Alexandre Froehlich, in his engineer course final year at ENSTA Bretagne, took part in this third edition alongside Hugo Questroy and Pierre Gouvenou. He looked back on this event with us.
How many students took part?
In all, the event brought together 51 students from 7 different graduate schools.
ENSTA Bretagne was represented by 3 teams of 3 students: ENS7UXNET ("Enstuxnet", 1st place), 3NS7R0J4N ("Enstrojan", 2nd place) and ENST'Hack.
What was their profile?
The majority of the graduate school's participants were on the engineer course specializing in "digital systems and security". However, there were also engineering students specializing in "observation systems and artificial intelligence" and on an MSc course in Architecture and Security of Electronic Systems and Software. With one exception, all were members of the Cyber Club.
What were the main new aspects of this edition?
This edition continued on from previous ones. The main challenge was to translate the requirements stated in plain language into an algorithm capable of making the machine do the work in our place.
For example, one of the exercises was to find the longest possible word in a game of scrabble from a set of given letters and a dictionary of valid words. The challenge was to turn a task into an algorithm to find a result that could be found by hand but in a much longer time.
Third episode of the break the code event, and third victory: were you expecting it?
Last year, we came 1st in Finistère/Côtes d'Armor, but 5th in Brittany and two of last year's winners were not present this year: nothing was certain!
Did any of questions pose you difficulties?
Although all the exercises were related to the same field, they involved different mechanisms. We had some difficulties in operational research and optimization exercises, but this was mainly due to the fact that the time was very short (the challenge lasted 1h30)! No team was able to give a correct answer for the optimization exercise.
What did you take away from this experience?
It was a good-humored challenge that allowed you to test your ability to write code without needing great cyber skills. It provided an opportunity to meet students from other graduate schools, sharing the same keen interests. We really had a good time.
Do you have any advice for the teams that will be taking part next year?
Whether it's for the next cyber club teams, or just for those who are curious, the Break The Code challenge is a fun competition that is truly accessible to everyone. If you want to progress very quickly, add an extra line to your résumé, meet interesting people, obtain information for an internship or even have a bite to eat in Plouzané, this competition is an experience not to be missed.
Having won 3 times, have you decided to continue to take part in this challenge?
Yes, although the challenge is only open to students, Sopra Steria offered me the opportunity to help design the exercises for next year's challenge and I accepted!
So, you are all welcome to come next year and try to win back the new totem!