Semi-private hackatons/challenges/contests

There has been several such challenges in the past (one for Decathlon and one for Thalès).

These challenges are semi-private in the sense that:

  • the challenge is not advertised on the platform. (you need to know the URL to access it)
  • CG doesn’t send an email to the whole community to announce it.

I understand it might look weird for some of you, but we’ve reasons to do that and it is how it is. Just remember that:

  • companies want to target specific audiences. Sometimes, it’s the whole community (Roche’s Code4Life, Warner Bros’ The Accountant), great, sometimes it’s not.
  • the challenges aimed at the community are the community contests. We work together with members of the community to create the best games possible for the community.

I hope this is clearer. I will now announce such contests at least here in the forum, since it’ll be discussed on the chat.

Next challenge: Amadeus challenge on 9th of July for 14 days.


I understand completely that CodinGame will not make any advertising to its own community if the client have not paid for it. This contests are sometimes fun and with real prizes so why not.

But i clearly dislike the fact that it is everytime a CSB/FB engine re-use. It just sound like “let’s give the prizes to the 3 usual codingamers with a complete optimized engine that you have no hope to beat in just 10 days”. That’s why i don’t commit myself in this kind of contest.

If i see a semi-private contest with a new engine, i suppose i’ll try it seriously.


Saelyos just proved in Thales that this is a false excuse.

Hi Thibaud,
Did you mean:

  • I speak about Amadeus’ challenge because it will leak on the chat, but they would prefer to keep it private;
  • or I announce Amadeus’ challenge because they would be happy to reach as many people as possible?

It would also be very nice to have the referee for these challenges ! It was a very good improvement to have it for normal challenges, so why not for semi-private challenges ?

Trying unsuccessfully to understand why the flag didn’t drop sometimes wasn’t the funniest part of Thales contest…


Are we not supposed to participate to those semi-private challenges ? I mean if they are targeted at some people, which are not the CG community, are we like intruders if we try it out ?

(I liked Thales so… even if it was no as serious as a community wide contest, it was still fun)

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What i don’t get is the fact that they advertise a job, but although all these jobs are within IT, they are quite different roles from one another.

Does ranking high in any of these contests ever get you a job if you work in a completely different industry?

No. Big french companies such as Thales are seeing hackatons and the like as PR opportunities to increase their visibility to students and get potential candidates for internships. That’s all. They don’t care about your ranking on a particular contest and they won’t offer you a position based on it.

In fact, they are not even looking for developers in itself, they are simply looking for young engineers from high ranked schools. Keep in mind that they are not software editors and with respect to actual software developments, they rely heavily on external service providers.


We are software editors and we have a lot of developers. I’m not sure you know Thales really well. Our activities are really diversified and software development is a big part of it.


I’m well aware of what Thales is and Thales (and Safran, and EADS, and Dassault to a lesser extent, thanks to Catia, etc.) is not a software editor. It is not intended as an insult, I could have said the same thing of SpaceX, that just a fact. That’s just not their main activity and that’s surely not how they define themselves (and not how they would like to be called either).

Of course, they do develop software, but as a mean not an end. It obviously becomes less true the more embedded the software is in their product, but their core activity remains electronic and the like. If it was practical, they would be all to happy to completly externalize software dev.

@Aries1 that would explain why the games for private contests are repeated. They are indeed irrelevant as a contest in that case and it explains why they are private.

I would still check the ranking though if i were them. Wouldn’t want to hire someone who ranks lower than the cleaning woman.

I see Raziel works at Thales though. Why are you telling him what the company is like?

I could reply that’s because I’ve worked for Thales, but like Raziel has said, Thales is a big company (around 70k people if I remember well) and I don’t think you can have a definitive view on it from any place, inside or outside. Whatever, it doesn’t matter.

Provided your are old enough, you’ve already come across a fair amount of library, tools, frameworks and the like, read tons of documentations, watch videos, and so on. Names such as Microsoft, Apple, Google, Sun, Oracle, Red Hat, Suse, to name just a few among the big players, should be familiar to you. How may times have you stumbled on Thales?

They actually did things in open source, but just too little and too specific to be of notice and you will probably never heard of them this way (and let’s not bring back TO7 and MO5, that’s just a long gone era). That’s my definition of a real software company and Thales simply doesn’t fit in, whatever their fancy web site pretends otherwise.

Once again, I’ve nothing against Thales, that would amount to bite the hand that (sometimes) feeds me. I’m just saying that Thales is totally not the kind of company to text you a “You’ve done great at the latest CG contest, I don’t give a damn about your degree, I have a developer job for you”. Not even remotely (pun intended).

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I meant:

I speak about any incoming semi-private challenge so any regular user who checks out the forum can tell people on the chat if they wonder “why doesn’t CG tell us about this contest???”

@Saelyos the referee won’t be available.

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We need CG notification of the new challenge
And the referee link. Also release the game as a multi in the end.
All this doesn’t require much work and will serve the prosperity of the platform and the CG community.:fireworks:

I’m sorry in advance for the harsh tone of this message, but I believe it will serve the message as well as your future online communications.

So let me correct that for you:

We need

You’d like

All this doesn’t

All this doesn’t seem to

will serve

could serve

All of what you mention is some work. Some work that we don’t feel is a good use of our time since we are not being paid for it AND the CG community is NOT the intended audience of such hackathons. This time, we prefer to spend it on creating great community contests.

Granted, all of this is arguable, and I’m not against any debate. Still, when you take the business part into account, it makes much more sense. I’m not a sales person but I think nobody gives away free stuff when selling something unless they’ve got a good reason to.

I’m truly sorry. This is how it is for now.


CodinGame will not make free advertising for a client if the client has not paid for it. This is business here. Absolutely no company will provide a free service … The referee link would be a good thing i suppose, but this is semi private contest, there’s no reason that CodinGame apply the usual rules of (community) contests.

The multiplayer puzzle is useless if this is a re-use of a common engine of codingame (CSB engine most of the time).


Hi EricSMSO,

As far as I can say for Amadeus constests (we had 3 internally so far) they were not at all intended to be semi-private, the goal is clearly to have an internal competition (plus the rules are quite different). Last year the game had been developed nearly like a CC, and except if the policy has changed there should be no public communication on how to connect to the contest.
Can you tell if it was the same for Thales ? I had the impression that they did communications in something like their facebook page, i.e. something quite public.
Am I correct ?

Thales gave the contest link on facebook and linkedin. Maybe twitter too.

For Amadeus i saw the link on this forum and on twitter. And i’m pretty sure i saw a link on linkedin.

This Amadeus Challenge is not the same as the private Amadeus challenge we organize for you every year :wink:

Hello chouetz,
Although I am a Thales employee I discovered the challenge on CG’s chat. We had zero communication about the event on my site. It seems they were a bit more involved in Velizy or Toulouse. As the contest was organized by the human resource recruitment service and it was made public on linked in, it is quite clear that the intended audience was for new developpers.