Last month, I participated CodeChef November Challenge 2016 and win 2nd prize as a high school student, which makes me delighted. Thanks to CodeChef for giving me a chance to share my thoughts on this contest.
Before the contest, actually, I was not confident in my ability to solve difficult problems, I just wanted to try my best and get a relatively high score. In my last participation, September Challenge, I only had solved 6 problems, so in this month, I wanted to make a difference.
As soon as the contest started, I entered into the contest page. It was not difficult to solve ALEXTASK, CHSQR, CPERM and GIFTCHEF. FRIEMEET and URBANDEV were also two classic problems, but a bit hard to code. It took me about 3 hours to solve the problems above. When I met KIRMEME, I knew I had to code for a long time – divide and conquer on a tree and something else. I finished my first version at about 22:00 (UTC+8), but got a WA, which made me sad and tired. In the following day, I got up early because I kept thinking of my WA program. It took me about half an hour to fix it and finally passed.
However, I found it difficult to solve any of the remaining 3 problems. SEAWCU was a challenge problem, BIKE seemed closely related to the matrix and SEAPERM3 was likely to be a hard counting problem. After submitting 2 brute force programs, I decided to think about SEAWCU and SEAPERM3. For SEAWCU, first I submitted a naive program, which cost less than 0.01 pts. Thus I spent the whole afternoon to think about how to optimize and came up with an idea of DP. When I submitted again, it was surprising that there were still really low points. Ah, there was a fatal mistake in the program! Finally I got 1 pts after fixing it (but now only 0.52 pts >_<, for ceilks' solution was really great).
During the night, I used brute force to find the clue of SEAPERM3. After observing lots of data, I felt that there was some magic relations between i and pi and code for over 3 hours to pass it. I had to say it really required patience and concentration to solve it, it was a great problem indeed.
For BIKE, I had no any thoughts on it at all for almost a week. One day afternoon, when I learned a paper about 2-dimensional DFT, I remembered BIKE. The 2-dimensional DFT method fits this problem very well! Thinking of some details about the problem, I spent about 3 hours on the program and got Accepted eventually.
This contest meant a lot to me. It is my first time that I have solved all the problems (except the challenge problem), which builds up my confidence a lot. I also feels excited to meet all these algorithm problems, they shows me bright ideas and brings more fun to my life. Anyway, I will keep learning and study much harder in the future. At the end of this blog, I want to express my thanks to CodeChef Teams for providing us with a fantastic problem and contest platform.
Dec. 6, 2016
November brings out a gamut of emotions in all of us. While some are happy, for it takes them one step closer to the end of the year, some are sad, for it marks the end of the festive season and takes them back to schools/colleges/work. Whichever of the two aforementioned brackets you belong to, we are with you, so let us get on with November. And why not, not much has changed from October to November. Yes, the temperature has dropped down a few degrees, but the colorful decorations are still on, and you can already see the kids gearing up for Christmas. So, keeping up the festive spirits high, let’s set ourselves up for the final two months of 2016, starting off with November Challenge 2016.
With the temperatures constantly going down, our November Challenge 2016 brought the action indoors for the programming enthusiasts with its problems. On the problem setting panel we had Alexey Ruben, Ke Bi, Vadym Prokopec, Lalit Kundu, Maksym Bevza, Andrii Omelianenko, Roman Kachur, Sergey Nagin, Sergey Kulik, Hasan Jadah, Hu Zecong, Team VNOI & Praveen Dhinwa. Now, keeping the holiday hangover in mind, our problem setters had created the problem set light enough for everyone to have fun, and tough enough to get them ready for the final stages of 2016. So, let’s see how the participants fared in the contest.
Now, whether you are a seasoned campaigner or a rookie just coming through ranks, it’s never easy to hit the ground running after a prolonged holiday season. So, it wasn’t easy for the early joiners of the contest to get it right either. After a long time we were seeing the dreaded red cross of WA dominate the green tick of happiness, especially in the early stages of the contest. Call it the post holiday slack or the well disguised problem set, inside the first half an hour of the contest we had submissions on four of the ten problems into the contest. And not many of them were accepted. However, as the time went on, we started seeing more green ticks and lesser red crosses.
antoniuk1, among all the early joiners of the contest had the best start bagging CHSQR and CPERM with two ACs of his first three submissions. He was soon, overtaken by anta0, who got the same two problems in two straight ACs. But his lead did not last long, as antoniuk1 struck back with an AC on GIFTCHEF. With the scarcity of green ticks on the rank table, it was the fight between these two that gave the contest an exciting start. And unaware of what was to follow, we enjoyed this early battle to the fullest.
