A coding teach-in had journalists buzzing this month as diversified quantitative manager Man AHL launched its second-annual coding competition for students.
The $19 billion money manager invited journalists to have a go at HiveMinder, the homemade game at the core of this year's Man AHL Coder Prize. Entrants have to write code in Python, a programming language, to control bees so they collect nectar from flowers and return safely to their hives.
This year, the competition has been expanded to include entrants based in Switzerland and the European Union, excluding Italy. Last year's competition was open to full-time students aged 16 to 25 in the U.K. and Ireland. The top seven coders on HiveMinder will be invited to a day of live coding at Man AHL's offices in London, where the top three finalists will be awarded cash prizes starting at £1,000 ($1,300) up to the top prize of £5,000. Last year's winner interned with the firm and then joined Man AHL full time.
“So much of our business is dependent on coding skills,” said Sandy Rattray, CEO of Man AHL and chief investment officer of Man Group. “We have a very strong view here, and I have a particularly strong view, that anybody can learn to code: The computer just cares about what you do. It is a life skill, not geeky like 25 years ago when I was doing this.”
As for the journalists? Pensions & Investments' London bureau chief reports she struggled some but did learn three pieces of code. That's far from a stinging defeat. For more information, visit Man AHL's website.