The announcement is long overdue. This month, the CodeChef Programmer of the Month is Ajay Somani who has been a consistent performer on CodeChef since the March 2009 challenge. He even stood 1st in the November 2009 Challenge!
Here is more about Ajay:
Name: Ajay Somani
Twitter ID: ajay_somani
Brief introduction about yourself (under 140 characters): I’m a very ambitious and competitive guy. I’m passionate about computer science and I’d like to do well in whatever I work on. I like travelling to new places and eating great food.
How/When did you start programming?
I started programming when I was 15, during freshman year at college. I just started by doing assignments of a compulsory course at college but later some seniors at our college introduced me to topcoder and I found it fun. In my first year summer holidays I came to know about SPOJ, ACM, UVA and some other online judges and I started practicing more.
What do you do when you’re not programming?
I pretty much end up using my computer anyway, mostly doing reading random stuff on Google reader, facebooking, watching movies and sitcoms. I do enjoy playing lightweight flash games on internet. I also sleep a lot and really like eating good food and hanging out with friends.
What do you like most about CodeChef?
I’ll probably go with prizes too . Apart from that Codechef is a great platform especially for Indian students to compete and learn from each other. I also like the challenge problem in monthly contests. It’s fun to try out different approaches and see how they perform on the judge test data.
How many hours a day do you program?
It varies greatly depending on the mood and requirement on that particular day. On an average I’d say around 7-8 hours.
What’s your favourite book and why?
I’m not much of a book-reader. I haven’t read any novels yet and I haven’t really liked any of the course books that I’ve read so far. I’d say Introduction to Algorithms (CLRS) and The C++ Programming Language (Bjarne Stroustrup) are some of the better books that I’ve read.
If you could eat dinner with any famous person (past or present), who would it be and what dish would you have?
Person – Leonardo Da Vinci. Dish – Would like to try anything delicious from his time
What are your plans for the future.
I really like my job so I don’t have any plans of changing that in the near future. I’m interested in computer science research and entrepreneurship, so I might go for higher studies later and work on a challenging research problem.
In our previous 10 day algorithm challenges we’ve offered prizes to the top 5 participants from India and the top 5 participants from the US. We’ve seen a lot of participation from international participants and are now deciding to expand our prizes to this set of awesome folks . Starting in the December contest, everyone is eligible for prizes: the top 5 users in India and the top 5 users globally.
We understand that there were some problems with the contest this weekend. For those who missed it:
We’ve evaluated all the options and here’s what we are going to do (brace yourself)… Re-Snackdown: Sunday December 20th 4-7pm – only teams who solved at least 1 problem in the original Snackdown are eligible for the finals/prize money. Some of you are screaming at your monitors (especially those in the current top 5)…this isn’t fair… we hear you but there is no way to make everyone happy. We screwed up, we’re sorry. Here’s the other options and an explanation of why we are taking this approach:
Some people will undoubtably feel like we should’ve taken one of the approaches listed above (especially those in the original top 5). We’re sorry, don’t hate us… feel free to comment and let us know what you think… try to be nice.
Our primary goal at CodeChef has always been to help students and professionals become better programmers. While algorithmic problem solving certainly helps, we feel like we can do a lot more. We’ve tried to expand our reach by holding Tech Talks and Meet-ups as well as instituting campus chapters, the wiki and chat. Now we’re excited to announce our next idea. In our most recent poll we asked if any of you participate in an Open Source project, the large majority of people indicated that they currently do not but are interested in doing so. We’d like to leverage your enthusiasm, start our own open source project and ask all of you to contribute.
We’d like to do a project that helps the wider community. We came across this article and really liked the concept:
NIIT Limited on the occasion of the World Computer Literacy Day (WCLD) 2005 is planning to set up computer literacy kiosks in 20 locations spread over the rural areas of the country and to train 20,000 village children free of cost…
… computers are installed for unsupervised use of children in slums and impoverished locations to show that irrespective of the socio-economic background children learn to use computers by themselves if provided with the right kind of infrastructure.
While we have a few ideas of our own, we’d love to hear what cool concepts you can come up with. Let’s all work together to create a project that can really help people. Please share your thoughts with us in the comment section below… let the brainstorming begin…
The winners of the CodeChef Book giveaway are:
And just because we loved Ankit and Anil’s enthusiasm and contributions we will be sending them a CodeChef goody bag.
Congratulations guys! Your books/merchandise will reach you soon.
On another note, there are quite a few topics on the Tutorial page that people have requested for and it would be awesome to see more of you contribute to the tutorials on the wiki.
We’re pleased to announce the prize structure for the Snackdown. The online round (taking place this Saturday from 7pm-12am) will act as a qualifier for the finals, where the top five teams will battle it out in-person at the DirectiPlex in Mumbai on January 10th.
The top twenty teams will be receiving prizes according to the following schedule:
Payouts for the top five teams will be determined by their rankings in the finals. Payments to teams 6-20 will be made after the online round.
Please note that while anyone can participate in the competition, only teams of students from the same Indian University will be eligible for the finals and prize money. Additionally, prizes above Rs. 5,000 will be taxed at 30%.
We are planning another contest with prizes available for international participants and professionals. More details on this will be coming in the next few weeks. Best of luck!
Since the CodeChef Snackdown is the first time we are holding a team based competition, we wanted to make sure that everyone is comfortable with the new team based format and also that everything is working fine on our end. Because of this, we have planned a practice run this Thursday, 19th November from 20:00 IST to 22:00 IST. The rules and format are the same as the Snackdown.
You need to visit the contest landing page and click on the registration link provided at the bottom of the page. You will have to register a new team with a unique team name, but your team display name can be the same as the one for the main contest. On the day of the practice run, you can login using the credentials of your team account for the practice run and you will be able to view problems and submit. Bon Appétit!
Congratulations to everyone who competed in the November contest. Winners for this month are:
1. Ajay Somani – Rs. 22000
2. Anshuman Singh – Rs. 13750
3. Gaurav Agarwal – Rs. 11000
4. Yash – Rs. 5500
5. Akhil Ravidas – Rs. 2750
1. Josh Metzler – $440
2. Po-Ru Loh- $275
3. Tomasz Czajka – $220
4. Balakrashnan Varadarajan – $110
5. Varun Jalan – $55
Fun Facts for this contest:
|Length of Contest||Unique Visitors||Unique Participants||Total Number of Submissions||Percentage of user who have solved at least one problem|
|Country||Total Participants||Average Score per User|
|Rest of World||42||2.12|
Test cases for the november contest can be found here.
In case you missed it check out the CodeChef Snackdown taking place on Nov 21st. This is really exciting for us, not only because its our first ever team competitions but we will also be hosting an onsite finals for the top teams of Indian college students.
We are planning another team competition open to students and professionals globally. Dates haven’t been finalized but stay tuned for more details.
Please let us know what you thought of this contest, and if you have any ideas on how we can make the site better.
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.