Google has a programming contest called Code Jam. The registration for which opened up today. I signed up for it just a few moments ago.
Although I probably won’t be able to compete as much as I would like to, due to both having classes and work that day, this sort of thing is important for programmers to do. First off competion is good for our ego and to force us to work on issues that we may have, either algorithms that elude us or data structures that never make sense or just plain critical thinking.
I had a Professor who one time said that coding is a mental exercise and if you don’t work that part of your brain it gets tired and weak. I truly believe that so if you are programmer of any form go and sign up. No you may not win, but that isn’t the point. The point is to have some fun, strech your brain some and hopefully compete against some friends.