The original driving force behind the first Catalysts Coding Contest 2007 was an experiment in which data on pair programming and test-driven development could be collected. It was possible to start as a team or on your own , and then to solve the task in a whole or level by level.

Objectives of this research project

  • to show how one can operate in the context of computer programming competitions empirical research,to find out what techniques and practices of agile software development haven proved to work better
  • create appropriate analyzes and evaluations, and present the results at confere
  • make agile researchers and empirical researchers aware of the possibilities
  • to work closely with researchers from various universities

Methods and Procedure

Martin Kitzler worked on his thesis to this subject, set up research hypotheses and attempted to falsify the collected data during the competitions or to confirm it. The evaluation revealed quite unexpected results.

Scientific article and presentation

We summarized our results together with the researchers of the The Technical University of Vienna (Prof. Stefan Biffl, DI Dietmar Winkler) in a scientific article entitled “Investigating the Impact of Experience and solo / pair programming on Coding Efficiency: Results and Experiences from Coding Contest” and submitted this article at the scientific track of the XP2013 conference.

Worshop at the XP2012 conference in Malmö (Sweden):

The XP conference is the largest European conference on agile software development. We have organized and prepared a scientific workshop at the conference on “Scientific Workshop on Large-Scale Experiments on Agile Programming Techniques”, held on the 24th May 2012.

Workshop at the ISERN meeting in Lund (Sweden):

The ISERN meeting is the largest annual gathering of empirical research in software engineering. “Coding Contests – A Foundation for Large Scane Experiments in Empirical Software Engineering”. “Coding Contests – A Foundation for Large Scane Experiments in Empirical Software Engineering”


So far there are no large-scale experiments, worldwide, towards agile software development.

The Catalysts Coding Contest – today

The CCC is a fixed part of the Catalysts division. Annually the programming contests take place on three dates and 5 venues .Per contest,up to 400 people will take part in this large-scale experiment and provide a stubstatial data for analysis. Questions such as “Is TDD faster?” or “What programming language is best suited to solve the respective problems?” are getting evaluated after the contest and made public.

You want to programm the next CCC? All information can be found on!

Your contact person

Christian Federspiel


+43 664 340 04 86

Profile on Xing, Skype

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