Summer Code Contest poster

Here’s an A3 poster for you to print out and hang up at your school, scout group, coding club, Makespace, Hacklab or youth club to publicise our summer coding contest for kids, announced this weekend at Games Britannia (and already making the news). Thanks, as ever, to the most excellent Paul Beech for the graphical wizardry.

Click to download PDF version

If you don’t own a Raspberry Pi, don’t panic: you can still enter. Use QEMU to emulate the Raspberry Pi in Windows. (There are descriptions of what you’ll need to do in this forum thread.)

Edit to add: A few of you have been asking about whether using existing software libraries or third-party assets (like graphics) counts as being “all my own work”.

If you use a publicly available software library such as Pygame, that’s absolutely fine. 

If you use assets created by someone else, that’s something we’ll be looking at on a case-by-case basis. We’ll be expecting you to declare what work you did on the project, and what was done by somebody else. We’ll expect the vast majority of the work to have been done by you; but we do understand that not everybody is a renaissance man who has the skills to both code and produce graphics at the same level. A couple of thousand lines of code written by you which manipulates a few sprites drawn by your friend will be OK; for reference, that’s the sort of balance we’ll be looking for.



H avatar

Nice poster!

Noah Caldwell avatar

Very nice poster.

AClockWorkLemon avatar

I turn 18 during the competition period, what’s the story with cases like that? Reading the rules, I would assume I am required to submit it before my birthday, however that would give me a measly 18 days of development time…

liz avatar

Afraid that’s right.

Doug avatar

It says less than or equal to 18 years old, so you’re fine.

Dr. Mouse avatar

“It says less than or equal to 18 years old”

Depends on the definition. It says in the rules “The Contest is open only to individuals who are 18 years of age or under on the date of entry, and who are in full-time education on that date.” It basicly would edpend whether age is defined as an int or a float: As an int, you would be able to enter up to the moment you turned 19, if a float you could enter untill the exact momenty you turned 18.

A little clarification is needed here. It will mostly depend on the legal definition opf “years of age”.

AClockWorkLemon avatar

Ah man, i totally missed the “or equal to” serious derp.

Also, Dr. Mouse, i applaud you. total win.

Andy avatar

Ask your Mum – you might find you’ve got an extra few hours!

elwing avatar

nice poster, but will the target audience really understand that language? :P

Jim avatar

Anybody else have a problem with the BASIC?

ceteras avatar

Not me, but the colors, my eyes are burning!

Ian Shepherd avatar

Yep! Immediately got my hackles up! :D

Alex Wilkinson avatar

ggggrrrrr basic !!!! :-p

geekygenius avatar

I hope the winner isn’t chosen randomly!

liz avatar

No, it’s not. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us!

Saif avatar

Just ran to code through my ZX 81. Did not like it at all. IF without THEN? eh? GOTO with a string? So I tried it on my Newbrain…failed. Then I tried it on my Commodore PET. ..sigh….Any way it seems that Prize allocation is random (sigh again)

Akshay avatar

I just turned 14 this year. I bet it is going to be a harder chance to win. What language are we supposed to program in?
Looks sort of like batch/command line.

liz avatar

Any language you like. If it runs on the Raspberry Pi, it’s eligible.

RicardoRix avatar

love the 1337 bit.

KGB_Smurf avatar

I am embarrassed.. but I will ask anyway.. what does the 1337 mean?

Alan Ponsford avatar

I had to Google it …. but now I get it !! :-)

RicardoRix avatar

l33t dawg

KGB_Smurf avatar

=) Thank you! I get it now!

coppermine avatar

I am SO tempted to participate with some demonstration from my domain of experience (e.g. Computer Vision and Machine Learning)!
I am really looking forward to make use of OpenCV and related advanced packages on this platform! Very interesting!
They say I must wait up to 12 WEEKS for my RBpi :( :( :(

elwing avatar

hum, guess I’ll be flagged as cheater if I code something and tells it’s my 5years old daugther who coded it… damn

liz avatar

We’ll be interviewing the kids in person or over Skype about what they did and what their methods were – so I don’t think your cunning plan would work!

elwing avatar


Akshay avatar

Have you guys decided on the categories yet?

Mark avatar

Great poster – but… as we are British, would it not have been better to use a “£” sign rather than a “$” sign – both in the mini-program and on the bag of swag graphic ?

Drew avatar

As an American, I would still rather win £1000 than $1000. Definitely no complaints about an extra $500.

liz avatar

It’s a worldwide competition. The $ symbol is much more widely understood. (Seriously – you’d be amazed how few people outside the UK actually recognise what a £ symbol is.)

