It was Star Wars day (May the 4th, 2013), and the “force” was certainly with us at the CodeChef Meetup. There weren’t firecrackers lighting up the sky and neither was there the greatest Jedi Master, Yoda giving philosophic lessons to the attendees. However, there were bunch of right people at the right place. The CodeChef meetup was organized to launch our new initiative CodeChef for Schools, aimed at promoting programming among school kids. So, what better way than having Prof. Madhavan Mukund, President and Member, Executive Council, Indian Association for Research in Computing Science (IARCS) and Executive Director, International Olympiad in Informatics, Mr. Bhavin Turakhia, CEO, The Directi Group, Mr. Kunal Shah, founder of Freecharge.in and Mr. Aakrit Vaish, Director India operations, Flurry Inc. Along with those big names, we also had the members of Team Fringe from IIT Bombay, that has qualified for this year’s ACM ICPC world finals to be held at St. Petersburg National Research University, Russia – Aakash N S and Vinod Reddy G. The audience comprised of students from various Mumbai Colleges. And of course, there was yours truly, Team CodeChef.
The agenda for the day was CodeChef for Schools – the initiative aimed at bettering the computer-programming scenario in India at an early age. And hence the event was flagged by letting the young students take the stage. Members of Team Fringe opened the session by sharing the wealth of their experiences into the world of competitive programming. They told us that they weren’t as well acquainted with computer programming in their high school as they would have wanted to. This lack of awareness affected them, as they started their competitive programming journey on the SPOJ. They acknowledged that had there been such a platform when they were in school, they would be better prepared. They took several questions from the eager audience, who asked them about how they prepare, which books they refer and about their approach towards solving competitive programming problems. Watching them answer these questions was sheer joy. The Q&A session with the students was a perfect ice breaker to set up a friendly tone for what was about to come.
After the students, we were joined by Bhavin, on video, for the official launch of the initiative. In his address, Bhavin shared with us his story of how he got into programming in his school days amidst the challenges that he faced. How the lack of infrastructure, proper guidance, and incentive did not deter him from going ahead with his passion. Furthermore, he spoke about the Directi Go for Gold program aimed at his ambition of bringing the gold prize at the ACM ICPC to India. And how that ambition has led to the Go for Gold initiative being extended under the CodeChef for Schools program. Now it aims at Indian school students bringing the Gold medal at the IOI. He ended his speech with a plea to the audience to join the program and help take programming to schools. He ceded way to Prof. Madhavan to take the podium.
Prof. Madhavan, has been associated with IOI and IARCS for about ten years now and has deep understanding of computer programming scenario among school students in India. In his address to the students, he shared how IARCS in affiliation with the CBSE has been working towards promoting programming among the Indian school students. The program has been growing slowly and steadily. Yet, there is still a lot of work to be done. He also gave an insight on the training that is conducted for the students who are selected for these training camps held every year before the final 4 are selected to go for the IOI world finals. He also highlighted how many ACM ICPC world finalists from India in the past have been the students who have attended the IOI training camp when they were in school.
However, he feels that in India, the awareness regarding the significance of competing in contests like IOI is very low. Especially when we compare it to countries like China and the USA. This is where he feels that an initiative like the CodeChef for Schools can be useful and that it can work in bettering the programming scenario in Indian schools. In the last segment of his address he took several questions from the students. Questions on the eligibility for participation at the IOI, the books that should be read while preparing for such competitions were among the frequently asked one. By the end of his talk, we started seeing members in the audience getting eager to volunteer for the CodeChef for Schools initiative by promoting programming in their respective schools.
After Prof. Madhavan, Mr. Kunal Shah addressed the audience and shared his valuable experience which he learnt during his entrepreneurial journey of conceptualizing freecharge.in and making it a fruitful business venture. He spoke about how technology is changing the world around and how youngsters acquainted with computer programming can be an integral part of this change. Students seemed to have enjoyed the session with Kunal, as it taught them how they can excel in their respective fields despite taking some unconventional routes. Session with Kunal was followed by a few valuable words from Mr. Aakrit Vaish, Director India operations at Flurry, Inc. He spoke more about how to stand out from the crowd and to make the most of your talent.
