CodeChef through its inspiring initiatives has always been encouraging programmers across the country. NITK Surathkal has had some really good coders but the “coding culture” as they say, has never been so prominent. When some of us met Anup Kalbalia and members of Team CodeChef at ACM-ICPC Kharagpur and Amritapuri, we realised that the key to the success of a college lies on how it prepares and how motivated members of the teams are. Another striking observation was that the first and second years of college, especially the summer holidays are the best times to hone our coding skills and get really good at competitive programming.
With this insight, NITK CodeChef Campus Chapter started laying more emphasis on spreading awareness on CodeChef and Competitive Programming among the first and second years. During the course of this academic year, we had talks which aimed at introducing students in college to competitive programming. We had a talk on the importance of competitive programming and an introduction to CodeChef and other online judges. Those who attended the talk were amazed by the joy that one gets upon solving problems and seeing your solution getting the green tick. A hands-on session was conducted to help beginners understand the way an online judge works, input-output formats and other subtle details that one needs to know to get started on online judges. Experienced coders shared their experience about how they got inspired to code and how it helped them gain familiarity with commonly used algorithms. Training methods and perseverance were found to be the key to success. The sessions aimed at motivating juniors in college to start competitive programming and prepare for ACM-ICPC in advance.
As we come to the end of the academic year, we feel it has been very promising in terms of participation and enthusiasm among members of NITK-CCCC to learn. We came up with an innovative idea of running a live blog to post tutorials and learning resources. http://nitkcccc.wordpress.com/ is our website and we have been receiving tutorial entries to be published on the blog. We feel that sharing one’s learning experience on a particular topic helps others understand in a better way and creates a healthy learning environment. We presently have tutorials on String Theory, Matrix Multiplication, Dynamic Programming, Graph Theory, STL to name a few. We believe that these tutorials have given a great perspective into different ideas and approaches that different people have to grasp a concept.
We had a series of talks on competitive programming with hands-on problem solving sessions. Ideas and hints to solve related problems to solve the problems on CodeChef were provided. Mentorship to students from the first and second years was something we were able to achieve with fair success. The Facebook group was utilised to spread awareness about talks, contests on CodeChef and other informative articles that would be highly beneficial in the long run. The talks are being conducted by those who were a part of the ACM-ICPC teams this year. We feel that such sessions will help all members to learn most data-structures and algorithms required for competitive programming in a better way.
Conducting local contests on CodeChef has been a regular feature on our agenda. We had an exclusive contest “So You Think You Can Code ?” for the first year students apart from other local contests. This was aimed at getting the first years introduced to competitive programming. We held two international events on CodeChef. INSCRIPTION 2013 is a premier event of NITK’s annual technical fest ENGINEER, during the month of October. TUXCODER was held in April 2014 as a part of the coding week – Tuxride and received an overwhelming response with enthusiastic participation across the globe.
The year 2013-2014 has been a great one for NITK CodeChef Campus Chapter – lot’s of enthusiasm and participation, highest number of teams representing NITK at ACM-ICPC till date, highest rank of an NITK team at ACM-ICPC , members of the chapter securing a top 20 finish in CodeChef Long Challenges, plenty of informative sessions and a website to learn from each other . The coding culture in NITK has never been so prominent and we wish to thank CodeChef for its support and initiatives.
Some promising words from our budding first years:
Chinmay Deshpande, 1st year IT – “I was interested in coding but competitive programming was completely new. I made many errors while submitting my first program on CodeChef, but attending the sessions conducted by the NITKCCCC really helped me submit more efficient solutions. Great job from the seniors. Hope I can contribute the same during my next year as a sophomore ”
Abraham Gerard Sebastian, 1st year CS – “My interest in competitive programming started when I first participated in the INOI in my 11th but this still wasn’t helpful enough to do satisfactorily. But, the regular sessions have not only improved my performance in the contests held on CodeChef but also increased my interest.”
Siddharth Dhananjay, 1st year Metallurgy – “I was interested in coding and computer science in general right from 10th/12th. However, after joining NITK did I hear about CodeChef and competitive programming in general. These sessions taught me a lot of new and useful concepts that are really helpful while solving problems on CodeChef. ”
Looking forward for a bigger year ahead !
(on behalf of NITK CodeChef Campus Chapter Team)