AHL Partners LLP is challenging students to code their way to a big cash prize and an internship next summer in the quantitative hedge fund manager's London office.
The inaugural Man AHL Coder Prize contest requires that entrants use Python programming language to write computer code to control a player for Hexplode, a popular electronic game once played on 1980s-era BBC Micro computers that's migrated to modern devices.
AHL will provide instructional videos and a ready-made programming environment for the contest, which opens Dec. 1. The coding battle is open to full-time students residing in the U.K. and Ireland.
The eight best coders will participate in a live Hexplode playoff at AHL's headquarters. The winner will receive a £5,000 prize ($7,712), and all eight finalists may apply for summer internships.
“This is a passion project for me,” said AHL CEO Sandy Rattray, who admitted to gaming on a BBC Micro 25 years ago.
But Mr. Rattray's support for the coding contest isn't merely nostalgic.
AHL, a division of Man Group PLC, is highly reliant on expert Python language coders to maintain its systematic trading platform, yet it's getting harder to find recruits with the right coding experience.
“Computer science is an overlooked area in education these days, but coding is an essential skill. We hope to encourage more students to code through this contest,” Mr. Rattray said.