Now that the motivation was flowing, we took a small break from the proceedings and gave everyone some time to interact with each other. Meanwhile, to fuel up everyone some flavors in the form of snacks and beverages were served. Students were seen enthusiastically interacting with each other while gelling well with the dignitaries present. However, some were seen focusing only on the Samosas and upon closer inspection, they turned out to be members of our team. Yeah, we were hungry.
After all the motivation, encouragement, and awareness talks, it was time for some fun. Shilp Gupta took over. We played a game in which the awesome CodeChef goodies were up for grabs for the winners. The game required the members of the audience to interact with each other to come up with the answer to the questions posed by Shilp and they were all seen jumping here and there in search of the perfect partner. Entire floor was filled with energy and fun, and no one was in the mood to see an end to the game. However, the game did not brought an end to the fun. Our team members, Suraj Sharma and Gaurav Munjal had something else planned out for everyone and it was brilliantly executed. If you haven’t already seen it, you must see it here.
It was time to put an end to a successful meetup, which had everything, from learning, to being crazy. To conclude the event we held a small feedback session, which had students giving their feedback about CodeChef, CodeChef’s contests and the meetup. The session brought to us some nice suggestions, which we were all ears to and we intend to work upon.
If you are disappointed that you missed the CodeChef Meetup, do not be. You can relieve some moments of the meetup here. And, you can be part of such CodeChef meetups in the future and even you can hold such Meetups at your school and college. How? It’s simple – just get in touch with us with your agenda for the meetup and we can help you organize and publicize the event.
If you wish to join our CodeChef for Schools initiative, drop us a mail with your details at email@example.com. We will get back to you with the necessary details. Alternatively, you can also connect with us on our Facebook page CodeChefForSchool and also on our Facebook group.
So, what are you waiting for? Get up and take the initiative. Together we can make a change.
If you have any queries, suggestions, or you want to say something special, you can always write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is ACM ICPC
The ACM ICPC is considered as the “Olympics of Programming Competitions”. It is quite simply, the oldest, largest, and most prestigious programming contest in the world.
The ACM-ICPC (Association for Computing Machinery – International Collegiate Programming Contest) is a multi-tier, team-based, programming competition. Headquartered at Baylor University, Texas, it operates according to the rules and regulations formulated by the ACM. The contest participants come from over 2,000 universities that are spread across 80 countries and six continents.
Participants, coaches and registered staff (including volunteer helpers) receive complimentary membership to the ACM for a year.
World Finals and Regionals
The contest is organized into two rounds:
How can I participate? – Eligibility
To meet the basic eligibility requirements for the contest you must be:
Further details are here
Participation in India Regionals
Many Regionals are held all over Asia, and an Asian student may participate anywhere in Asia. However, generally speaking, for an Asian team to advance to the World Finals, they should win from their own sub-region in Asia. There are 3 regional sites within India – Amritapuri, IIT Kanpur and IIT Kharagpur.
|Amritapuri||IIT Kanpur||IIT Kharagpur|
|Online Contest Date||9.00AM – 01:00 PM IST. November 4, 2012||November 3, 2012||November 11, 2012|
|Onsite Contest date||December 19-20, 2012||December 12-13, 2012||December 8-9, 2012|
|Last Date of Registration||October 26, 2012||October 15, 2012 (likely to be extended to October 24, 2012)||October 26, 2012|
|Online Round Platform||Mooshak||www.codechef.com||www.codechef.com|
|Onsite Round Platform||Mooshak||PC2||Yet to be finalized.|
A well-compiled list of FAQ’s has been mentioned here.
