Tips and Tricks for Competitive Programmers


collection of various tips that would help beginners of Competitive programming to get an insight of things that should or shouldn’t be done.

Few Days before you begin:
  1. Learn -Practice-Repeat -Try to learn a new concept on a daily basis. Solve questions daily, one or two if not more!! After going through a new algorithm or technique, we should immediately search for its applications and attempt problems. Like if you learn dynamic programming, try to finish up all its problems. Adapt the habit of reading which most of the youngsters don’t have nowadays.
  1. Write before coding– Implement all algorithms yourself rather than copying from someone else. Make yourself written notes while studying these concepts. Mathematics is a great area to start competitive programming.
  1. Getting Edgy- During practice always solve that problem that is just at the edge of your knowledge i.e., you don’t exactly know how to solve the problem but you know what you should know to solve that problem. For example, you look at the problem and you can tell that it’s a simple graph problem but you do not know anything about the graph.
  1. Trees, Graphs, Algos– Make sure you are thorough with the concepts of trees, graphs, and important algorithms as there is at least one question making use of their applications in every contest or a company hiring round.

  2. Short is sweet– Long contest is good for learning but tries to take part in more and more short contests. A short contest is the real competitive programming. We should make it a must habit to spend some short time during peak hours in a programming forum where top coders usually hangout sharing their insights and often get into discussions.
  1. Complexity is Complex– Do not be obsessed with lower and lower execution time. Do not waste time on over-optimizing your solution. If the solution is accepted, move on to next problem. First just get into the habit of coding daily and then worry about complexities.

  1. Hard must come– Some people say Stick to one website for practice while others believe you must taste all bunches. Whatever you decide, slowly but surely start solving harder
  1. Target Job– If you are frequently participating in the contests which are meant for jobs then make sure to read all previous questions, algorithms and related stuff to cut short your efforts as well as selection time. You must attempt previous company questions too.

Last day before the contest especially If you are attempting the contest for Getting Hired

  1. Don’t look for new problems because that may create panic in your mind.
  1. Take sufficient amount of sleep the night before. Keep your mind relaxed and stay stress-free

Author : Arasu Seran


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