Its no wonder that Stack Overflow has a vast community of great and enthusiastic programmers. Don't you think Stack Overflow should be organizing weekly or monthly programming contests/challenges for added zeal among its users?
Doing a code contest is a very different thing from helping programmers solve specific problems in their coding.
I think that SO is best at remaining focused on its task and that those events should be strongly separated or simply the goal of specific SE sites like CodeGolf.
It looks like this kind of thing would be well-suited for codegolf.stackexchange.com (currently in beta, at the time of this posting).
Below is a brief excerpt from the FAQ:
Programming Puzzles & Code Golf is for programming puzzles and code golf, anywhere in skill from beginner to expert.
Code golf is a special type of programming puzzle where the shortest correct code submission wins.
- Code length is usually counted in characters (Unicode code points), though some contests use bytes.
- In no case is the length counted in terms of number of words, lines, etc.
All questions on this site, whether a programming puzzle or a code golf, should have …
- An objective primary winning criterion, so that it is possible to indisputably decide which entry should win.
- A clear specification of what constitutes a correct submission. Test cases are highly encouraged.
- "Tips for golfing in some language"-type posts are an exception to this rule. Such posts are community wiki and do not collect reputation.
- These questions are surprisingly hard to write well. Help may be available on the Puzzle Lab chat or the meta Sandbox, and the use of these resources is encouraged.
All answers to standard questions should …
- Correctly implement the required specification.
- Be a serious contender for the winning criteria in use. For example, an entry to a code golf contest needs to be golfed (see below), and an entry to a speed contest needs to be fast.