The scene on the second day of the contest was pretty much the same, except for the difference that ceilks had announced his arrival with a barrage of submissions on the challenge problem SEAWCU. Now, when someone goes straight after the big fish, you are bound to question their intent. However, this time around ceilks had made it pretty clear, and who are we to question his intentions. One after another, the ACs started following and before we could react, he already had solved 7 and was closing in on the eighth. And he was in no hurry to finish the contest either. He took his sweet time to play around with the problems before bagging them. acyume though, did seem to be in a hurry, or at least that is what we inferred after he solved 5 problems in 5 straight submissions. He was finally stopped by KIRMEME, which eventually became his 6th, but not before keeping him busy for quite a good amount of time. After seeing these performances, we got the feeling that, one of them very well could take home the November Challenge 2016, unless we have a surprise rise. And eventually there were no surprises and ceilks was crowned the winner of November Challenge 2016 with a score of perfect 1000.
A big round of applauds for him. Now, let’s meet his counterparts at various positions on the rank table:
We start with the top 10 participants from ROW:
Now, the Indian top 20:
Now, we move on to the special achievers category. Let’s start with our little wonders from schools:
Top 5 School kids from ROW:
Top 5 School kids from India:
Now, the top challenge problems solvers other than the winners.
We start with the top 3 solvers from ROW:
We start with the top 3 solvers from India:
Big congratulations to all you wonderful people for making the November Challenge 2016 a success.
And now, the final stats from the contest:
We hope each one of you who joined the contest enjoyed it as much as we did, putting it up for you.
It’s editorial time now. If you have not gone through them, here they are for you.
That will be all from November Challenge 2016. We hope you enjoyed the post as much as you enjoyed the contest. If you have any specific event or performance that amazed you during the contest kindly do let us know. You can shoot an email to email@example.com or reach us through our social media streams. We love hearing from you guys so keep writing to us.
Till next time, adios.
See you at the contests.
Set in the colorful and glittery backdrop of Diwali, the October LunchTime 2016 had a rather joyous feel to it. The sweetness of the festive season had taken over and you could see everyone embrace it. Draped in our traditional attires, on the eve of Diwali, we sat down for one final contest of October, before the fireworks of Diwali. Joining us for the contest was our problem setting panel featuring Sergey Kulik, Misha Chorniy, Praveen Dhinwa, Pawel Kacprzak, Hu Zecong, and VNOI Team. Now, knowing that it was Diwali eve, we were keeping our expectations modest regarding the participation numbers for the contest, however, our excitement about the action into the contest was at par with any other contest we have had in the past. So, with that in mind and plenty of sweets on the table, we sat for the October LunchTime 2016. And here’s how it went.
The contest opened to a barrage of submissions on BOUQUET right from the very first minute of the contest, by lebron. Soon to follow him was lg5293, both of them accounted for 7 out of the first 10 submissions in the first 5 minutes of the contest. And it made up for the cracking start of the contest that we hoped for. The colorful symbols for different result codes were giving the colorful festive decoration that you see almost everywhere this time of the year. Now, we know not many with the red cross against their submission would have appreciated it as much as we did, but their determination to change it into green tick was something to cheer for.
After BOUQUET, the road to glory seemed a tad tougher for most of the participants and even though lebron had solved FFCOMB partially in the first 10 minute of the contest, it took him well over an hour to fully solve it. For kefaa though, it was a totally different story. It took him only a couple of minutes to completely solve FFCOMB. And with two fully solved problems to his name, kefaa looked set to take LTIME41 home. Closest to kefaa, was hloya_ygrt on the rank table, and even though he had a tough time battling with FFCOMB, he eventually got it right in his 13th attempt. Strange number to get something right, isn’t it? But, it didn’t seem to bother him as he quickly moved on to RESTPERM. And all the time he lost in battling with the previous problem was made up this time, as it took him only 3 minutes to crack it. kefaa, on the other hand got it right in the very first attempt and with that stamped his authority over the October LunchTime 2016. With less than half an hour to go, the picture of the top of the table became pretty clear. Unless there was any last minute surprise, we knew who is taking home the October LunchTime 2016.
