Competitive Programming – A Complete Guide

4 mn read

Are you a programmer who is interested in participating in contests and solving different programming questions? 

If your answer is yes, then competitive programming is a great opportunity for you. 


There are a lot of programmers who participate in Competitive Programming contests to show their skills and compete among themselves. Through competitive programming, any programmer can excel in their programming skills by learning about writing code on online platforms to pass maximum test cases. 

As there are a lot of things that are assessed during Competitive Programming, it is important for you to know everything about them. 


So, here is all the necessary information that you need to know about Competitive Programming and how to prepare for it. Along with it, check whether you will need to learn about Data Structure and Algorithm or not. 

Why should you do competitive programming?

Competitive Programming plays a very important role in the journey of a programmer. Through competitive programming, the programmers get to know about the solution to a problem with a different approach. 


In Competitive Programming, the programmers have to code a problem under some conditions or constraints which will need a good problem-solving approach. So, only those will be able to solve the problems who are experts with their coding skills and problem-solving techniques. 

How To Prepare For Competitive Programming

  1. Start Any Programming Language

For getting into competitive programming, you need to have knowledge of at least one programming language. There are a lot of programming languages available along with a lot of learning resources that you can use to learn them. So, start from the basics and get into competitive programming. 


If you are confused about the programming languages, then we will suggest that you should start with C++, Java, or Python. These are some of the most used languages which are used in competitive programming.


When you are going to start any programming language, then make sure that you have learned all the basic concepts of it. The basics of programming languages are very important as through them, you will be able to write the most effective codes.

  1. Regular Practise

Competitive programming requires a lot of coding practices and it can be only done by solving the coding questions. Therefore, we will suggest that you should start doing practice by visiting online coding websites. The coding website provides programmers with daily coding contests through which they will be able to improve their coding skills. 


There are a lot of websites available on the internet which you can use for doing coding practices. By doing the coding practices, at first, you will be able to improve your coding skills, and secondly, you will be able to make your resume better for getting into some famous multinational company. 


A lot of programmers are there who have improved their coding skills with the help of some famous coding websites like Coding Ninja, Hackerrank, GeeksForGeek, HackerEarth, and much more. 


Through all these websites, they get to access a lot of questions that should be solved in a specific time and come with different constraints and test cases. It is hard for a lot of programmers to solve all these questions but after regular practice, anyone can easily solve them. 

  1. Deep Knowledge of Data Structure and Algorithms

The time complexity and space complexity matters very much for competitive programming. So, if you are someone who doesn’t have any knowledge about both of the terms, then you should start learning Data Structure and Algorithms


The Data Structure and Algorithm are very important for competitive programming. Through its help, you will be able to use the correct problem-solving technique which will take less time than other approaches. 


There are a lot of approaches available for solving a problem and it’s important for the programmer to know every approach so that they will be able to solve it with the best technique, though it will take less time complexity and space complexity. 


Therefore, for every programmer who wants to get into competitive programming, it is necessary for them to have deep knowledge of the data structure and algorithm. 


  1. Prepare Notes and Solve Question On Paper

It is very important for programmers to make notes whenever they are studying any Data Structure concept. By making notes, the students are more able to remember them for a long time by revising them on a daily basis. 


Along with it, it’s very important for programmers to solve problems on paper to improve problem-solving skills. Whenever you will start solving a question on paper, then you will get to know where you are doing most of the mistakes. It is because when we write some logic on paper, then it is easy for us to evaluate it as we have written it in our language which we use to understand the solution. 


Similarly, once we have written the solution, then we can easily do the dry run for the question through which we will be able to evaluate whether we are going in the right direction or not.


If the dry run of your code and algorithm is correct, then you are going in the right direction. Through the help of algorithms and dry runs, any programmer can get a vision by which they can easily write the code in a particular language. 


  1. Learn From Your Mistakes

There are a lot of programmers who don’t work on their mistakes while coding the problems. Many programmers don’t check for the mistakes that they are making in every contest or while writing the codes. 


It creates major issues because the competitive programming questions are way much harder which is not easy to solve if you don’t have good practice in your programming skills. 


So, whenever you are participating in a contest or solving a problem, look for the mistake that you are making consistently as it will be going to help you very much in getting into competitive programming. 


Competitive Programming requires a lot of consistency through which you will be able to solve problems under all the constraints. But it is not possible if you don’t follow the preparation tips. So, if you are also looking to get into Competitive Programming, then start preparing yourself for it from today with the preparation tips. 

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