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Competitive Programming: A Comprehensive Guide

2022-06-27 by Akshay Sharma

Competitive Programming

Competitive programming!! You might have heard of this a lot from your friends or others and wondered what this is? Don’t worry. We will discuss what competitive programming is in this article.

Competitive programming

Competitive programming is a mind sport participated by contestants called programmers. As the name says, it is a competition. But this doesn’t necessarily be held between two people. You can compete with yourself and challenge yourself to compete and perform better than past yourself.

Competitive programming provides you with the mental capabilities to solve problems better. The more you solve problems, the more you find yourself involved in problem-solving and increase your logic ability. Competitive programming ensures you never forget your foundation and gives you the courage to face new problems, and sometimes, it may disappoint you. The process of participating in competitive programming includes two steps

  • Formulating an efficient algorithm.

  • Implementing the algorithm.


Every problem needs an efficient algorithm, which can tell the programmer how to solve the problem. It must cover different cases the problem might encounter while solving the problem so that we can handle all the corner cases and hidden test cases. To achieve this, you must understand the problem thoroughly. Then the next step is to implement the algorithm in the form of code. We have to code the algorithm considering all the cases. 

Note: remember that considering and reducing time and space complexities is a must for any problem in competitive programming.

We got to know what a competitive program is. But why do we need to practice competitive programming? Let’s learn why competitive programming is done and how it is important.

MNCs like Google, Meta, Morgan Stanley, Microsoft, etc., hire people based on their own competitive programming assessment tests. These tests can help you land your dream job. Competitive programming can guide you and help you prepare to take part in these tests, interviews, and hackathons and increase your coding abilities. Let’s learn how to participate in competitive programming and enhance your skills from it.

Competitive programming tips

Competitive programming might seem challenging, but it can also be interesting once you start practicing. Let’s learn how to do competitive programming by following the tips listed below.

  • Always be open to new challenges and get out of your comfort zone.

  • Choose your preferred programming language and try to practice more in it because the logic is important, not the language.

  • Try solving a minimum of 5 easy questions and 2 medium questions each day in the beginning, and increase the count to your comfortable number as you learn more.

  • Stick to a specific topic until you finish it.

  • Explore various platforms and try different challenges. Never stick to a single platform.

  • Always try to be consistent with your progress.


Competitive programming platforms

A good platform is necessary to practice competitive programming. There are a lot of platforms available, but only a few of them provide a wide range of knowledge and enhance your ability to code. Here are a few platforms that can help you with your competitive programming.

Coding ninjas

Coding ninjasis an E-Learning platform that provides you with both technical and non-technical courses to learn. It teaches 17+ Programming courses in Foundation,l Advanced, Data & Development courses such as Machine Learning, Data Science, Web Development, Android, etc. It also provides you with modules to practice competitive programming. The modules are categorized based on the topics and their difficulty level. It also provides you with the solution, submissions, and discussion tabs to learn more about the problem.

Leet Code

Leet codeis the best platform to help you enhance your skills, expand your knowledge and prepare for technical interviews. It provides problem statements of different levels like easy, medium, and hard along with the companies that asked them previously. It has various study plans to organize your practice sessions and enhance your competitive coding skills. It also provides you leet code coins, which can be used to purchase goodies.

Code Forces

Code forcesis a web platform that hosts online competitive programming contests. Every question has a graphical analysis of you against all the people who solved this question, which will help you understand your skills. It also categorises the questions and gives a few tags to the questions to analyse.

Code chef

Code chefis an online competitive programming platform that provides various problem statements based on their categories and companies. It also mentored learning which assigns a mentor to you. The platform has a few certification tests which can add some value to your CV. The most fun part of learning with code chef is that it provides you with swags!!!

Hacker earth

Hacker earthis an online competitive programming platform. It also provides certification tests to add value to your CV, and it provides hackathons hosted by various companies and colleges. It conducts a few practice competitions which contain the questions asked in various MNC placement tests. A lot of companies conduct their hiring tests through Hacker earth. 

Hackerrank

Hackerrankis a platform for both organisations and coders. The organisations can conduct hackathons and hiring tests to hire people. The coders can practice technical assessments and participate in competitive programming contests. It provides questions with levels of easy, medium, and hard categorised with days when you should try to complete them. It also provides you coins called “Hackos”, which you can spend on the site. 

Codewars

Codewarsis an online competitive programming platform that allows you to compete against many peers and evaluate your skills. It also offers an opportunity to become a mentor to teach other coders if you have good skills. It provides various career opportunities and job postings to apply, and organisations can also hire using this platform.

Conclusion

  • Competitive programming provides you with the mental capabilities to solve problems better. The more you solve problems, the more you find yourself involved in problem-solving and increase your logic ability. 

  • Every problem needs an efficient algorithm, which can tell the programmer how to solve the problem.

If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit.

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Author

Akshay Sharma

Coding A professionally trained Tech Expert, with great experience in Data Science, SQL, Machine Learning, Python, and Deep Learning. View Akshay Sharma`s profile for more
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