And if you have not met them already, let us introduce you to the winners of our LTIME41:
We start with ROW top 10 school students:
Now, the Indian top 10 school student:
Congratulations everyone, we hope you enjoyed the contest and had a blast in it.
Here are the final stats for the contest:
Now, for the editorials, let us take a walk to the discussion forum, where they are:
We are sure you would have enjoyed the editorials as much as the contest.
Now, it’s time to get away from October LunchTime 2016 and move towards the November contests. We are already approaching towards December, so, we will be quick with the November contest posts and will serve them soon. And while we do that, you let us know your thoughts, suggestions, or feedback on any aspect of CodeChef you would like to talk. You know where to find us.
That will be all for now.
See you at the contests.
There still was a week to go for Diwali, but the celebrations had already begun here at CodeChef headquarters. And rightfully so, after all, we were hosting ACM-ICPC India Regionals, Online Preliminary Round 2016 on Saturday, 22nd October, 2016, followed by the October Mega Cook-Off 2016 on Sunday, 23rd October, 2016. We were thrilled, and if truth be told, a tad nervous too. Both of the contests had huge significance for different reasons and we wanted to get it right. So, with jittery eyes and a lot of butterflies in our stomach, we welcomed perhaps the most action-packed weekend of the year for us. And we could not be happier to say that, it just made our festive season even sweeter. You know it; you were there, weren’t you?
While, the ACM-ICPC India Regionals, Online Preliminary Round 2016 was an exciting tale on its own, we are here to tell you the story of October Mega Cook-Off 2016, which was pretty interesting on its own. Set by Lalit Kundu & tested by Kamil Debowski, the October Mega Cook-Off 2016 had a perfect blend of festive sweetness & thrill, which seemed to be the flavor of the season. The problem set based on the adventures of Serlock Holmes& Dr. Watson made them even more intriguing. And as the contest started, he participants grabbed their detective hats and were ready for the adventure.
The first mystery the users cracked was “Watson asks Does Permutation Exist”, which didn’t trouble the users much and was solved under 2 mins by rohanrtiwari. Rohan was then followed by many others and except for a couple of instances, most of them got it right in the first attempt only. And with that our COOK75 was off to a smooth start. While Watson asks Does Permutation Exist, was everyone’s first choice, because of the constantly increased AC submissions on it, we also had few submissions here and there on problems BOOKCHEF, UGLYF, COUNTWAY, and SWINDOW too, however, not many of them were AC though. And slowly it became even clearer that these problems are going to decide the fate and the winner of the contest. So, we waited and watched.
On the rank table, it was a Japanese domination with anta0, natsugiri, and uwi occupying 3 of the top 5 slots. And while we had the feeling that one of these three will take home the COOK75, we could not write off the likes of chemthan, biginnnner, and sumeet_varma before the contest ended. It all made the final minutes of the contest even more interesting. And to tell you the final outcome of the contest and to announce the winners, let us take you to the rank table:
We start with the ROW top 10:
Now, the Indian top 10:
A big round of applause for all our winners and for everyone who joined in the contest! We hope you enjoyed the contest and had a wonderful Diwali.
Now, for the final segment of the post, let us take you to the editorials for the October Cook-Off 2016. Penned by the problem setter, Lalit himself these editorials will give you the exact approach that the problem setter would have applied towards each of the problems. Even if you have gone through them, it would be good to have a look at them once more. So, here they are for you:
And with that, it’s time to say farewell. As the winter takes over, it’s time to wrap yourself in your cozy blanket, grab your cuppa hot coffee, and enjoy some sizzling programming contest. So, you take care of the former two and we take care of the final one.
Till next time, adios.
See you at the contest.
As we enter the final months of the year, the excitement levels go beyond the roofs. Whether it’s the excitement of the impending festival season or if you are a programmer, the excitement of the ACM ICPC season, it’s just tough to stay calm and normal during these few months. And finally, there’s excitement to bid adieu another year on a high. So, whatever it is that you are looking forward to and whatever it is that is keeping you excited, we are very happy for you. We are a sweet tooth, so we will be honest with you; we are more excited about the sweets than the festivals. So, whatever it is that you are celebrating in the coming few months, do share the sweetness with us. For now, we have the sweets from the recently concluded October Challenge 2016 for you, so let us share them with you.
