@kfield: If you teach people how to write obfuscated code just for fun, chances they will use it one day - maybe they are being taken off a project, maybe they are getting fired, who knows?
Now if you teach them how NOT to do things, but how to do them better and more cleanly, then I am 100% in agreement.
I have seen some code where a subsequent maintainer added the comment 'the f*****r who wrote this should be shot', and indeed it was truly unreadable. And also the opposite, where the code was elegantly written and comments just enough to it was simple to understand, and also admire. I know which coder I would hire.
@yog-sohoth: I don't view it as a waste of time, as the article points out, the winners are incredibly talented programmers and if this content is used as a teaching tool (which we plan do to at our event next year) it's an extremely powerful way to learn: By seeing how NOT to do things and why. Plus, we'll teach programmers techniques for fixing poorly written code, which I'm sure we've all run into at some point in our careers!!!