Go for Gold
The ‘Go for Gold’ initiative, that was started 3 years ago, has a singular ambition to watch an Indian team win the World Finals of the ACM-ICPC. Taking the long-term view in mind, the plan is to support learning and reward improvement. This is being done through providing ongoing scholarship, incentives, promotion, tech assistance, and training for Indian students. Team Sponsorships and other sponsorship packages are also provided. Further details on the Go for Gold Initiative can be found here.
How Directi is additionally contributing this year?
For the 2013 edition, we have something spectacular in store!
This Year, the top 50 Indian Students from the Mega Warm-Up Round for ACM ICPC @ October Cook-Off 2012 shall have their ACM-ICPC expenses reimbursed!
The only thing that you need to participate in the contest and stake your claims to go to any of the regionals is YOUR CodeChef id. If you do not have it yet, you can get one here.
That’s it. Just 3 Simple Steps and you’ll be on your way to having your ACM-ICPC expenses reimbursed by Directi.
The Reimbursement of ACM-ICPC Expenses is subject to the following conditions:
Do reach out to us with any queries about this at: email@example.com
With immense pleasure we would like to congratulate Team Proof - IIT Delhi and Team TuringMachine – IIIT Hyderabad for doing what no Indian team has been able to do so far.
Both teams jointly secured the 18th position in the “Olympics of Programming Competitions” the ACM ICPC World Finals 2012. The event was held in Warsaw, Poland this July and it is for the very first time in the history of the competition that an Indian team has been able to secure a position within the top #20! We are extremely proud of you all for this very prestigious achievement!
Directi’s Go for Gold initiative promised to give away the prestigious Go for Gold Trophy and huge cash prize to the team that beats the 29th position at the world finals – the best any team had been able to do thus far. Two years since the launch and we are ecstatic to have two teams that can rightfully claim this!
To carry out the felicitation ceremony we invited both teams to our Mumbai office a few weeks ago. While Nadeem Moidu and Anish Shankar from TuringMachine were unable to make it, we had a great time meeting the team’s third member Kunal Jain and all three members from Team Proof – Rudradev Basak, Nikhil Garg and Pradeep George Mathias.
During the felicitation we handed over the Go for Gold Trophy and giant cheques worth a collective cash prize of Rs.8,04,717. We also had the opportunity to hear about the team’s experiences in Warsaw and have them inspire other young and budding programmers at Directi. With the felicitation done, fun and games ensued.
Be a part of some memorable moments of the day by checking out some of our photographs below.
You can check more pictures here.
Today, as we step into our fourth year, we are embraced by a gamut of emotions. We feel as fluttery as we did when we had started. And at the same time we also feel confident about what we are doing and all that we intend to do. Three years have passed by, but it does not seem that long. It was just the other day that we started trying to provide some sort of a platform targeted primarily towards the Indian programming community and fighting hard to come to terms with the challenge. Today, we not only have the Indian programmer in our contests, we also have the best programmers from across the globe joining hands with us to engage the community and make it exciting, competitive and a fun learning experience for all.
However, the path till here has not been without any hiccups. We have faced many challenges in between – both small and big, some good and some bad, some that we knew how to handle and some that we learned only when they hit us. We have certainly not been perfect. All this made us believe that we have seen it all. But we know that there is a lot more to come and we are not taking it easy. If anything, we only feel confident. The appreciation emails and comments that we receive provide us an impetus to give that extra bit.
And the journey has been a thorough learning experience for each one of us too. Not that we saw ourselves here when we started. And we are happy that we are here today. This wouldn’t have been possible without the contributions of various people who have helped us in our endeavor:
We feel deeply grateful and humbled to have all your support today.
Let me take this opportunity to try and summarize where we stand after these 3 years:
Today, we are on the doorsteps of addressing one of the many issues in our long list of “to be done’s”. We are about to launch a new Forum. We have received a whole lot of feedback from you guys to make the forums more interesting and active. We have been working on it all this while to present you a Question and Answer Style forum, which we believe is more suited to a community like CodeChef. Keep watching this space on more about it. They will be up soon.
