For the programming competition run by Google, see Google Code Jam. read more at WikiPedia

  •  from Google Code Jam <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
    Hello elta68,

    As a participant in the Google(TM) Code Jam 2004, we thought you would be
    interested in hearing about the Google Code Jam 2005, Powered by TopCoder(R).
    This exciting competition puts you head-to-head with some of the best coders in
    the world. Take this opportunity to contend for $155,000 in cash and a chance
    to impress Google with your skills. [...]

    You're a crazy coder? with an exceptional scientific background in maths/physics? and want to fight in a turnament against the best coders in the world? then Google™ Code Jam 2005may be for You!

    The competition is available in four programming languages - Java, C++, C#, and VB.

    I've tried last year the qualification round. And I am proud that I was not able to solve any problems :-)... They are always combining mathematics, algorithmics, recursivity, and large data collections. Most of the time, a physical concept/background is also needed to start resolving the problem. The question is how looks like developers which are able to resolve such questions in so less time/with stress, and are the questions/answers really useful in a real life of development.

    Yes it is only a turnament...I invite You to create an account and look at the questions and maybe make a try....But be prepared to do a lot of training before ever thinking going to the real arena :-)