Here comes our second team. Let’s meet them:
Team Name: Ghablame
Q. CodeChef: When did you start coding and how did you learn?
Ali Haghani:I start learning pascal about 6 years ago in my school classes.
Amir Kievan Mohtashami: I’ve started coding at middle school(age 12). We had basic programming classes in our school and I learned the basic of programming. Later in high school I learned algorithms and the way to solve problems..
Q. CodeChef: Could you name and share your first programming contest experience?
Ali Haghani: Hellinet 2012 (One of iranian contests for students)
Amir Kievan Mohtashami: It was when an ACM-style competition with teams consisting of two people in my middle school when I was 13. We had just learned the basics of programming so we didn’t do well in it. But anyway it was fun.
Q. CodeChef: How often do you code on any given day & weekend?
Ali Haghani: I usually just practice in contests (mostly CF and TC) but for now IOI 2015 is near and we do about one 5 hours contest (IOI, POI, BOI, JOI (Something)OI :)) every 2 days.
Amir Kievan Mohtashami: It depends. Now I’m preparing for IOI 2015 so maybe around 5-6 hours on usual days. On weekends I code less(maybe around 2 hours maybe even less) since I try to do other stuff as well.
Q. CodeChef: What was the biggest hurdle on your road to where you are today?
Ali Haghani: Nothing special. Really nothing!
Amir Kievan Mohtashami: In my country there is a country-wide exam for ranking the students. These ranks are important in the universities that students will be able to apply to. However if you get a gold medal in National Olympiad any university will accept you. But there aren’t many gold medals so there was a risk. And whether should I take it or not and the fear of not being successful was a very big hurdle. But I took it and I’m glad that I did.
Q. CodeChef: What do you think biggest mistake competitive programmers make?
Ali Haghani: Overflow
Amir Kievan Mohtashami: If you mean in programming it’s probably getting small arrays and overflow from variables.
Q. CodeChef: What programming language do you use and why?
Ali Haghani: I only know pascal, python and c++ and from this set of language i prefer c++ for contests and python for most other things.
Amir Kievan Mohtashami: C++. In middle school I used to code with Pascal and when I entered High school I switched to C++ since it had more features and I’ve been coding with it since. I’ve used other languages for writing projects such as Python but I don’t have any experience of participating in a contest using them. But I think C++ is very great for competitive programming.
Q. CodeChef: What advice do you have for other competitive programmers?
Ali Haghani: Most programmers say “Practice makes perfect” but if you ask me i say a little different thing and it is “Upsolving makes perfect”. There is no need for practicing hardly. It is enough to try to solve the problems in contest that you can’t solve and if you can’t read editorials and get accept on it.
Amir Kievan Mohtashami: Do not get disappointed and continue practicing. Do not leave the problems you didn’t solve unsolved. Think about them and if you couldn’t still solve them read the editorials. I suppose it’s called Upsolving.
Q. CodeChef: What do you like the most about CodeChef? and what would you don’t like in it?
Ali Haghani: It is a perfect online judge and has good problems but had some problems btw, a smoother UI would be appreciated.
Amir Kievan Mohtashami: Maybe the design could be a little better. There are still some flaws in the contests page and sometimes if you’re new to it you might get lost. For example finding ranking is sometimes very hard. Also having a clarification system is a very great idea(I couldn’t find it at least). But it’s a good website. I haven’t participated in many contests in CodeChef but those that I did weren’t so bad.
Q. CodeChef: What factors do you believe help you win?
Ali Haghani: Self Confidence
Amir Kievan Mohtashami: I try to practice before the contest and I try not to get stressed during the contest and use my experiences to solve problems.
Q. CodeChef: What motivates you to compete?
Ali Haghani: It is one of my entertainments..
Amir Kievan Mohtashami: Usually because it’s fun. Of course sometimes there are prizes which motivates you even more or sometimes you need to compete to get ready for a big contest. But usually it’s just fun.
Q. CodeChef: Where do you see yourself 5 years down the line?
Ali Haghani: Not much sure about my future, but I will pursue computer science I assume.
Amir Kievan Mohtashami: I don’t think that I will be focused on competitive programming so much. But I think I will still participate in or prepare some contests. Probably I will try to write some projects and there is university as well. However I haven’t still figured it all out. There are still so many possibilities unknown to me.
That, ladies & gentlemen is Team Ghablame for you. We thoroughly enjoyed their responses and hope you did too.
We will be back soon, so keep watching this space.