Set by Misha Chorniy, the February Lunchtime 2016 saw participation from close to 1.2K users from all parts of the world. It featured some of the very celebrated names from the programming fraternity. And with over 5.5K submissions into the contest, it’s safe to assume that the participants enjoyed their time. Starting from Chef and Socks to Chef and Dominating Subarrays, the varying difficulty levels of the problems kept the participants reach for their hairs every now and then. But then, isn’t that what makes a contest exciting? Yes, it does. And as the contest unfolded, we met many such moments.
And a lot of such moments featured many of our favorite names including mbrc, rajat1603, meteora, animesh_f and others. The February Lunchtime 2016 was set in close proximity with the final exam season here in India and perhaps in many other part of the world. But that did not deter our participants and their will to compete. And as soon as the problems were served, the competition was on right from the outset.
The Chef and Socks proved to be the most fun problem with a bout of accepted submissions right from the beginning. Almost everyone who joined the contest in the contest bagged Chef and Socks. Then there was Chef and Tic-Tac-Toe, which helped the participants move up the rank table by offering the green ticks here and there. But that was the end of the easy route to the top of the table. It was now testing times with Chef and Polygons and Chef and Dominating Subarrays. And they proved to be tough nuts to crack with only 14 and 6 ACs respectively. However, despite the scarcity of the ACs on the problems, we were immensely pleased with how the rank table appeared at the end of the contest.
It was long coming. The signs were always there and they just got brighter with every passing contest. Despite few slips and misses in recent times, we finally have a rank list predominantly featuring Indian school kids; 6 out of the 10, to be precise. Now we celebrate every victory in our competitions alike. To us, every participant is special. But there is a certain feel of joy and adulation to finally have a rank table subjugated by Indian school kids. Especially because, that is what we wanted when we started our Lunchtime programming series. And even though we still have a long way to go, we believe we are sailing in the right direction. So, let us take you to the final rank table of our February Lunchtime 2016.
We start with the ROW Top 10:
Now the Indian Top 10:
A huge round of applause to all these young brains and to everyone who helped us put up yet another delectable Lunchtime.
The team behind February Lunchtime 2016 features Pushkar Mishara, as tester; Praveen Dhinwa, as editorialist and contest admin; Sergey Kulik, as Russian translator; VNOI team, as Vietnamese translator; Hu Zecong, as Mandarin translator; and Rahul Arora, as language verifier. Joining these brilliant gentlemen was our team here at the CodeChef headquarters in Mumbai, and all you wonderful participants.
That brings us to the final segment of the February Lunchtime 2016 blog; we hope you enjoyed it as much as you enjoyed the contest. Now, let us take you to the editorials, which if you have not tasted yet, you must.
That will be all from everyone here at CodeChef. We will come back soon, with yet another tale from yet another contest and much more. Till then, keep watching this space, share the posts with your friends featuring in the post, and challenge them to take up their position in our monthly contests. In addition if you have anything to say, kindly do let us know, through an email, comment below, or a pigeon. We wouldn’t mind any of them.
Till next time, adios.
See you at the contests.
Leaving the season of love behind, but taking all the love from it, we came to February Cook-Off 2016. The expectation here was to have a great action packed Sunday night, with a crunchy problem set and plethora of code hungry participants battling for them. Even though that’s exactly what we got, it didn’t come as we would have wanted it to. And if you were the part of the contest, you would know what we are talking about. If you were not, let us tell you.
The stage was set perfectly for the February Cook-Off 2016 with one of the cutest problem set we have had in our Cook-Offs, courtesy Pavel Sheftelevich. The problems were ready, the participants were ready, but apparently this time we were not. You see, we had made some changes in our passwords, which did not get updated throughout the system. Thus, while the contest had a smooth start, the problems were not visible. And as this was the first instance of any such glitch affecting the contest, it took us substantial amount of time to figure out. Thirty minutes to be precise. We regret the inconvenience and sincerely apologize for it. By the time we figured the reason for the unexpected and unpleasant start of the contest, the ideal start of the contest we had in mind was completely in ruins. However, we got things sorted, pulled ourselves up, and extended the contest by 30 Minutes to make up for the lost time.
The February Cook-Off 2016 started at 10:00 Hrs IST on Sunday, 21st February, 2016. Thirty minutes late from its scheduled start. Late, but what a magnificent start we had. The first page of submissions was utterly pleasing to look at, with green ticks dominating the most of real estate there. Further adorning that page was the early appearances from the likes of uwi, ACRush, natsugiri, balajiganapath, and xellos0. All thanks to Puppy and Sum, featuring Tuzik and his master, this problem eventually became the most loved problem with over 1.4K submissions. We hope you enjoyed playing with Tuzik.
After Puppy and Sum, the playtime with Tuzik continued. And while the participants found it easy to beat Tuzik in some of his own game, he also gave a tough time to the participants. The hardest of them all was Puppy and Triangles, which saw close to 400 submissions in the entire duration of the contest, but only 1 of those submissions saw the green tick of happiness. Contrary to many popular guesses, it was natsugiri who cracked the problem just 10 minutes before the end of the contest and thus emerged victorious in our February Cook-Off 2016.
