Getting Started With Competitive Programming

 Competitive programming is a skill that every engineering student should possess. It helps to improve logical and problem-solving abilities, which are essential for any technical field. You might have heard about competitive programming from your seniors or friends. If you are new to competitive programming, this article will guide you on how to get started with it.


Why should you start competitive programming?

There are several benefits of competitive programming, which are as follows:
  • Enhances problem-solving skills: Competitive programming helps to develop your problem-solving skills, which are essential for any technical field.
  • Improves logical thinking: Competitive programming requires you to think logically and analytically. It helps to improve your logical thinking skills, which are essential for solving complex problems.
  • Enhances coding skills: Competitive programming helps to improve your coding skills, as you need to write code to solve problems.
  • Helps in placements: Many companies consider competitive programming as an important skill while recruiting engineers. It can give you an edge over other candidates during placements.
  • Helps in exams: Competitive programming can also help you in your exams, as it helps to improve your analytical and logical skills.
  • Network with other programmers: Competitive programming provides an opportunity to interact with other programmers and learn from them. You can participate in online forums and discuss programming concepts and strategies with your peers.
  • Have fun: Competitive programming can be a great recreational activity, as it allows you to challenge yourself and test your abilities. It can also be a great way to break the monotony of your daily routine.

Where to start?

There are several online platforms where you can start your competitive programming journey. Some of the popular platforms are:
  • Codechef : Codechef is a popular platform for competitive programming. It has a variety of problems in different difficulty levels, from easy to hard. It also has a number of contests throughout the year, which you can participate in. -
  • Hackerrank: Hackerrank is another popular platform for competitive programming. It has a wide range of problems in different categories, such as algorithms, data structures, and artificial intelligence. It also has a number of contests throughout the year, which you can participate in.
  • SPOJ: SPOJ (Sphere Online Judge) is a platform that has a large number of problems in different categories, such as algorithms, data structures, and mathematics. It also has a number of contests throughout the year, which you can participate in.
  • Codeforces: Codeforces is a platform that has a large number of problems in different categories, such as algorithms, data structures, and mathematics. It also has a number of contests throughout the year, which you can participate in.
  • Project Euler: Project Euler is a platform that has a large number of mathematical problems, which you can solve using programming. It is a good platform to improve your mathematical and programming skills.

How to prepare?
  • Choose a programming language: You can start by choosing a programming language that you are comfortable with. Some of the popular programming languages for competitive programming are C++, Java, and Python.
  • Choose a platform: You can start by choosing a platform where you want to start your competitive programming journey. You can choose any platform that you are comfortable with.
  • Practice problems: You can start by practicing problems on the platform that you have chosen. You can start with easy problems and gradually move to harder problems.
  • Learn new concepts: You can also learn new concepts, such as algorithms and data structures, which are essential for competitive programming. You can find a number of online resources to learn these concepts.
  • Participate in contests: You can also participate in contests on the platform that you have chosen. This will give you a feel of a real competition and help you to improve your skills.

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