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My Competitive Programming Journey: Week 1

siddhantdubey profile image Siddhant Dubey Originally published at Medium on ・2 min read

I love programming. I love competition. I always have, I’ve always embraced the joy of learning that is enhanced by the feeling of competition. So when I heard about competitive programming, I was over the moon! This will detail my journey and progress through the world of Competitive Programming. Jump on the coding train with me, it's going to be a fun ride!

This was about a year ago, but I really didn’t take it too seriously until this summer. I had participated in some online contests and done fairly well. I even made the Gold Division in the USACO(United States of America Computing Olympiad), which is the second highest division. Throughout this 4–5 month period, I just hoped that I would progress through the ranks without doing any work at all, obviously, that isn’t the greatest idea.

Photo by Clemens van Lay on Unsplash

What is Competitive Programming?

Competitive Programming is a mind sport. It consists of either individuals or teams coming up with solutions to algorithmic problems within a certain time limit. Some of the more famous programming contests are the IOI (International Olympiad of Informatics) and the ACM-ICPC ( Association for Computing Machinery — International Collegiate Programming Contest).

What resources am I going to use?

Textbook: Principles of Algorithmic Problem Solving by Johan Sannemo

Text Editor: Visual Studio Code

Problem Sites:

What did I do this week?

Alright, here’s what you clicked on the article for. Feel free to follow along at your own pace.

  • I went through chapter 1 and 2 in the textbook and absorbed as much as I could about C++.
  • I learned how most Competitive Programming problems are formatted and how to cut through to the heart of the problem.
  • I did 50 odd problems from the problem sites above.
  • Did all the exercises in chapter 2 of the textbook.

What did I Learn?

  • The format of a C++ program
  • How to implement basic programs into C++
  • The format of Codeforces contests

I didn’t learn a whole lot this week due to it being mostly a refresher course on things I already knew, however, next week looks to be a completely different matter.

Goals for next week

  1. Finish at least chapter 3 in the textbook.
  2. Do 1 Codeforces contest
  3. Do 30 CSES Problems
  4. Do all the exercises in chapter 3 on Kattis.


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