As a student I was always a great fan of the International Obfuscated C Code Contest. If you’re not familiar with obfuscation contests, they’re basically a two part brain teaser for coders. The first part, and the one I find really satisfying, is to write code to do some task in a completely non-obvious way such that it is very tricky to work out what the end result will be. The second part is to take someone else’s obfuscated code and try to work out what they’re doing and how. There’s probably a joke in there about code maintainability, but at their best, code obfuscation puzzles have taught me a lot about the languages I work in.
For the past two years I have taken a stab at an obfuscated T-SQL code holiday greeting card. The code displays poorly on mobile devices and some browsers, so I’ve posted images here (the source, posted again below, is here). Here is this year’s card:
And here’s last year’s:
I won’t spoil the fun by posting their output, but if you’d like to give them a try, you can download the source code to both here.
Hope you enjoy them, and have a wonderful holiday and a happy and prosperous new year!