HackerEarth is one of the most popular platforms to not just practice and improve your coding skills but also if you are interested in participating in various hackathons, coding challenges or even hiring challenges.
HackerEarth is a very organised platform and has a lot to offer – From topic wise brief explanations to a sample question for each topic to a list of questions based on their level of difficulty. Not only this, HackerEarth also conducts monthly coding challenges of their own which help you improve your rating on this platform and also get some absolutely amazing goodies!!!
But most importantly, HackerEarth offers you a lot of challenges which it has classified into Hackathons, University Challenges, Hiring Challenges and Competitive Challenges.
This article explains to you in detail how you can use HackerEarth to its fullest. Also please look at the end of the article where I have mentioned the important links for you to explore the HackerEarth platform.
Different Challenges on HackerEarth
HackerEarth has classified its challenges into various categories and one among them is competitive challenges. Now first of all, what are competitive challenges?
Competitive challenges are the challenges that are either organised by hackerEarth itself – like their monthly challenges or Coding challenges by various companies (These challenges are prize based and not for hiring). I will discuss some of the challenges in this category in detail and also explain how you can go about preparing for them.
1. Monthly Circuits ‘21
Circuits is a coding marathon that goes on for seven days. In this challenge, several programming problems are added over the duration of seven days. These problems are all of varying difficulty from very-easy to Hard level and challenge developers all across the world.
The questions are based on Data Structures and Algorithms and offer a lot to learn to developers of any level – be it a beginner or an advanced level programmer.
Circuits generally take place during the third and fourth week of every month. Generally what happens is that not all of the problems are added at once. New problem statements are published every 48 hours. The questions have a partial marking system as well based on the number of test cases that your code can pass.
This is a rated contest and thus would affect your rating at HackerEarth platforms. The first three winners are offered vouchers!
2. Monthly Easy ‘21
It is one of HackerEarth’s monthly coding challenges for beginners and is hosted on the first weekend of every month. The purpose of this coding contest is for beginners to hone their coding skills and develop fast solutions to problems in just three hrs. Easy is also a rated contest and is open for everyone to participate in a language of their choice.
In this contest, there are five programming questions varying from easy to medium level.
Since this contest is for the beginners only, prizes are given to only the top three contestants with rating less than 1600.
3. Data Structures and Algorithms Coding Contest
Data Structures and Algorithms coding contest is one of the most amazing challenges that will help you hone your coding skills. Every time before you can even appear for an interview for any company, you have to go through an online test. The environment of an online-test can be very stressful and terrifying when you don’t know who you are competing against and where you stand in front of all other contenders.
Problems in this contests are solely based on Data structures and Algorithms and are helpful for preparation and practice of technical interviews. In this contest, there are a total of 3 programming questions in just 90 minutes. This is also a rated contest and will boost your ratings the faster you solve problems and the more accurately you solve them.
How to prepare for these Challenges?
The Circuits challenge is a pure coding challenge and the problems are all based on data structures and algorithms. To prepare for this contest, you need to have a basic understanding of data structures and algorithms and of course, a little practice goes a long way!
Now as I have told you before, HackerEarth is not just a platform for challenges but an excellent place to brush up on your coding skills. Here are some of the ways that you can prepare for this challenge:
1. Go to the practice section of the HackerEarth page.
Now if you are a total beginner, start off with Basic Programming. Here you will be able to learn how to take inputs, give outputs and what do we mean by the complexity of our solutions.
Going further, this section will help you practice your skills on basic implementation problems. Remember to start off with very-easy problems and move on from that. Initially, being able to solve such problems will give you a confidence boost that you need. After all, who doesn’t like to score a little for every problem they solve!
For each section, HackerEarth offers a tutorial page (sometimes even interactive) which thoroughly explains the concept and helps you understand how you can solve problems related to that particular topic. After that you can proceed to solve problems of various difficulty and gain points!
For people with a little experience in coding, start with Data Structures and Algorithms sections. These are two different sections on HackerEarth.
Again in each of these sections, you will find sub-sections.
Tip – Start off with one data structure, read its tutorial and then start solving the problems from lowest difficulty. You can explore:
- Linked List
- Hash tables
For Algorithms section, you can explore:
- String Algorithms
- Greedy Algorithms
- Dynamic Programming
Explore them one by one and solve at least 20 problems for each section. Believe me you will feel much more confident about your coding skills, your ability to think of an approach to solve a problem than when you first started off!
For every section on HackerEarth, you have a separate points count and based on that for every week, a week leader is chosen whose name is displayed on the front page of that section.
