STLP Coding Challenge

 STLP Coding Challenge

Are you interested in systems/network administration?
Interested in computer science, and programming?
Like solving puzzles that require a logical thought process?

If you answered yes to any of the above, this event is for you!


Computer programming code can be written to do anything from printing “Hello World!” to the screen to automating the installation of a program, and beyond.  And it is not only a valuable skill, but fun, and easy to learn!


The STLP Coding competition will place competitors in a live, time-constrained environment where they are challenged to automate a series of tasks by writing working code.  The script can be as short as a few lines, or as elaborate as the participant’s skillset and imagination allow.  To properly test the competitors’ individual performance, no online internet-based resources will be allowed, although offline resources (electronic or dead-tree) are permitted.  So break out your text editor/IDE and the reference guide for your language of choice, and sign up for the onsite competition!

The following languages are permitted (in order of recommendation): 

  • Python
  • VBscript (WSH, not HTML)
  • Java
  • C, C++, C#

The following skills may be used in the challenge prompts:

  • Input/Output
  • Variables/Arrays/Dynamic arrays
  • Variable type conversion – explicit/implicit
  • String manipulation – Concatenating/Dividing/Replacing/Evaluating
  • Number manipulation
  • Date/Time manipulation
  • File System access – reading/writing files, moving/copying files, reading file properties
  • Looping/Iteration
  • Branching
  • Subroutines/Functions
  • Error handling

Entries are graded on the following criteria:

  • Accuracy - Solve the entire prompt, according to the instructions
  • Design - Elegant, efficient design
  • Technique - Good coding practices
  • Time - Solve the prompt within the allotted time


Students should bring their own laptop.  Internet access during the competition will NOT be allowed; however, hard copy or electronic reference guides are allowed.  If your entry is in the form of a compiled program rather than an interpreted program (script) then the source code must accompany it.

If you are just beginning with scripting/programming, try some of these helpful sites:


Past Prompts

2016 - DIY Calendar, Unit Conversion

2015 - Easter, Balanced Parentheses, PEMDAS, Passwords

2014 - Leap Year, Primes, Same Pattern

2013 - Roman Numerals

2012 - Numbers in English


Coding Rubric (updated for STLP 2015)


Important notes for the competition:

  • Students MUST bring their own laptop.  Computers will NOT be provided.
  • Internet access during the competition will NOT be allowed.
  • Hard-copy or electronic reference guides ARE permitted, as long as they do not require network access.
  • There is no separate middle / 5-8 competition tier. 5-8 students can compete, but will do so at the high-school level