How Competitive Programming can Help with Tech Interviews by@shahid-ibrahim
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How Competitive Programming can Help with Tech Interviews

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Competitive programming is a form of a mind sport in which you must develop an algorithm to solve a set of programming tasks under time and memory restrictions. Not all programmers who excel in competition make successful software developers. Competitive programming does not teach you a lot of other skills; however, you are expected to acquire them on your own. You can utilize the contents of the CP to draw in potential employers and even compete for lucrative prizes. There is an interrelation between Computer Programming and essential life skills.

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In this essay, we will make an effort to comprehend the significance of competitive programming (CP) and whether or not it will be useful for your technical interview.

For those of you who don't know, competitive programming is a form of a mind sport in which you must develop an algorithm to solve a set of programming tasks under time and memory restrictions.

It largely involves completing the test scenarios within the allotted time and memory, which occasionally calls for creative thinking.

As an illustration, suppose there is a problem that you read, comprehend, code, debug, and then successfully submit. You could need ten minutes.

Some guy on the leaderboard provided the solution in the interim in under 30 seconds. It's only that he was able to think of a straightforward suggestion for the solution.

How do some programmers become so quick?

  • He didn't have to check the dataset's accuracy across the board.
  • He didn't require any additional clarification of the problem statement.
  • He did not need to consider edge scenarios.
  • He was able to develop a straightforward solution, code it, and submit it using a few straightforward, logical assumptions.

In competitions, participants don't inspect your code; instead, they want you to pass every predetermined test scenario.

You shouldn't worry if the competition misses a test case because sometimes for really complicated problems, all the test cases can't be expected.

Nevertheless, interview questions are easier than issues in competitive programming since they use simpler algorithms and data structures.

You cannot afford to make assumptions during a coding interview. Before really beginning to code a coding task that is presented to you during your interview, you should:

  • Ask insightful questions to gain a deeper comprehension of the issue.
  • Consider every possible edge scenario, and make sure to account for it.
  • Be able to modify your solution to better meet the criteria.
  • Create clear, reliable code.

Coding interviews may include questions about parallel or distributed systems, which are problems that can't be solved by a single computer.

Additionally, you might be asked at an interview to develop some specialized algorithms for unique situations. While this might not be the best approach for a challenging programming problem, it is ideal for the interview setting.

How Competitive Programming Makes Good Computer Engineers

People at the top of the competitive programming field are quite intelligent, and it helps to develop your programming skills. There is an interrelation between Computer Programming and essential life skills. Coding is important. Additionally, some of their great qualities, such as their coding and math prowess, may be overkill for some SDE positions.

But not all programmers who excel in competition make successful software developers.

Competitive programming does not teach you a lot of other skills; however, you are expected to acquire them on your own.

The aforementioned abilities are useless in CP. You don't need to be concerned about learning these skills if your objective is to become the god of CP.

But these are essential traits if you envision yourself as a software engineer.

Should You Do Competitive Programming?

  1. If you are a student

Your mind will become sharper, and you'll master some extremely solid computer science principles that are crucial for programming careers.

After graduation, employers who interview you won't be looking for the aforementioned SDE traits. These are things you'll learn as your profession develops; it would be the icing on the cake if you could pick up a few of them.

You can utilize the contents of the CP to draw in potential employers and even compete for lucrative prizes.

  1. If you are working

Yes. To keep your programming skills sharp, you should at the very least practice one task each day. Your thoughts and talents aren't stretched to the necessary degree when you're working on tasks. Your ability to solve problems will diminish over time.

But since you are already a professional, you shouldn't devote all of your time and abilities to competitive programming. Spend some time improving your professional skills as well.

Your ability to solve problems will continue to improve with CP, and you'll gain the assurance you need to ace interviews.

You can use the CP contests to win additional prizes and land your next fantastic job offer.

What Are the Best Places to Practice Competitive Programming?

You can train and participate in a few well-known coding contests:

  • Top Coder
  • Hackerrank (personal suggestion for beginners)
  • Codeforces
  • HackerEarth
  • Codechef
  • Leet Code
  • Google Codejam
  • Facebook hacker cup

Conclusion

Competitive programming is a type of online or local network game where programmers must write code that complies with predetermined rules. The term "programmers" used here is "competitive coders."

Many prestigious corporations, such as Google and Facebook, sponsor competitions like Codejam and Hackercup. Successful contestants are recognized by these businesses and receive job offers from these tech behemoths.

If you don't work on your data structures and algorithms basics, CP may not ensure that you'll perform well in a PS/DS round. CP may help you become a better problem solver and coder.

Additionally, if you already possess adequate coding and problem-solving abilities as well as a firm grasp of DS and Algo, it is not necessary for the interview. Even yet, if you are strong at CP, it will undoubtedly help you arrive at the answer more quickly and code it more swiftly.

The brief answer is,

"It is not absolutely necessary, but we highly encourage you to try it and see whether you like it."

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