what is competitive programming? - A Complete Guide
What is competitive programming?
Competitors try to program by guidelines in this type of mind sport, which is often conducted over the Internet or a local network. Sports programmers are the name given to competitors. Many international software and internet businesses, like Google and Facebook, are aware of and promote competitive programming. In this guide, we will learn more about what is competitive programming.
A typical programming competition has the host giving the candidates, who can number in the tens to thousands, a collection of logical or mathematical challenges, often known as problems, and instructing them to create computer programmes that can solve each puzzle. In addition to the time spent on writing effective solutions and the number of problems completed, additional elements may also be considered while judging (output quality, speed of execution, memory requirements, size of the application, etc.)
What is Competitive Programming, and how does one become ready for it?
By breaking down your code into smaller bits and utilizing your logic-based creativity to address an issue from several angles, you acquire the "art of thinking" once you start programming and learning how to write code. Competitive programming is used when a mental sport involving sports programmers is conducted via the Internet. Programming is enjoyable, a brain exercise, and a mental sport. Look up competitive programming on Wikipedia. How-to-Prepare-for-Competitive-Programming
Why should you practice for this game and take part in it?
Programming is a hectic job, and once you get into it, you'll face new difficulties and maybe have to handle specific problems that nobody else has ever encountered or for which there is no known answer. You then need to use your problem-solving and logical skills to devise a feasible solution in the shortest amount of time.
Therefore, the sole objective of this competitive programming is "To train a programmer such that their ability grows and he or she is prepared to produce code for the demanding issue." We will provide some techniques, ideas, and recommendations to help you prepare for competitive programming, regardless of whether you are a beginner programmer or have previously written some code. Let's discuss that in detail. Remember that you must be a specialist in the following areas:
- The syntax of any programming language (C/C++/Java are strongly recommended, but any will do).
- Examining methods for time and space complexity.
- The ability to explore a Brute Force Solution.
- Useful techniques for various data structures, including arrays, lists, stacks, queues, trees, graphs, tries, etc.
How to prepare yourself for Competitive Programming?
1. Choose a Programming Language:
To start, pick the most familiar programming language and learn its grammar. You may use any programming language, including C, C++, Java, Python, and others. Programming languages are a tool you may use to speak with a computer and give it instructions. In contrast to other programming languages, C++, C, and Java are the fastest. These languages are also acceptable in any coding challenge or interview. Therefore it's nice if you select one of these three.
2. Understand the Concepts of Time and Space Complexity:
Most of the time, there are several solutions to a problem. Therefore you need to choose the best option. This is determined by how much time and space an algorithm uses to solve a problem.
3. Learn Fundamentals of Data Structures and Algorithms:
When tackling coding challenges in competitive programming, you cannot overlook Data Structures and Algorithms because it is the programming core. The fundamental DSA building blocks of array, linked list, stack, queue, tree, trie, graph, sorting, recursion, and dynamic programming will help you become a skilled programmer. The most crucial factor is knowing what, when, and where to use them. Finding the best answer implies knowing which data structure is best for a certain issue type. You should be able to use the best possible mix of both when solving the code issue.
4. Take Challenges and Solve Coding Problems:
It's time to take the dagger in your hand and slay the lion in the jungle now that you've studied a programming language, learned about time and space complexity, and covered the basics of DSA. Yes, you should participate in coding competitions on many coding sites.
Many websites, like Geeksforgeeks, Codeforces, Codechef, Topcoder, and SPOJ, are available if you're seeking the resources for these coding platforms. On these websites, start at the very beginning, venture out of your comfort zone as your confidence grows, and progressively attempt to answer more challenging puzzles. The following are considerations you should make as you begin problem-solving:
- It would help if you comprehended these platforms' input, output, and test cases.
- These platforms execute your code on several inputs, gather the results, and then store the results in one location. They also have the author's code, which is the accurate code for the issue. They run the same set of inputs through the authors' code to produce the outputs, then compare the two results. Your solution is approved if these two results line up, but your code must pass all test cases to be accepted.
- When you first notice the challenges on these coding platforms, you can become discouraged and assume that you aren't suited for it or that your ability to think critically isn't very high. As a novice, you have a rudimentary understanding of the language's syntax and a few fundamental loops or functions, so when faced with difficulties, you tend to get immobilized and question your abilities—which is the wrong thing to do. You must be aware that learning competitive programming is a procedure that requires you to advance gradually from level 0 to the highest level.
5. Practice and Do it regularly:
To become a successful competitive programmer, you must have patience, effort, and consistency. The essential thing is to practice it consistently. You may use a whiteboard or continue learning coding questions on these platforms daily. Don't make the error of stopping after you've started. Take part in coding challenges and pick up programming skills from other competitors.
Competitive programming is similar to delivering an IIT paper to a youngster in fifth or sixth grade and then asking him to tackle the problems as a novice. Once you are familiar with the syntax, loops, functions, and everything else, you will have the same feelings, but it's perfectly OK if you cannot handle such coding challenges. Recognize that this is a period that every beginning goes through. On these coding sites, the easier the issue is to submit. Therefore you may rank these questions by the number of individuals who have already submitted solutions.
Once familiar with the language's syntax and the principles, you may construct various tough projects. After creating several projects, you will begin to understand how logic functions during development, which will aid in the growth of your programming skills. After that, you should go on to competitive programming, where you'll find it's easy to handle the questions now, and you can do it admirably. Check out this competitive programming course to kickstart your journey as a programmer.
Don't become frustrated or quit if you get the wrong answers since programming requires a lot of patience. Most individuals tend to lose interest in programming at this time. If a voice in your brain tells you your approach is practical, keep trying for a day, a week, and even months.
Google the issue if you can't figure it out, get assistance if you don't understand it, and read the many ways developers use to resolve it, but don't give up. Additionally, you should only read the answer if you are positive that despite your best efforts, you are now helpless. But be careful to code the same issue once again.