Coding Contest – never change a winning horse

Since 10 years we are organising Coding Contests, the next one on the 20th October 2017 for the 27th time! This year it marks the trending topic around “Blockchains”.

New this time: the Mobile Contest

We partnered up with Runtastic to target mobile App developers especially. Runtastic develops mobile apps in the sector of health and fitness and is constantly thriving to find new ways how to support their community in achieving their results. “Within 10 years, the smartphone and all mobile apps have become companions of our everyday life. The development of mobile apps bring up special challenges and opportunities, as for example all sensors and context information that are delivered with it. As one of the leading app developers worldwide we want to create a stage for android and iOS developers to show off their skills”, says Christian Kaar, CTO of Runtastic.

In october there will be 2 tracks: the Coding Contest and the Mobile Coding Contest. “The participants choose by themselves at which track they want to compete”, explains Patrick Haebig, organiser of the Coding Contest at Catalysts.

Martin Weber, Data Scientist at Catalysts and creator of the upcoming Coding Contest challenge, explains the stages of development of a coding contest game.

As already in done in march this year the contest will not only take place in Austria (Linz, Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck and Krems) but internationally in many other cities: Bochum, Brașov, Cairo, Chișinău, Cluj-Napoca, Craiova, Frankfurt, Hasselt, Iași, Minsk, Nairobi, Novi Sad, Pretoria, Timișoara, Valladolid, Zadar and Zagreb.
The coding contest is the biggest of its kind and will host 2000-3000 participants this year. Next year the goal is 100 locations several times a year.

Everyone is welcome. Developers join in in a certain host city or just participate online.

For us and Runtastic as well as other companies that support the event, the Contest has developed to a real tool to fight against the lack of employees with special skills. It helps to identify talents. The contest makes Austria visible as a country of origin of true innovation in the IT sector.

The career accelerator

The Coding Contest has its roots in Linz. In 2007, all resulted out of a scientific experiment at the Johannes Kepler University Linz (JKU) and marked its place amongst the biggest coding contests worldwide. Through the design of the game example, the participants are guided through a way of several levels with increasing difficulty. The time is up after 4 hours. Just a few make it and reach the last level but more important, many reach further as they had expected and are keen to participate in the next contest.

The Coding Contest challenges young IT talents with exciting examples, makes them visible and supports them with internships during the summer months. This way, talented developers make their way from all parts of the world to come to Austria and gain important experience in an actual project environment.
Another important point is the percentage of women among the participants. Software development is in many ways not very attractive to young women in Austria. “This is way different in Romania since years”, says Christoph Steindl, CEO at Catalysts.

Drawing the attention of young coders to IT as early as possible and turning them into problem solvers instead of passive consumers is of utmost importance to ensure enough skilled talents for Austrian companies and their challenges in times of digitisation.

“By organising international Coding Contests in many different countries, there is so much potential to identify and attract highly skilled experts from foreign countries. Our job is to recruit those and support them on their way to Austria as good as possible”, says Christoph Steindl, CEO Catalysts.

More information on the Coding Contest and the Mobile Coding Contest are on

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