Basic-Al avatar

10 If age less than or equal to 18
20 (then) Write App
30 If Date less than or equal to 1-September-2012
40(then) Submit App
//The programming statement below implies one submission has a 1 in 10,000
// chance of winning. Of course that assumes that the number of programs reviewed
// will be capped at 10,000. If that is true than it looks like I can increase my chances
// of winning by submitting multiple apps “early and often”.
50 If the random function (RND(10000)) equals 1337
60 (then) Print “Win $1000”
70 For more info Goto “Raspberry”

Someone avatar

Again. What type of the software we must write (OS, game, application)? Can we use already created software (Linux based operating systems which are available for download on this site) and modify or extend it? Can I participate if I’m from one of European countries?

Thanks in advance!

Akshay avatar

I believe this is a world-wide event.

liz avatar

As we say in both posts about the contest, there are no restrictions on what sort of software you write. If it runs on the Raspberry Pi, you’re the right age and still in education, and you wrote it, it’s eligible.

cubic avatar

Does this mean that web applications are eligible? So for instance we could just write an interesting web app on a PC, then run it on the Raspberry Pi’s web browser?

Also do the programs have to be started during the 8 week period, or is it possible to submit software which has previously been worked on?

liz avatar

You can submit software which was worked on previously. (We’ll be running weekly competitions later on, once this has helped us find out where the bugs in running such a competition are; and obviously, we won’t be expecting people submitting code to those to have done it all in a week.) And if it impresses us and runs on a Raspberry Pi, it stands a chance of winning, whether it’s a web app, a database or a procedural fractal generator.

(I’ll admit: I’ll be pretty surprised if someone can surprise us with a database that’s cool enough to win. But you get the idea; and we are always open to being surprised.)

Puckipedia avatar

And can you upload multiple apps/games?

liz avatar

Yes, you can.

Phil avatar

I know it’s the way it is in BASIC, but I just can’t look at
IF RND(10000) = 1337

and not be driven crazy trying to will it to be
IF RND(10000) == 1337

David Hardman avatar

OK Here is my tongue in cheek reply.

I like the poster but it is a pity that the “IF statements” are incomplete, not a very good advert for the project.

You are correct that the £ sign is not often recognised outside the UK it is usually written as “GBP”.

Let us not fall into the trap of “whose language is the biggest”. Some of us use the language appropriate to the application and the one we feel comfortable with. Perhaps I speak for that great unwashed majority of engineers who are tasked with getting things done ASAP.

Personally I work with assembler, C and Basic. With Basic I can get “something up and running ” quickly. I have to use ASM when things get tight. C is much of a necessity.
We have an old saying “If you need some shelves do not make them yourself either hire a carpenter or go to !KEA for Billy shelves”
Software carpenters speak C.

Contentious remark (;-).

But I make my point. If you are working in a chip environment with bags of space (ROM and RAM) use what ever tool is most suited to the person starting out into computers. Forget the code optimization, the terse language structure, etc the thrill is getting that first LED to flash. That is how you hook the kids. Plenty of time for all the formal structure once they start to explore in earnest.

BTW there is only one language that you can use when you are working with a PIC chip that only has 16 bytes of RAM and 256 bytes of flash but there again it only cost 0.20 GBP!!

elwing avatar

this website host lots of interesting data, and rather than having only the time performance of the language you also have conciseness, memeory used and cpu% usage…

Akshay avatar

So can we make a web app like a website? Also could we use templates or Open Source things such as Twitter Bootstrap( ) or does EVERYTHING have to be created by us?

hanny avatar


is it allowed to make the program using gtkdialog and shell script??

liz avatar

If it runs on the Raspberry Pi, we don’t care how you make it.

Conor avatar

You say you have to contact winner via Skype, I can’t get Broadband so I can’t use Skype, can I still enter?

Franz avatar

NEVER EVER use goto!!!!!!

elwing avatar

That is the kind of thing told to new programmer to try to enforce good control flow and to encourage using of the correct command. there’s some case where goto is actually recommended, for example Microsoft recommand the use of goto in the case of imbricked loops:

Aidan avatar

lol, I thought the GOTO statement was considered the devil

elwing avatar

It is until you learn when to use it and more important when not to use it.

Connor, 12 avatar

Is it ok to use Mono? (I really love C#.)

morpheus avatar

Hello, I cant find the apply form, where can i find it?

Josh Wood avatar

Is there going to be another one this year? Please say there is

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