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Code Wars: One Intern’s Perspective

Posted on 11/17/2015

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Before I landed my awesome job as a software developer at Windward, I was an intern here while a computer science student at Colorado State University. The other day I was thinking about how fun and challenging that time was, and one thing that stands out was when I participated in Code Wars. So since 2016 Code Wars is just around the corner, here’s a look back at what it was like to be a part of this amazing student hackathon. I wrote this blog post in 2013 and it still holds true.


I had the privilege of participating in the test run of Windward’s Code Wars, and I have to say, I wish I could compete again in the real deal.  It was a lot of fun, I realized there are things in it for everyone, whether you are a freshmen who hasn’t learned much more than program control structures or a senior who has experienced everything from operating systems to compilers to concurrency. Unfortunately  they threatened to take away my supply of Mountain Dew if I gave away the details.  And I depend on that important source of life.


Marcus (at the podium) running the Code Wars 2013 contest at Colorado State University.

But I think I can get away with saying this: (queue the dramatic music)

Everyone starts with the same code, and it is working code.  But will you accept the status quo?  Will you use the given code when you know everyone else will do anything they can to write something better?

Take advantage of this great opportunity to explore. Read the code. Understand the code. Do online research about the problem. And then get ahead of the competition by writing code that will outperform every other competitor!

Some competitors will get right down to the meat of the problem by starting fresh with a blank file, but some competitors will succeed by changing the structure of what’s given.  It’s up to you to put your skills to use, whether they are in writing best-in-class data structures or figuring out program correctness. Team up with other players and share your strengths.  But beware, you are up against fierce competition and must take advantage of everything you are given.

This is your chance to show what you’re worth through teamwork, problem-solving and friendly competition.  Team up and get ready!  I hear that the skills you practice here will be extremely valuable when you graduate and enter the real world!


What do you think — ready to sign up? Head on over to the Windward Code Wars page to learn more and to register for Code War 2016!

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Author: Marcus Johnson

Marcus recently became a full-time employee after working 3 years as an intern at Windward. He has worked on a variety of projects such as sample code and videos, HTML output, and ensuring compatibility with App Engine and Android. He is now working hard with his team to release Windward's next product! When he’s not at work, he can be found in his apartment hanging out with his beautiful wife, reading or playing with the Phaser javascript library.

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