HackerEarth is one of the best platforms that helps you connect with a number of Hackathons that are going on in the world. At all times, you can see at least 8-10 live hackathons going on. The most interesting thing about these hackathons is that they are based on real life problems as and when we encounter them.
For example, right now there is a hackathon (hackCOVID) going on to help remedy the Covid situation going on in the country.
All the hackathons have a problem statement, i.e. a wise problem that can be divided into many sub parts. For all these problems, there are 2-5 themes that have been given. These themes are described in great detail and also tell you about the task that you need to perform, the important features that need to be incorporated and links of a few resources that might help you and guide you in building better solutions.
Hackathons are not just for competitive programmers rather for every one who has the potential of changing their idea to solution to real life problems. Hackathons call upon a global community of data scientists, designers, social workers and enthusiasts to help devise solutions to problems that are faced by communities at all levels.
You can participate in these hackathons irrespective of being a student or a working professional. If you have the skills and you have ideas that you can transform into reality, then this is the place for you!
How to prepare for Hackathons:
- First of all, hackathons are long-lasting challenges, so keep in mind the start and the finish dates for hackathons and make sure they fit in your schedule. You do not just need to think about ideas but also bring those ideas to life. Both the phases take a long time and you can’t dive into this unprepared.
- Remember to thoroughly go through all the instructions. If you are participating in a team, every member should be aware of the rules and instructions – bonus points, things that could fetch you extra points and provide an edge and things that could lead to your disqualification. It can be heartbreaking to go through all the trouble of building an amazing solution and only to be ruled out because of minor rule violation.
- Learn Git. This is an absolute essential. You certainly want to know enough about Git to manage our code appropriately. Do focus on git branching. It can be tricky but once you get a hang of it, it will go a long way to help you.
- Install and be ready with the right software. There are some essentials for example –
A text editor ( Sublime ), Apache ( local testing purpose ), Git and chrome.
- Be ready to pitch your idea and present your final project. Most of the people are surprised that they have to present their project, their final product, to the judges. Note that this is a very crucial step. This is when you can present your idea, in your language, to the judges. Help them understand what made you come up with a particular idea, what appealed to you, why you chose the idea and how you worked on changing your idea to reality!
A large number of hiring challenges are going on on HackerEarth all year round. Hiring challenges are basically coding or development contests whose results can help you land a job at a particular company. At any time more than 10 hiring challenges are always going on HackerEarth.
They not just help you prepare well for your upcoming interviews but also give a view of what type of questions are asked around in the online rounds of several companies.
The various roles for which these contests happen are –
- Data Scientist
- Web Developer
- Frontend Developer
- Backend Developer
- Software Development engineer
- Data Analyst
- Big data developer
- Cloud engineer
- Android developer
- Stack developer
Various companies that hire by conducting contests on HackerEarth are –
- HSBC Bank
- Tech Mahindra
- Elear Solutions
- BNY Mellon
How to prepare for these type of challenges?
The best way to prepare for Hiring challenges is to go through archives! That is to explore and solve all the previously asked questions in that company in recent years and try to get a grip of them.
You can refer to HackerEarth practice section where you can learn basic programming, Data structures, algorithms, Machine learning concepts as well as Python concepts.
Frequently Asked Questions
HackerEarth is one of the best platforms if you are a beginner or have little experience in programming. HackerEarth provides you with the material that can help you go from beginner to a skilled programmer.
You can explore the practice section on HackerEarth – start off with basic programming and go on to learn advanced data structures and algorithms. HackerEarth provides you with a tutorial written in the most simple language, a sample problem and lots of practice problems to hone your coding skills.
There are no prerequisites to participate in a coding challenge. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner, you can always login on HackerEarth and participate in any ongoing coding challenge. Coding challenges help you improve your skill and speed in solving a problem. To be better prepared for participating in coding challenges, practice as much as you can. That’s the only trick that works, believe me!
No one platform is good or bad. Both of these are excellent platforms to hone your coding skills. They both contain an amazing set of questions and tutorials that you should practice if you want to be a better programmer. Don’t get confused between them. Just decide on one of the platforms and get set go!
Ratings always look good on your resume. They are a way of showing that you have the ability to solve problems and you are good at it. The number of problems you have solved and the number of contests that you have participated in add an additional glamour to your resume!
HackerEarth is an amazing platform for you – doesn’t matter if you are a total beginner or an advanced rated skilled programmer. You always need to keep practising and that’s where HackerEarth helps you. The UI of HackerEarth will make you fall in love with this platform and you will keep coming back to solve more and more problems.
There are a number of challenges that keep going on every day – you don’t need to participate in each and every one of them. Just focus on the ones that are important for your role. Just remember to keep learning and practising!
By Yashvee Gupta