A Tad Chaotic Cook-off

2 min read

The start of June Cook-Off 2014 was clean and beautifully lit by the shine of few brilliant Cook-Offs we had hosted. We loved it. And would have been happier had it stayed that way. However, all those shiny moments turned into the ordeals during the course of the contest. What was the cause, you ask? We will let you know latter in the blog post, let us start with the good things first.

Before we move into the blog post, let us thank the ardent problem setting panel without whom, none of this would have been possible. Not the crash, the amazing June Cook-off that you enjoyed. 😛 The problem setter Constantine Sokol from Belarus, the problem tester Tasnim Imran Sunny from Bangladesh & the editorialist Praveen Dhinwa from India, cooked up some really yummy problems for everyone and we think you all enjoyed them to the fullest. The additional flavors of the problems in the form of Russian and Mandarin translation came from the terrific trio of Sergey Kulik and Minako Kojima & Gedi Zheng respectively. We thank them al for the wonderful delicacies they cook up contest after contest.

There was everything ready to go from the problem-setting panel and it was now up to the machines to do the work. As it turned out, they broke under the pressure. We have seen it in the past and we experienced it once again. We have had load issues in the past, but we addressed them. We thought that load issue was fixed long ago. In addition, some brilliant contests in the last 6 months resurrected that belief of ours. Therefore, we got a tad bodacious and reduced our servers. Thus, after the serene period of 6 months or so, we invited mayhem upon us. The decision to reduce servers backfired and backfired badly.

The mammoth load on the servers crushed them; as a result, we crashed even before the June Cook-Off started. The questions, queries, and the quarrels started floating on all possible mediums, and we immediately realized our mistake. And we tried our best to balance the unmanageable load on two extra servers. However, by the time we did that, the efforts of our problem-setting panel were marred by the technical glitch & most importantly, the valuable time of all the participants was wasted. We did extend the contest to make up for all that, however what was gone, was gone. The contest ran smoothly after the initial bump but let us tell you that a strong learning has been taken from this, and many such incidents and we hope that such things will not be repeated in the future. And on that note, let us take you through our rank tables for the June Cook-Off 2014 and meet the patient participants who emerged triumphant.

First the non-Indian top 10:

Now the Indian top 5:

Congratulations to all the winners.

Now, the final stats of the contest:

  • Total Users: 1273
  • Total Submissions: 6121
  • Number of distinct users with correct submissions: 922
  • Total users from India: 1133
  • Total users not from India: 140

To have such numbers in a contest that had gone through a major glitch is just incredibly pleasing and we thank you all for it.

If you want to know in detail what went wrong during the June Cook-Off 2014 you can read the blog we wrote about it, immediately after the incident took place.

Alternatively, if you want to move ahead from that memory, you can relive the glorious moments of the June Challenge 2014 with us:

In addition to the two aforementioned tales, you can also go through the editorials of our July contests to sharpen up your programming skills a bit.

That brings us to the final section of the blog. We have a lot to talk to you about and we will be doing that in our coming blog posts, as you know we have some pending. So, while we pen down the new ones, feel free to get in touch with us for all your queries & quarrels at feedback@codechef.com

You can also dial us at (022) – 30797709 (Weekday’s between 11:00 am to 8:00 pm)

Hope to catch you all soon.

Team CodeChef

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