Are you ready to start your journey in competitive programming? Here are some tips on how to start competitive programming. In this, we will share a complete guide to become a competitive programmer. There is so much hype created in the market related to competitive programming, people don’t even know the correct meaning of competitive programming and what a competitive programmer does. First of all, let’s see what is competitive programming.
What is competitive programming?
Before knowing how to start competitive programming let us first get the meaning of competitive programming.
In general terms, competitive programming is a mind sport where everyone showcases his/her problem-solving skills. Anyone who is doing competitive programming can enhance his/her problem-solving. A competitive programmer learns how to approach a problem with the best possible way, you will also learn how to think analytically and analyze the space and time complexity of the program.
Which language to choose for competitive programming
However, you can choose any language for competitive programming but I will highly recommend is to go for C++. The reason behind this is execution time C++/java is relatively faster as compared to other languages.
Bonus tip: If you are a beginner try to solve a problem for 1 hour from your own if you don’t get the approach to see the solution code of others and then try on their own. This will help you how to write code and get to the proper approach.
If you are using C++ start learning STL library that will help you a lot.
Warning: Only see the code for your first 5-6 problem after that try problem on your whether it takes how much time don’t cheat every time it’s ok for first 5 problems because competitive programming means to improve problem-solving skills cheating will not do that.
There are many platforms from where you can practice competitive programming questions. Searching on Google how to start competitive programming will not help try searching algorithms and data structure.
How to start competitive programming
Starting out in anything whether it is starting competitive programming or stating a startup initial phase is very difficult what’s your opinion in that tell us in comments, but if you started loving competitive programming then half of the work becomes easy for starting out in competitive programming.
A short and easy method on how to start competitive programming is….
Nothing, shocked?? there is simple way to start competitive programming
The first and the most important thing to become a successful competitive programmer is patience you cannot become a competitive programmer within a day or week it requires lots of months of regular practice. Any person who starts competitive programming as a beginner when he/she doesn’t get the AC( All correct the most satisfying all green sign) on a problem quits after trying the same problem for 1 or 2 days and say that its a waste of time to spend hours to solve a single problem.
But the thing is not like that you have to be patience practice and practice for months after a couple of months you will realise now you can solve problems quickly and get the proper approach very quickly. So you need to be patience and gradually you will see improvement.
Practice regularly in contests
Do participate in as many as competitive programming contests that help you to learn new concepts and algorithms and you will also get the experience by competing with the programmers around the globe. As a beginner you will face difficulty and your rank will not be so good but gradually you will see improvement in your problem-solving skills and ranking in the contests, and the second most thing after you will achieve a certain goal of 6-star coder or candidate master in Codeforces you will be the best programmer in your campus.
Find a community
One of the thing that I will suggest is to find some of your friend around your campus who are doing competitive programming or start with a friend. If you get stuck in any problem you can discuss with them this will help a lot.
Choose a platform to practice
If you are a beginner I will recommend you guys to start with the Hackerrank. Hackerrank has a good set of questions to practice for beginners, after practising there when you are confident enough then you can practice and participate in contests on some of the famous websites such as CodeChef, Codeforces, AtCoder.
Codechef is most famous for long challenges(10 days) that are organised every month, Lunchtime(3 hrs), Cookoff(2.5 hrs) and Codeforces is known for short competitive programming contests atmost 3 hours.
Get your hands dirty in Algorithms
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An algorithm is like a recipe that uses various data structure to implement the logic and get the correct output of the problem. GeeksforGeeks contains various algorithms in rich quality amount.
Time/Space complexity: Every algorithm has a certain space and time complexity that will refer to the maximum amount of time an algorithm will take and the maximum amount of memory an algorithm will require. These two factors play a key role in your solution.
Always try to use the best algorithm that will use minimum space and time complexity.
Get your hands dirty in Data Structure
A data structure is a particular way of organising your data in a computer that can be used efficiently. Having a good amount of knowledge for data structure will help you select the best-suited data structure. You can practice from GeeksforGeeks it has a good amount of Data Structure tutorials.
- The beauty of STL(Standard Template Library) in C++
- Learn vectors
- Learn the concept of queue, priority queue
- Learn Sets, maps, trees
You can practice as many as competitive programming questions the more you will practice the better you become.
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How to become a 5-star coder or candidate master
There are two ways to achieve 5-star rank at CodeChef. The first is that you can participate in 3 long challenges and solve 5-6 problems from each and get the 5-star rank but I will not recommend that because it will not increase your skill efficiently.
The second way I will refer is to participate in short contests and it will increase skills efficiently is to participate in a short contest. This will help you to solve problems very quickly.
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