In an effort to get away from the business of course work, a few friends and I went to the 2017 Washington D.C. Google Games. This year’s theme was “spy/secret agent”. I joined my team late, and was only able to do so because someone had dropped out. I hadn’t really looked into the games; all I knew was that it was a competition of coding/logic puzzles.
We took the train from Penn Station in Baltimore to the one in D.C.. The view from D.C.’s station is fantastic. You have a straight shot to Capitol and the architecture inside the station itself is like something out of an Italian basilica. We took a ten minute walk to the D.C. Google office. You wouldn’t be able to tell from the outside; it looked like a hotel more than anything. The offices inside were great and had a really relaxed and somewhat homey atmosphere. That’s something I’ve always been drawn to in computer science. As long as you can get the job done, you can pretty much show up to work in a t-shirt and a pair of shorts. We were only able to see one floor of their offices. I think it was the “commons” floor; it had the cafeteria, conference room, and a few lounge areas.
The contest was broken up into, if I recall correctly, three three hour blocks each having three coding/logic questions each. At least half of the questions could be answered without coding, but it would be a lot faster if you did make a program to answer each. We ended up answering about half of the questions. Some teams only answered one the whole day, but I don’t blame them. Personally I only answered one or two while my teammates accounted for the rest. Some questions, I think maybe two, weren’t answered by any team. We finished the competition in 7th place out of about 25 teams. We were ecstatic — four freshmen from Hopkins came in the top ten. We also beat the other two Hopkins teams in the contest. We’re definitely coming back next year, hopefully to place in the top three.