We just got Four’ier’ transformed

4 min read

Yippy!!! We are four years younger now. Congratulations and celebrations!!! 🙂 Of all the time related adages on the birthdays, we would quote Charles Richards –

“Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week.”

This, not because it is our favorite. This, because it best describes our journey of the past year. And, to give you a clearer picture let us take you to a trip to the corridors of last year.

As we look back, we see a lot of turbulence. Upon reflection, the good out-weighs the bad. And for that, we are indeed thankful to you. We embarked on our fourth year with our third Anniversary challenge. It ended in a three-way tie, something that none of us could have guessed! With an engrossing finish to the first contest of the year, we were provoked for attaining better feats. And we started with the launch of our new Question and Answer styled CodeChef Discuss. In the span of one year, the Discuss has grown into a pool of very skilled and extremely helpful programmers ready to help the aspiring ones. We feel happy about it. 🙂

The introduction of new QnA forum was just the first of many steps that baby CodeChef was about to take into its fourth year. After giving you you all a new forum to get over your programming queries and quarrels, we decided to give all a chance to hoist their country’s flag atop the rank tables. Not that you were not doing so, we just thought it would be nice to actually have the flag of your nation pinned against your name in the rank tables. And, just like juveniles, our team was delighted to see the colorful new rank tables. While, we were at the rank tables, we thought of adding some ornament to your profile page in the form of the new rating graphs. This allowed you to check your and other’s progress across all contests in a graphical view. We hope you had as much fun with it as we had bringing it to you. 🙂

The pleasing response to the above features encouraged us to bring more spice to table. Next, we took our homepage under the knife to give it a new look giving a dedicated space to the top performers and contributors in the fourth banner. After revamping the homepage, we moved the editorials from our wiki to CodeChef discuss to give them more visibility and interaction. And to make it even lip-smacking, we introduced the role of the editorialist to make our editorials more lucid and understandable to a larger section of our community. And as you know now, the editorials are the most awaited dish from the Chef’s kitchen. Seeing the warm reception to the changes, we were constantly riding our mind horses to bring more improvements. And it continued with providing the author/tester info for the problems and the drop down pre-fills for the supported language field in the submission page. However, that is not where the awesomeness of our new submission page ends. We have already bragged a lot about it here.

Phew! Now, before you take a breather from counting the number of changes, let us tell you that we are not done yet. In our attempt to connect you all more closely with your college mates, we are in the midst of cleaning up our institution database.

All those cool features and not a single sign of bug! That sounds suspicious. Isn’t it? We have always been honest with you. There is no point in hiding. Our journey hasn’t been bug free. You know it. After all, many of you have reported them. Every time a bug has been reported, it has become our priority. We have tried our best to fix it and do so as soon we could. If you find somewhere something still broken, please let us know. We will try and send you across as goodie a small token of our appreciation.

While we were at those enhancements and fixing the long list of bugs, the thing really kept us going was your growing love for us. The community has kept growing and this has reflected in the ever growing numbers. Since last year, it has become a regularity that a contest has witnessed better participation than the previous one. And, with the good comes the bad! We too had our fair share of disheartening moments. Worth mentioning are the Cook-Offs where the riding was not as smooth as we wanted and the contestants faced trouble specially in the starting moments. But let us assure you that it is right up there on our priority list and we are bound to improve on this and will be working hard to give you all a trouble free experience.

The winters brought with them a fresh chill of thrill. As for the first time, our team was going to be present at every ACM-ICPC India regionals site. We were eager to be at the ground. The feeling of being at the contest site was thrilling. This was also the first time that IIT Kharagpur hosted the contest. Sitting here and providing you the platform is a good thing and enough to keep us going. But meeting you in person and interacting with you provided us with a new impetus. There is a lot yet to be done.

Riding high on the experience of ACM-ICPC Asia regional trips, we entered the New Year. We kept getting higher numbers and we do love our numbers. 🙂 Allow us to take you through some of them. However, before we do that, we’d like to thank all the people without whom, all these numbers will be imaginary.

We’d like to thank

  • The awesome panel of problem setters and testers, who are the creator of the problems that we boast of today. They are the content providers.
  • The team at SPOJ, who have been diligently working day in day out to give us a powerful judge program. That piece of software is what does all the hard work round the clock.
  • The entire discuss community for helping other programmers to solve their doubts. Without them, CodeChef will just be a contest platform. They make it a community.
  • The support staff and different teams at Directi, for ensuring seamless functioning of the CodeChef team. The invisible force, without which a lot would not happen.
  • All the previous and new members of CodeChef team. They have made it possible for us to be where we are.
  • And lastly, and probably most notably all of you for your feedback, critique, and participation. Without you, all is void.

And now, the little progress report of the last year. 🙂

  • 2, 99,000+ new registered users ( total 4,02536 users)
  • 900+ unique problems in database (total 2,700+ problems in database)
  • 17,000+ Facebook fans ( total 32,539 Facebook fans)
  • 1,200+ new Twitter followers (total of 3,246 followers)
  • 9,95,679 submissions in last one year in almost every language out of the 49 that we support (total 18,73,126 submissions)

With this, it’s time for us to treat ourselves to some high-spirited celebrations. 😛

But before we sign off, allow us to quote a few lines that we all must have read in our childhood. They depict quite a bit of what we feel today.

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.” Robert Frosts’ Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

With that, thanks everybody, do keep sending your feedback. We love to hear from you all.

Till next time, so long everybody.

See you at the contests.

Thanks,
Team CodeChef

P.S.:- We will be having a small celebration in our cafeteria at 5:00 PM (IST). So, Come join us and wish CodeChef A Very Happy B’Day.

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