Competitive programming has become a worldwide trend among software developers and coders. It is both thrilling and challenging at the same time – the pressure of solving complex coding problems within a limited time and the thrill of being able to perform well! Today, competitive programming sites like TopCoder, Coderbyte, HackerRank, CodeChef, and so on are becoming hugely popular as more and more people are joining in to compete in their coding competitions.
While participating in coding competitions is not an absolute necessity, you should definitely give it a try. Why, you ask? Competitive programming has certain advantages that can help prepare you for coding interviews or better yet, to bag that prestigious job position in the company you’ve been dying to work for!
Let’s look at how competitive programming can help you become a better coder and also bag better jobs in the industry.
Makes You Faster And More Focused
The very essence of competitive programming is to be able to solve coding problems within an allotted time period. The more you participate in such competitions, the better and faster you get at solving problems quickly. Appearing in these contests regularly will enhance your coding skills and speed in solving problems. You will learn how to stay focused on the task because if you lose focus, you lose time, and ultimately, you lose the contest.
Makes You A Team Player
In competitive programming contests, you often have to work with other people on your team and come up with efficient solutions for specific tasks. As you start working with other people, you understand your core strengths and weaknesses as well as those of your team members too. You learn how to stay organized and well-coordinated even during stressful situations.
These qualities are what most companies look for in a potential candidate. However, one of the most compelling reasons to pursue competitive programming is that it provides you exposure.
You Are Being Watched!
Yes, when you enter the world of competitive programming, you are being observed by potential employers. Competitive programming is nothing short of a hunting ground for IT and Tech companies who are always on the lookout for talented, experienced, and well-learned software professionals. In fact, some of these contests are closely followed by industry magnates such as Apple, Google, and Facebook. So, if you are a dedicated and aspiring coder, participating in competitive programming challenges might someday turn out to be a big win for you. If you’re excellent at it, you might catch the attention of a reputed software company or an MNC.
Coding competitions are great for building the right foundation for cracking coding interviews. This is primarily because:
- Both, coding contests and interviews will require you to have a good knowledge of computer science and data science concepts.
- During both, you’ll have to write codes and find solutions to problems while adhering to the standard coding norms.
In coding interviews, however, you’ll not only be judged by the deftness of your problem-solving skills but also various other soft skills such as communication skills, team skills, cultural fit, and so on. Thus while, coding competitions are excellent for preparing yourself for the rigorous interview rounds, it alone does not guarantee that you’ll bag a job at reputed firms or companies. The greatest advantage of having a competitive coding background is that it’ll not only help you break the ice during coding interviews but it will also provide you an edge over your competitors.
Many success stories of competitive coders have come to the fore of how they bagged jobs at prestigious companies while leaving some of the top candidates with higher ranking CGPA behind them. For instance, Anudeep Nekkanti from Visakhapatnam bagged a job at Google. Passionate about coding, Anudeep states:
“My failure at IOPC 2012 made me start it. I thought I will do well in IOPC 2013 and stop programming. That is how I started it. Very soon I started to like it…My heart beat raises whenever I submit a solution. I get goosebumps. It was that fun that kept me going. Don’t do it, Play it. Enjoy it…Right now I am preparing for world finals. I am doing problems from various online judges like Topcoder, Codechef, Codeforces.”
So, that’s what we wanted to get across to you – start competitive coding and who knows you too might end up bagging a great job at an MNC just like Anudeep!