HP Code Wars

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HP CodeWars 2013 logo

HP CodeWars, formerly Compaq CodeWars, is an annual programming competition held on the Hewlett-Packard campus in Houston, Texas, for area high schools. The first competition was held in 1998. In 2002, the name changed from Compaq CodeWars to HP CodeWars following Hewlett-Packard's acquisition of Compaq. In 2013, HP CodeWars events were also held at HP locations in Taipei, Taiwan and Roseville, California. 2014 brings Austin, Texas and Palo Alto, California as new locations.


The contest is typically held on a Saturday morning in the first week of March, primarily to avoid conflict with high school Spring Break schedules.


The contest is divided into two divisions: Novice and Advanced. There is separate grading and ranking for each division. Although there is no formal rules regarding divisions,[1] tradition dictates that a team registers as an advanced team if at least one of its team members has completed at least one year of computer science classes.

Programming problems[edit]

The contest consists of approximately 20 problems, each with an assigned point value based on difficulty. The problems generally require input from the user, and should give appropriate output to solve the problem. The programs can be written in a number of different programming languages, including Java, C/C++, and Python.

Contest environment[edit]

The team interface to the HP CodeWars contest is via a custom browser-based environment, accessed via private wireless network. Each team receives unique login credentials, where solutions can be submitted and feedback received. Team scores are available in real time. The teams with the highest scores at the end of the three-hour competition win.

Costume contest[edit]

In addition to the programming competition, many teams vie to see who can wear the most creative costumes.


There is no charge to compete at HP CodeWars.


Generally, a small breakfast snack and a lunch are provided at HP CodeWars.

External links[edit]