New to Competitive Programming? Here's the Best Way to Start

New to Competitive Programming? Here's the Best Way to Start
Published in : 08 Aug 2022

New to Competitive Programming? Here's the Best Way to Start

Competitive programming, also known as coding competitions, involves solving complex problems in a short amount of time. Competitions are often held by companies looking to hire new developers, but they’re also used to help solve complex business problems or to spark creativity among coders. While the idea may seem intimidating at first, there are ways you can begin competing today even if you have limited experience in the field. Follow these steps and soon you’ll be on your way to competing with some of the world’s top programmers!

Setting Up
If you're new to competitive programming, the first thing you need to do is set up a development environment. This can be done on any operating system, but for this guide, we'll be using Windows. Once you have your environment set up, you need to choose a text editor. We recommend using Visual Studio Code, which is free and easy to use.

What Are Competitions About
Competitions are about more than just winning. They're also about learning new things, pushing yourself to improve and grow as a programmer. They can be a great way to meet new people and make friends in the programming community.

How to Select the Right Online Competition
When you're starting out in competitive programming, it's important to find the right online competition to test your skills. Look for a contest that is appropriate for your skill level, and make sure the prize is something that you're motivated to win. Also, check the contest rules to see if there are any restrictions that would make it difficult for you to participate. Finally, take some time to read through the problem set before committing to anything. This will help you gauge whether or not the contest is a good fit for you.

How to Approach Solving a Problem
When you're solving a problem, it's important to first understand what the problem is asking. Once you understand the question, you can start brainstorming ways to solve it. It's helpful to think of multiple ways to solve the problem, as some may be more efficient than others. Once you have a few possible solutions, you can start coding up a solution and testing it against the given input data. If your solution works for all the test cases, then you're done!

How Not to be Overwhelmed in Solving a Problem
When you're solving a problem, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs to be done. However, there are a few things you can do to stay focused and avoid feeling overwhelmed. The first is to break your problem down into manageable chunks. For example, if you have an interview question like What is the time complexity of Quicksort? then your task could be broken down into four steps: (1) identify what Quicksort is; (2) identify what time complexity means; (3) research how to find out about the time complexity of a specific algorithm; and (4) research Quicksort's time complexity.

The Competitive Advantage
There are many ways to get started with competitive programming, but not all of them will give you the best chance at success. The best way to start is by finding a good resource that will teach you the basics and help you improve your skills. Once you have a strong foundation, you can then start participating in online competitions and working your way up the ladder. With dedication and hard work, you can eventually become one of the best competitive programmers in the world.