And “relentless” turned out to be the perfect word for the breakfast. The grumpy face of the girl who served it, was trained into perfection, and the menu was a bit too complicated at such an early time in the morning.
Freshly showered and shaven – for those of us who have to – we took the metro to the university. The Russian students gave presentations about research results of algorithms for the Chinese Postman Problem and other graph traversal hardships. In our turn, we told them everything about our country and our waterworks.
After lunch, we proceeded to interview a group of students to get some answers for our own research. As it turned out, our research topics are oriented more towards employees of software companies than they are toward students, so the “interviews” quickly turned into nice conversations. We learned that the educational system in Russia focuses greatly on performance, and getting good grades or winning olympiades can save you a big part, if not all, of your tuition fee.
It was also nice to hear that they use the same tools and IDE’s that we do, except when they have to look for something specifically Russian: they use Yandex for that. One student even told us that, when programming, it was bad form to use Cyrillic writing for variable names and such. Programmers who do this are apparently called “буржуа кодер” (pronounced something like “bourgeois coder”), which translates roughly to “shitty programmer”.
On the way back to the hotel, we decided to grab something to drink and a small snack, even though it was only about 5 PM. We were going to get some proper dinner after we went to the hotel. This resulted in us trying to find a restaurant around 9 PM, which was not the best idea: the last three got their desert as late as half past 11 PM. We left the restaurant at midnight. Luckily, we only had plans for the next afternoon, so we could sleep in for a bit.