First, let’s meet the chefs responsible for the sweets that you devoured during the contest, say hello to Alexey Zayakin, who also doubled as the problem tester for the contest, Dmytro Berezin, Maksym Bevza, Sergey Nagin & Vasia Antoniuk. A big round of applauds for our problem setters. Accompanying them on the problem setting bench were Sergey Kulik (Russian), Team VNOI (Vietnamese) & Hu Zecong (Mandarin) as translators, and of course, the contest admin Praveen Dhinwa. With all those gentlemen having enough contests setting experience under their belt, we knew we are in safe hands. And even though, there were minor queries and questions during the contest, overall we had smooth 10 days of programming action from 7th to 17th of October, 2016.
With problem setters ready with the problems and we ready with the platform, it was now up to you, the participants to come and get the party going. And that’s exactly what happened when the clock struck 3 pm IST on 7th of October. It took only 2 minutes for anta0 to crack CHEFKEY it was only the second submission into the contest, so it’s safe to say that we were off to a flyer. After that majority of the submissions into the contest were on CHEFKEY, making it easy for the participants to figure out the easy problem. Or so everyone thought. While everyone was busy trying to get past CHEFKEY, few wise men tried their hand on CHDOGS and found it rather easy as well. The first one to do so was eonx_32. And as the accuracy levels of both the problems suggest there wasn’t much of a difference in the two in terms of difficulty level.
As for the other problems, though, it wasn’t a walk in the part for many who tried them. Right from Fenwick Iterations to Tree Balancing, none of the remaining eight problems in the contest made life easy for the participants, resulting in scarcity of green ticks on the submission table. However, as always there were users who were enjoying the contest to the fullest. Among the ones who enjoyed the most were min_25, who seem to have developed a taste for long challenges as he has only participated in them. We wonder how he will fare in the Cook-Off’s. What do you think; will he be able to deliver the same performance? Accompanying him on the rank table were few new names, including the likes of ccz181078, dukkha, dario2994, and philipsweng. It is worth mentioning that it was the debut contest for ccz181078 and dukkha. And going by the debut, we can only expect some incredible performances from them in near future. Just like that, there were many intriguing names adorning the rank tables, so let’s take a walk down the rank table and meet all of them. Shall we?
Let’s start with the ladies:
Now, the men, we start with top 10 ROW:
The Indian top 20:
And now the little wonders from schools -
First the ROW top 5:
The Indian top 5:
Now, the top scorers (outside our winners) for our Challenge problem SEAARI:
We start with the ROW:
Now, the Indian top 3:
A huge round of applauds for all our winners!
After the contest, everyone flocks for the editorials. However, lately there has been some delay in serving them. And we apologize for that. We would try and serve them as soon as the contest is over. So, while we prepare and garnish the remaining editorials, you go and enjoy the ones that are piping hot.
That will be all from everyone here at CodeChef. We will see you at the October Cook-Off 2016. We hope you are ready for and action packed Sunday night.
If you have any doubts, questions, or feedback regarding the October Challenge 2016 or any aspect of it, feel free to send write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you at the contests.
After two big contests in September Challenge & Cook-Off, the wait for September LunchTime 2016 seemed like eons. You already know how eager we get when it comes to our LunchTime contests. After all, who wouldn’t want to see the young programmers from schools battling it out on a fine Saturday evening? To notch that all up a bit, we had the registrations going on for the upcoming ACM ICPC 2016 – 2017 India regionals, which meant the competition was already on among the aspiring teams to better each other. It just gave us one more reason to look forward to LunchTime. So, we cleared our Saturday evening calendar and kept it all for September LunchTime 2016.
The problem set for the contest came from Misha Chorniy and was tested by Sergey Kulik, accompanying them on the problem setting panel were Pawel Kacprzak, Praveen Dhinwa, Team VNOI, and Hu Zecong, all donning different roles. For every contest we expect a nicely balanced problem set, however, this time around the problems were on exact opposite ends of the difficulty level. While the easiest of them all Chef and Inequality saw over 900 successful submissions, Chef and Words, which turned to be hardest among the four, saw only 8 submissions. Even the situation for the remaining two was pretty identical with 19 and 9 submissions for Chef and Tree and Chef and Triangles respectively.
