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Tech Tatva’15: Tag Team Coding

To your average spectator, a coding competition is the least exciting of all, where a group of bespectacled teenagers simply sit around typing.

Peitho Omada was not such an event. In an attempt to make something which appears mundane into something exciting, Cryptoss came up with Peitho Omada. Round one, held on day one of TechTatva ’15, was a basic coding and aptitude evaluation, with a little bit of a twist. Teammates sat in different rooms, solving the same paper. The amount of points you scored depended on how both you and your teammate performed synchronously, with extra points for the questions both of you answered correctly.

Eight teams qualified for round two, which was a novel, coding/aptitude relay. Teammates would sit on the two ends of a row of desks, with absolutely no communication allowed for the duration of the event. One of them would solve a programming problem while the other solved complex reasoning questions. This would go on for eight incredibly silent minutes, after which, in a sudden storm of noise, they switched roles, and continued from the point the partner left off. It was clear that to be successful, teammates needed good chemistry, and Cryptoss Coordinator Sukul Bagai aptly said, “Peitho Omada is all about mutual understanding and trust.” In the last 15 minutes the organizers unexpectedly let the teammates sit together and attempt both aspects of the event together, which led to an exciting finish.

Four teams made it to round three, which also had a creative concept. Teammates, once again barred from communicating with each other, attended auctions where they ‘bought’ coding problems that their teammates had to solve. The easiest questions were the most expensive and had the smallest score multiplier, while the hardest were the cheapest, along with the biggest score multiplier. All teams employed good strategy and managed to nab a fairly balanced set of problems. The event ended with a race to the finish, and the top three teams finished with fairly close scores.

Thinking beyond the competition, the event promoted and symbolized having faith in your partner, and how learning to work in a team is important. In a society where all of us are ‘Me-first’, Peitho Omada subtly made you realize the significance of a partner and taught you a little selflessness.