing a comprehensive and fully controlled development environment, automated and standardized to ensure efficient and secure workflows, effective collaboration, and the ability to meet project requirements and deadlines more easily and effectively.

Ivan Burazin the CEO of Daytona

Enabling Open Access with a Standardized Platform

A major challenge was choosing a competition format that allowed coders to use any language or stack. Providing a level playing field required a standardized environment where competitors could hit the ground coding.

This is where the Daytona platform proved invaluable. As Tipurić explains:

Daytona enabled us to basically let the challengers decide what programming language they will use. Some used Python, some used C++, some used JavaScript, whatever they desired. It was very important to have a solution that doesn't restrict the challenges in their creativity and their selection of programming languages.

Tomislav Tipurić, one of CODE100’s organizers

Daytona's standardized development environment provided that flexibility:

You have everything preset. You can just start coding! We could either say, OK, you can use Python, Node.js, .NET, and Java, and we're going to deploy that, and we're going to make sure that works. Anything out of that is out of the question. And then you will obviously have a problem because there are some people who want to use something else.

Tomislav Tipurić

Instead, Daytona's unopinionated setup allowed participants to dive right into the challenges using their preferred tools. Ahmetović emphasizes:

Thanks to Daytona's ease of use, we were able to complete the challenge without the slightest hitch.

Sead Ahmetović

Facing the Pressure - Coding On Stage

While Daytona provided a familiar workspace, competitors still faced immense pressure performing live on stage. As Tipurić observes:

I would say that at least 50-60% of the developers are introverts. You can imagine if you put an introvert in front of an audience of 3,000 people and in the light show while the DJ is playing loud music. That's the level of stress that nobody can easily handle.

Tomislav Tipurić
DJ is playing loud music during WaD CODE100 competition
DJ is playing loud music during WaD CODE100 competition

According to the organizers, competitors took longer than expected to complete challenges, struggling to focus under the lights. But using their own familiar tooling and environment reduced that stress. Tipurić elaborates:

Then if they didn't have a platform that looks familiar to what they actually use in their daily work, it would be near impossible for them to actually complete the challenges. That's why it actually is a huge role of Daytona, of the familiar coding environment, and where you actually have everything preset. You can just start coding.

Tomislav Tipurić

Celebrating Code and Community

Despite the pressures, CODE100 achieved its mission of energizing the developer community. Ahmetović reports:

I think everyone was super happy. You saw it from the reaction of the audience, but also from the challengers themselves. The winner went crazy and jumped down the stage to his fan base and they were celebrating. I think it is a new, exciting way for this community to celebrate what they do.

Sead Ahmetović

The event showcased developers' skills without claiming any one competitor was objectively "the best." Tipurić notes:

Code 100 is not about choosing who is the best developer in the world. There is obviously no such thing. It depends on so many factors. There is no best developer.

Tomislav Tipurić

Instead, CODE100 provided a forum for talented coders to test themselves against real-world programming challenges, cheered on by their peers. The creativity and problem-solving abilities required aligned perfectly with the ethos of the wider developer community.

The CODE100 Winner: A Triumph of Skill and Determination

Amidst the intense competition of the CODE100 challenge, one remarkable coder emerged victorious. Felix Wotschofsky, the winner of the CODE100 competition, shared his reflections on his extraordinary journey in his article "Reflections on Winning CODE100." His article provides an insightful glimpse into the immense pressure, strategic thinking, and exceptional coding skills that propelled him to the top.

Felix Wotschofsky, the winner of the CODE100 competition
Felix Wotschofsky, the winner of the CODE100 competition

To delve deeper into Felix's experience and gain valuable insights from his triumph, we have covered our side in the following article "Dominating the WeAreDevelopers CODE100 Competition." Discover the strategies, mindset, and technical prowess that set him apart in the competition.

Evolving CODE100

Given the inaugural event's success, plans are already underway for CODE100's next phase. Ahmetović previews upcoming locations:

This was an experiment in Berlin that, thankfully, was successful and met our expectations. Maybe even more than that. We are now going to several cities across Europe. The first city is Zagreb. Where we will organize another CODE100, this time, in a smaller capacity, not with 3,000 participants, but we are targeting around 500 participants. We will have parties, everything, just a little less audience.

Sead Ahmetović

Additional CODE100 editions are slated for Amsterdam, London, and back to Berlin for the finale. A potential U.S. location is also in the works.

Online coding challenges are another possibility, as Ahmetović brainstorms:

Every week we could set up a challenge that they can solve online, and that could be a version of CODE100 — online challenges.

Sead Ahmetović

The Future of Development

CODE100 provides a window into emerging developer trends. Asked about the future, Ahmetović observes:

Developers and tech people generally embrace AI. I mean, you have mainstream media, you know, drawing some dystopia of AI, and it will conquer the world, and we will all die, and all of this. Honestly, I think that's nonsense.

Sead Ahmetović

Rather than fearing displacement by AI, he sees developers enthusiastically adopting new tools:

I think they will be happy to have tools that will assist them in their job so that they can focus on things that are more exciting, like thinking about what is actually the problem and what should actually the solution be.

Sead Ahmetović

While the future remains uncertain, CODE100 and WeAreDevelopers will continue pushing the developer community forward through connection, collaboration, and creativity.

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