We will also be changing the present long contest rating system to the more dynamic ELO based rating system by the end of the running contest. Hopefully it will make the game more exciting and competitive. Next in line will be the revamp of our tutorials/editorials sections. This is one area where we have received a lot of feedback to improve upon. We have been able to do only so much till now. Hopefully this will change soon.
Yesterday, we took time off from work and pampered ourselves in celebrating our third anniversary as a gesture of patting us on our back! Please check out the photos and spare a moment to wish us a Happy Birthday.
We have grown by leaps and bounds and we cannot thank you enough for this. We have started expanding our dream to provide to all the students across the globe the best fun learning platform in the field of programming! We still have a very long way to go and with all your support we know we will be there. Without you, without your feedback all this was unachievable. We feel happy, we feel humbled, we feel confident and we feel hopeful today!
Do keep sending your feedback. We love it. Thank you.
The CodeChef Team,
Suraj Sharma, Tojo Chacko, Abhijeet Pandey and Anup Kalbalia.
The Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad, India cordially invites you to be a part of online programming contests,Alkhwarizm and Limite-De-Plazo, organized as a part of our annual fest, Effervescence.
These programming contests are brought to you in partnership with the Directi Go for Gold Initiative.
For registration please visit either of the links
Here it is as promised! An exclusive interview with Bhavin Turakhia, the CEO and founder of CodeChef and Directi. A personal pet project for Bhavin, it has now been over a year since the launch of CodeChef. On the occasion of its first anniversary, Bhavin talks about the year that’s gone by, some future plans and extends his appreciation towards the programming community for all their help and support.
Make sure you hear him talk about the website’s exciting new features, plans for the future, the CodeChef University, and even see what he has to say about the April fool’s prank we pulled off!
As always, we’d love to hear what you think. So do comment and let us know!
A whole year has gone by since the launch of CodeChef. Initially envisioned as a platform for online competition, where fellow coders from India and around the world would come and test their skills against each other, CodeChef has now become so much more.
With over sixty active CodeChef Campus Chapters in the country, two exciting meetups under its belt, a multi city geek symposium in its first year of existence, an excellent practice problem section, and an active wiki, blog and forums, CodeChef has accomplished a lot in its first year.
Let’s take a look at some interesting facts, figures and milestones that make CodeChef what it is:
Come back in a few days to see our exciting addition to this blog.
Also, make sure you keep a watch out for our Anniversary Facebook Contest and our Programmer of the Year!
On January 10th 2010, we at CodeChef witnessed the most awesome teams from campuses all over India battle it out in person at the Mumbai headquarters of Directi. 639 teams of three each, had registered for the CodeChef Campus SnackDown, a two round ACM ICPC styled coding contest. The first round of the SnackDown took place on 21st November 2009. We then flew the top 7 teams from various corners of India to prove their mettle.
The 21 finalists met on 9th January for a pre-event dinner on the night before the contest finals. Here they got a chance to interact with each other, meet Bhavin (CEO of Directi) and mingle with other personnel from Directi.
Good food, interesting conversations and some fun laughs turned the dinner into a fun filled night!
The next morning at 9:30 AM teams met at the DirectiPlex with more food, some table tennis and of course, a 4 hour final on site round of the SnackDown to look forward to!
And now finally, after multiple rounds, tiresome travel and sleepless nights, we present to you the CodeChef Campus SnackDown Winners!
Bhavin and Amit with Yash Kumar (18yrs), Nadeem Moidu (20yrs), and Kunal Jain (19yrs)
Dream is an example of national integration; hailing from Rajasthan, Kerala and Chhattisgarh, these three young programmers met at IIIT Hyderabad. Inspired by their Seniors – The Kings Gambit, they formed their own team – Dream and went on to win the SnackDown!
