It's about Google today. If it's not the search engine company complaining about Microsoft and IE7 or that Amazon has ditched the company's search technology in favour of Microsoft's offering, Google has today launched a computer programming competition to find Europe's brightest and best engineers.

The competition, known as Code Jam, is designed to emphasise the crucial role of engineering and technology in the modern economy.

Engineers must first select their own programming language and then set about cracking some of the toughest computer coding challenges around. The winners will share cash and prizes totaling £30,000.

As well as rewarding Europe's top computer scientists, Google also hopes that the competition will help attract top engineering talent to its growing number of European R&D centres.

"Code Jam is one of the many ways we try and support engineering, programming and computer science communities around the world", said Shannon Maher, UK Engineering Site Director. "This new European competition is one way for us to engage with smart people who enjoy solving problems. It's a fun way of finding, rewarding and potentially recruiting some of those people to Google."

On May 30th, contestants will compete online to qualify for 500 spots in the first round. A second online round will reduce the pool to 200, who then will battle head-to-head for the 50 final positions. These 50 finalists will be flown for an all expenses paid weekend to the championship round on June 29th 2006 in Dublin, Ireland.

For more information visit google.com/codejameurope