On the rank table though, the battle was as fierce as ever. And even the start of the contest was pretty good with plenty of ACs in the first half an hour. Most of them though, were on Chef and Inequality, but that is normal and we have seen in many of our contests where most of the submissions in the early stages of the contest come on one single problem only. The first one to taste the sweet nectar of AC was anta0 and it took him only a minute to get that. Soon to follow him were zscoder, nuip, vladik, iman_gh and many others with their ACs on Chef and Inequality. In the first 5 participants to have received an AC, we had two from schools. So, with that, the battle among the school students was on. No, Indian school student was able to make an appearance in the first 50 submissions into the contest. And that was a tad surprising.
While the absence of Indian school students was a bit surprising, the battle between zscoder, kmcode, and austin990301 made up for that. None of the three however, were able to crack all four problems and that affirmed the tough nature of the problems. And to find out who emerged victorious after battling with the problems till the very end, let us take you to the rank table of our September Challenge 2016.
We start with the ROW top 10:
And now the Indian top 10:
Congratulations to you all on your blistering performance and to everyone who took part in the contest.
Now, we move towards the editorials for the contest and considering the difficult nature of the contest, we presume you all would be eager to munch on them if you have not already. So, let us take you straight to them.
And with that, we are done with all our pending blog posts. We hope you enjoyed them all, even though they were a tad behind their scheduled. We are working on your punctuality and will try and publish all the future posts in a reasonable time, after the contest. So, while we work on our punctuality, you join the ongoing October Challenge 2016 and give your ACM ICPC 2016 – 2017 preparations the final touches.
If you have any queries, concerns, or questions you can always write to us at: email@example.com
Till next time, adios.
See you at the contests.
We were coming from “the” biggest long challenge we’ve ever had. We were excited and pumped by the fact that, this is the first of the two Mega Cook-Offs we will be hosting for the aspiring ACM ICPC 2017 aspirants. All that made up for a rather exciting backdrop for our September Cook-Off 2016 and we were excited to join in the contest. And we are sure you were too. This was all before 9:30 pm IST on September 18th, 2016. When the contest bell rang, there was absolute silence and a sense of urgency among everyone, the participants, the problem setters, and everyone here at CodeChef.
The participants wanted to put every step in the right direction, while the problem setters wanted to see them fight with their problem set, and for us, well, we were just excited to some of the top programming brains battle it out. Not to mention, the fight among the Indian ACM ICPC aspirants to finish in top 50 and be eligible for their ACM ICPC travel reimbursed. So, pretty much everyone joining the contest had an agenda. Of course, it is there in every contest; however, the word “Mega” added a pinch of spice to the overall action. So, let us see how it went for everyone.
Let us start with the problem setters, our setter & editorialist for the contest was Tuấn Anh Trần Đặng, who was accompanied by Kamil Dębowski as the tester and Praveen Dhinwa as the admin for the contest. All those gentlemen have enough experience to understand the requirement of a mega cook-off and they had cooked a nicely balanced and testing problem set for the contest. The different flavors of Vietnamese, Mandarin, and Russian for the problem set came from Team VNOI, Hu Zecong, and Vasya Antoniuk respectively. With the problem setting panel confident and ready to see the fate of their problems, it was up to us to make sure that the contest gets a smooth start. And it got what it deserved, a smooth start with no issues what so ever. It was a small victory, but looking back at some of the disastrous mega cook-offs we have had, we were rather happy with it.
As the contest started, everyone quickly moved to the submissions page to see how the participants were faring against the problems. And viola, what a start it was, we got our first AC on TALAZY. It took only two minutes for lebron to crack it, but he was not alone in doing so. In a matter of second’s dreamoon4, rajat1603, and kefaa joined him with the same problem to their name. As the clock ticked, the number of submissions on TALAZY kept on mounting. And soon, it became apparent that, TALAZY is your gateway to your first AC in the contest. Among the first 200 or more submissions that we got, there were only 3 on TACNTSTR and sadly, they were all WAs. So, if there ever was any hint for the participants joining in the contest for where to start, we guess this was it. And it remained like that for quite some time. But every now and then there will be someone trying their hand on other problems too. Some succeeded straightway, some succeeded after a couple of tries.