Ramki and Bhavin with Purav Shah (20yrs), Pratik Tandel (20yrs), Krunal Manik (20yrs)
This team’s friendship goes back to school days. Having started programming in the first year of engineering, they were introduced to algorithms and contests by their friend and mentor Varun Jalan (most of you know him as syco). Under Varun’s guidance team Phoenix was formed and they are soon going to represent India at the ACM ICPC world finals in China.
Bhavin and Yazhini with Akhil Ravidas (20yrs), Abhilash R (20yrs) and Venkatesh Basker (19yrs)
Counter Gambit is formed of three hardcore Southies. Since each of them are from completely different programming backgrounds they have their our own strengths and weaknesses. However, as a team, they are really quick in solving problems which helps them get a head start in most contests, or so they’d like to think They too are representing India at the ACM ICPC world finals this year.
The rest of our finalists are (in order of ranking):
Institution: IIIT – Hyderabad
Team Members: Anshuman Singh (21yrs), Gaurav Agarwal (22yrs) and Rajat Goel (21yrs)
Institution: IIITM – GwaliorTeam Members: Shilp Gupta (22yrs) Manyata Goyal (21yrs) and Vineet Chaudhary(22yrs)
Institution: Madras Institute of Technology
Team Members: Rajesh Venkatachalam (20yrs) Rajesh Rajagopalan (20yrs) Gokulakrishnan Gopalakrishnan (20yrs)
Institution: IIIT – Allahabad
Team Members: Imran Khan (22yrs) Surendra Kumar Meena (21yrs) and Tasnim Khan (20yrs)
We had a lot of fun with the CodeChef Campus SnackDown and would love to do something like this again. We also have some fun interviews with the rest of these teams so let us know if you want more insiders information.
This Halloween marked our second CodeChef Meetup, and our city of choice was Delhi! Thanks to campus chapter representative Sailesh Mittal, the Delhi College of Engineering played host to our meetup.
We had have a great time!
Vineet Gupta, our GM Software Engineer, started off with an introduction to CodeChef.
He then moved on to an interesting talk on ‘Building Highly Scalable and Available Web Applications’.
Bingo is always fun and when it’s ‘People Bingo’ its just plain awesome! Fellow CodeCheffers went around getting to know more about their buddies. They needed to get signatures of people who completed at least one certain criteria like: Has been to over 3 countries, plays the guitar, has won a CodeChef contest and other fun stuff.
CodeChef Tshirts, sippers and stickers were given out at the end of it.
The Delhi Meetup was then concluded by Kamala Yazhini who gave an engrossing session on Dynamic Programming.
We’d love to know what you guys thought of the Delhi Meetup and what city you would like CodeChef to visit next! If anyone has feedback of any kind, do let us know.
Update: Due to multiple requests the onsite contest is moved to January 10th, the online round will take place on November 21st at 7pm.
We are really excited to announce two contests in November. In addition to our 10 day algorithm challenge (Nov 1st – Nov 11th) we are also hosting our first ever “CodeChef Campus SnackDown.”
What is the CodeChef Campus SnackDown?
We will be holding an ACM ICPC style team contest with two rounds and cash prizes of Rs. 3 lakhs! The first round will take place online on November 21st from 4pm-9pm 7pm-12am. The top teams from this round will be flown to Mumbai for a final in-person round on December 5th January 10th. The overall winners will receive prize money and an opportunity to dine with Bhavin (Directi’s CEO)
Who is eligible?
Anyone can participate but only students attending college within India are eligible to participate in the final round (and win prize money).
International participants, worry not, we will be holding a team based contest within the coming weeks in which everyone will be eligible for prizes.
What is the format of the contest?
Standard ACM-ICPC style rules, teams of up to 3, penalties for wrong submissions.
What are the prizes?
We will be giving out Rs. 3 lakhs in prize money, the top teams from each institute will also be recognized and rewarded.
Full details will be announced shortly, so mark the date on your calendar and stay tuned…