Nothing much can be told inside though, and without photos it'll be boring to explain it all in details. As scheduled, participants had their breakfast in the cafetaria, completed some documentations (NDA, photo release, reimbursement, etc.), welcomed by the engineering director of Google Sydney, and spent some time downloading and preparing their assigned workstations for the actual competition. The screens were big, internet were fast, just perfect for the competition.
A quick tour around the office (it's a wonderful workplace environment) followed after that (no photos allowed, I guess), and it's now time for lunch. Some participants also tried a game or two on the pool table, until the time for the competition comes.
Since the problemset are publicly available in the Code Jam website, I think it's also allowed for me to post how I did in the competition (you may also want to see the problemset for APAC Regional Onsite to know what I'm talking about below):
- I started with problem A, which seems like another ad-hoc problem. After spending nearly an hour, I found that it's quite tricky and I gave it up (thinking to return later if I'm finished with the other problems). A lot of other participants also had not solved this problem, although some did.
- I moved to problem D, in which I solved the small input in less than ten minutes. The large input is quite hard, you need some matching-on-a-tree algorithm which I never tried before, while for the small input all you need is the STL next_permutation and some code for checking the validity.
- I then moved to problem B, which seems to be solvable (including the large) with simple DFS with some prunning. Coded for a while, and got the small input accepted. By that time, it was only around 20 minutes until the end of the round. I optimized the code a little (added some prunning), and run it on the large input, in which my solution runs quite fast (less than a minute or so). Unfortunately, my large submission was not correct (stupid bugs, I presume), but that doesn't matter actually since it won't advance me to the finals anyway.
- I then returned to problem A small. Tried several ways, but never tried the correct one, so out of so many submissions until the end of the round, I never solved it. It would've advanced me to the world finals if I did, and it's rather disappointing to find out later (thanks to Ardian, Prima, and Bramandia) that the solution is quite easy.
The (unofficial) result was announced soon after, by John Dethridge with his admin login. A few hours later, the official result came out and we found out that there are 3 Code Jammers from Sydney onsite who made it to the finals (Triple_M, Ardian KP, and kinaba).
We then returned to the hotel, and said goodbye to some participants who are returning that night, including Irvan Jahja (who would fly to Jakarta via Hong Kong, which would take more than twice the time and money needed compared to flying directly). After resting for a while, we're out for dinner with John Dethridge and some other Googlers in Darling Harbour.
Since we did not take any group picture during the day, I decided to have one after our dinner, here we are.
After saying goodbye to the other Code Jammers and Googlers, some of us decided to have a walk around Darling Harbour (whose view at night makes perfect postcard photos) and also tried the monorail (which was expensive, and not quite scenic when you take it at night). This time, I brought my tripod with me, and the photos were fantastic.
On our way back to the hotel, we visited a convenience store just across the street, and took these photos at the front of the hotel as well.
Since it's nearly midnight already, I decided to return to the room and have some rest. I'll be having interviews on the next day, so I sort of needed some good rest that night.
(All photos are copyrighted, please ask for permission before reproducing)