In the end, though, we had all the five problems solved with Lazy Jem getting a maximum of 2137 successful submissions while Shortest path queries, turned to be the most troubling one with only 8 successful submissions. And now, let us take you through the rank table to meet our winners.
First ROW top 10:
Now, the Indian top 10:
A big round of applauds for all our winners. We hope you all enjoyed the contest as much as we did setting it up for you.
As for the participant’s eligible for their travel reimbursement for the impending ACM ICPC 2016 – 2017 India regionals, we will be contacting them all separately. Till then keep coding and sharpening your preparation for the regionals.
Let us now, take you to the editorials for the contest. We are sure you would have gone through them all by now, however, if you have not, here they are for you:
They will help you get ready for the busy programming season ahead. And we are sure you would enjoy them.
With that, we arrive at the final segment of the post. We hope you are having a wonderful programming season, with plenty of contests to look forward to. We too have few lined up for you in October, so in anticipation of an exciting October ahead of us, we will put a full stop on this tale of the first mega cook-off of the year 2016 and will see you soon, with yet another exciting tale.
If you have any queries or concerns, you can always write to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
See you at the contests.
September officially rang the bell for the ACM ICPC 2016 – 2017 season in India. In other parts of the world, though, the regionals were already happening and teams from different universities were moving forward towards the World Finals. In India, the registrations for the regionals had just started and the hunt for the perfect team member was on. Even the closest of friends were subjected to great scrutiny, on their programming skills and how well they can cope up with the pressure. How do we know that? Well, we’ve got informers…. Just kidding, we imagine that’s what must be going on in the hostels during the programming season; but whatever. So, while some were still hunting for the team members, few others had already registered their teams and were busy preparing for the regionals.
A cracking contest with some testing problems was something everyone was looking for. So, we obliged with our September Challenge 2016. There still were two more contests in Cook-Off and LunchTime to follow, but the Long challenge was a great start as it helps the participants solve problems and develop new concepts during the ten day course of the contest. And our problem setters had cooked some really interesting problem set revolving around Chef and his many escapades involving his friends, Spaghetti, Palindromes etc. Now, we are not an expert in problem solving, so we don’t know how much the problems helped you guys in your preparation, but we would like to know form you, how were the problems? Did they satisfy your programming buds? Were they fun to play around? So, do let us know your thoughts on the contest, the problems our problem setters would love to read them.
Now, let’s move towards the contest. The September Challenge 2016 started with 7 problems, as the remaining three needed a tad more sautéing. Or so we thought. The remaining three problems were added in the latter stages of the contest, which meant that for a good period of the contest there were only 7 problems. And to make it fair and to give everyone enough time with the newly added problems, the problem setting panel decided to extend the contest to three more days. While there we were questioned on that decision of ours, a majority of participants were pleased with it. At least that’s what the numbers from the contest suggest. Yes, they were huge. So, huge that they made September Challenge 2016 our biggest ever long challenge. Yay! And it’s only fair that we share those numbers with you, after all, you made them.
So, here they are for you:
Now, the big numbers also mean that the competition on the rank table was fierce, with the likes of ceilks, anta0, alex_2oo8, the latest sensation alladdin and many others all going at full throttle towards the top. While the names atop of the table were catching everybody’s attention, there were few shockers as well. Contrary to popular believe the seasoned campaigners and the popular names like ACRush, anudeep2011, rns4, lebron and few others seemed having a bad day at the office. But that’s just the part of the game, we are sure they will come back strong and will give us many exciting contests in the future. For now, let us have a look at the rank table for September Challenge 2016 and congratulate al the winners on their performance.
As always, we start with the girls:
The ROW top 10:
The Indian Top 20:
The ROW top 5 School Students:
The Indian top 5 School Students:
The ROW top 3 users with highest scores for the challenge problem (outside the winner table):
The Indian top 3 users with highest scores for the challenge problem (outside the winner table):
For all those who missed it, and we are sure there are not many of you out there, the editorials for the contest can be found below:
And with that it’s time to switch off the lights on this not-too-long-delayed story of September Challenge 2016, we hope you had a wonderful September and that are ready for the impending ACM ICPC 2016 – 2017 season. We wish you all the very best.
