When I was mostly a C programmer, I always enjoyed the annual Obfuscated Code Contest


The stated goals of the contest are:

  • To write the most Obscure/Obfuscated C program within the rules.
  • To show the importance of programming style, in an ironic way.
  • To stress C compilers with unusual code.
  • To illustrate some of the subtleties of the C language.
  • To provide a safe forum for poor C code. 🙂

Some of the entries are truly works of art. 

The work of the professional programmer is basically the opposite of that. When you clock in in the morning, you enter an “unobfuscated code contest”. Your goal is not to elicit admiring gasps (“Oh my, look how clever the programmer was here”) but rather yawns (“ho hum, this is pretty boring code with an obvious function”).