U.S. Developers, Students Face Ever-Increasing Global CompetitionBy Darryl K. Taft | Posted 2007-03-16 Email Print
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A recent student programming contest shows U.S. students have to compete globally more than ever, while another study shows developer numbers growing more rapidly abroad.As the software development trend continues to grow more rapidly outside the United Statesin parts of Asia, Eastern Europe and other parts of the worldnot only do professional developers have to think about global competition, but students do as well.
According to the results of a recent Association for Computing Machinery contest, only one U.S. team of student programmers ranked among the top five in the world.
The results of the 2007 ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest bear out the notion that software development is a worldwide phenomenon and that global competition is fierce. The only U.S. university to finish in the top 10 was the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which placed fourth. The top five winners were Warsaw University (Poland); Tsinghua University (China); St. Petersburg University of IT, Mechanics and Optics (Russia); MIT (United States); and Novosibirsk State University (Russia).
Other top finishers from the United States were California Institute of Technology, at No. 12, and the University of Texas at Dallas, which was tied for 14th place with 12 other schools.
The international competition, which is in its 31st year, took place during the week of March 12 in Tokyo, with 88 teams competing in the final round. Earlier rounds of the competition featured more than 6,000 teams representing 1,765 universities from 82 countries, ACM officials said.
"This contest is a concrete indicator of talent and future possibility," said ACM President Stuart Feldman, in a statement. "Students like these are tomorrow's top prospects in the information technology and computing fields."
Added Feldman, who is also vice president, Computer Science Research, at IBM's T. J. Watson Research Center in Hawthorne, N.Y.: "With the growing worldwide demand for technology skills, companies large and smallincluding IBMwill be tapping today's winners as future employees."
Feldman called the competition "incredible" and said the contestants had to attack a wide variety of problems; the top 15 teams all performed "at a level that exceeds what it took to win the contest only 10 years ago."