Next time, we meet we will be telling the story from the September Cook-Off 2016, which was the first of the two mega-cook-offs we are hosting this year. So, do keep watching this space. For everything else, you can find us at: email@example.com
Till next time, adios.
Nothing pleases us more than making learning to program fun for you. One such opportunity came our way when we met Vinit at the ACM-ICPC World Finals in Phuket, Thailand. Vinit Shah had given a passionate presentation of his platform called uDebug, which was an unknown entity to us until then.
We instantly liked uDebug as we had been wanting to provide something similar to our users but were unable to take it up. One of the objectives of uDebug is to help you debug your solutions by suggesting input test cases of a problem for which the system will show you the output of a solution that’s been deemed “accepted”. Which certainly makes debugging a lot of fun. For us, it can also serve to strengthen the test cases for problems which may have weak test data. There have been incidents in the past where users have reported weak test cases for our problems but there has been no mechanism to validate and get them added.
We instantly discussed a possible collaboration between CodeChef and uDebug by providing users an interface (https://www.udebug.com/) to challenge the test cases for CodeChef’s problems. It meant that now you will have the power to test any problem of CodeChef against your test cases and if the community agrees with you, you can get them added on CodeChef.
It gives us immense pleasure to announce that you can now try your test cases for CodeChef problems on uDebug.
What it means for you as a user is:
We have added problems from our practice section (excluding the Beginner and Peer section) to uDebug for you to try your test cases on. Feel free to go there and experiment with your test data and debug solutions to those problems that you have not been able to solve.
If your test cases pass and find enough love from the community, they will be added to the problems.
How do I report a weak test case?
If you discover that test cases for a problem on CodeChef is weak, add your suggested (stronger) test cases on uDebug and flag the problem.
If your suggested test cases gets enough up-votes from the community, just send them to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We will add those test cases to the problem.
And as always, there will be a reward waiting for you. What it will be, you will get to know when you report it.
We hope you enjoy playing around on uDebug and we look forward to a long and fruitful collaboration with them.
That will be all from us for now.
It was around three years ago, when our team mate, Suraj, had asked us to implement an automated system of sending goodies. We were struggling to deliver the users their winnings on time and quite a few of them would never reach their intended users. Not responded emails, faulty stale addresses, goodies getting lost in transit and tracking issues; left us hassled. We altered processes, included more checkpoints, reached out to our users, but nothing seemed to work.
Quite naturally, we liked the suggestion. The idea was to switch from a “push the goodie” system to “pull the goodie” one. Let the responsibility of getting a goodie be given to the users. We realised this would solve additional problems too, like the same user getting the same goodie multiple times, by giving her more options of accumulating points and winning something of a higher value.
This year, our growing struggle made us pick this up as a gift to ourselves and our users, as we turned seven. In the summer, with our intern, Raju Varshney, putting his hands up, we finally decided to put an all out effort to get this out. While he took up the coding, the rest of us scampered around to get an exciting new list of goodies prepared. And eventually the new system got ready to be served.
However, one thing at CodeChef is that we are a team full of pranksters! We love playing pranks on each other and we thought this to be a great time to include our users. It was long back that we did something similar and since then we have hardly done anything that grave! And this provided us with the perfect opportunity. It also served us as an experiment.
While we implemented the new system, we also decided to change the goodies to those of no monetary value to be considered as a token of appreciation for the effort put by the users. We wanted to see whether all our users want a goodie of monetary value or is it the winning that matters? We added three fun goodies on the site and kept our fingers crossed to see if one can spend her hard earned laddus against something that wasn’t initially promised – the duck, the cube and the ball.
And what we got was a pleasant surprise! Though we got a lot of criticism on the selection of our new goodies, we did find some of our users placing orders to actually get them! Kudos to them! Though we are removing those dummy goodies, we promise to give these users what they have ordered while reverting their laddus into their accounts. We had loads of fun and we hope that you would not mind this small prank of ours.
With this, we unveil the new goodie system. We have credited all your pending winnings as laddus into your account. Go ahead and check them out and have a look at the new goodies. And order whatever you like. We believe you will like some of them. In case you have any doubts or concerns regarding your laddus, do send us an email to email@example.com. Do not forget to read our terms and conditions to get more insight into the process and to not be disappointed later. We promise it is a good read.