Now, before we move further, let us introduce to all our winners from the COOK67:
We start with ROW top 10:
Now, the Indian top 5:
A big round of applause to all these brilliant minds, and to all you wonderful people on your performance!
Now, let us present you the final stats for the COOK67:
All, the fun that you had with Tuzik came from Pavel and the testing of those problems to make them fun for you was done Kanstantsin Sokal. Accompanying Pavel and Kanstantsin on the problem setting bench were Sunny Aggarwal as editorialist, Vasya Antoniuk as Russian translator, Hu Zecong as Mandarin translator, Team VNOI as Vietnamese Translator, Rahul Arora as Language verifier, and the our ever diligent contest admin Praveen Dhinwa. Let’s put our hands together in appreciation of the hard work that these gentlemen put cooking up such scrumptious contest. We hope you enjoyed every bit of it. Except the start, of course.
Now, before we draw curtains on February Cook-Off 2016’s blog post and give it its place in the history books, let us take you to the editorials of the contest.
That brings us to the conclusion to February Cook-Off 2016. We hope you enjoyed Tuzik and his various games. We will come back with yet another exciting contest minus the initial glitch. If you have any queries, concerns, or quarrels regarding the contest or any aspect of it, feel free to get in touch with us. You can post them in the comments section below or can send them straight to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
That will be all from us for now. We will come back soon with the story of February LunchTime 2016, with stories of the adventures of our little geniuses in school.
Till next time.
Nested with Valentine’s Week, the February Challenge 2016 brought programmers even closer to their true love i.e. programming, through its 10 crunchy problems. And we are here to elaborate the 10 day affair between the problems and the programmers. So, sit back and enjoy the tale of testing and teasing.
It all started when the participants laid their eyes on Maksym Bevza’s Chef-Detective. Unlike the intricate murder mysteries that Sherlock cracks, this was a cakewalk. In fact animan123 cracked it in 6 mins. It was also the first submission into the contest. So, it’s now safe to say that it all started on a pleasing note. And it remained that way for the entire duration of the contest.
After solving the murder mystery, participants moved on to our omnipresent Praveen Dhinwa‘s Devu and a light discussion, and Alex Gu‘s Rectangles of Love. While, the former seemed a seamless simple operation, the later turned out to be not so simple. Time Limit Exceeded, was the most frequent result code for most of the early submitter on these problems. However, like every relation, with time the participants became fond of them and happy times ensued.
These simple tasks strengthened the affair with constantly increasing affection between the participants and the problems. It got even sweeter with Vasya Antoniuk & Sunny Aggarwal’s Chef and Strange Operations and Matrix Maximum Sum respectively. However, the latter did not get the same love as the former, which became the second most loved problem from the contest with 1476 submissions. By now, we were half way into the contest and going by the constantly lowering ACs on the rank tables, we knew we have testing times ahead.
And so it began. The second creation of Maksym Bevza, the creator of the cakewalk, Call Center Schedule turned out to be a tough schedule to follow. It saw close to 2K submissions, however only 80 of them tasted the sweet nectar of AC. Then came Sergey Nagin, he had both test and tease planned for the participants. While the Sereja and Two Lines spread some happiness and relaxed the atmosphere, Sereja and Permutations was not so pleasing to deal with. Only 43 of over 1100 submissions made on Sereja and Permutations had AC against them.
Amid all this testing and teasing somewhere our winners were making their way up the rank tables. Even the hard challenge of Weird Sum and Chef and Job and Rest from Alexey Zayakin & Dymtro Berezin could not slow them down. In the end the constant pursue of love for competitive programming emerged triumphant. We had all ten problems receive love, some more than others, from everyone. And to find out who stood where on the rank tables let us take you through our rank list.
We start with the ladies. Give a big round of applause to our top five girl coders:
The ROW top 10:
The Indian top 20:
And now it’s time to meet our little geniuses from schools. We start with ROW:
Now the Indian Top 5 School Students:
And finally we have our special achievers. Users with top score for the challenge problem, Chef and Job and Rest apart from the winners:
The ROW top 3:
Now the Indian top 3:
Now, the final stats for February Challenge 2016:
A big round of applause for all you wonderful people for showing so much love in the month of love!
Now, before we put a full stop to this long delayed tale of love of February Challenge 2016, let us take you to the sweet editorials from Miguel Oliveira. Go enjoy them, share them, and show them the love that they deserve.
We hope you had a wonderful season of love and even better February Challenge 2016. We will come soon with another small tale from February Cook-Off 2016. Till then keep sharing your thoughts, suggestions, and feedback about the contest or anything that you would like to tell us through your comments.
Till next time.
The second in the series of #ICPC Indian finalist interviews comes from Kunal Singhal (a.k.a. knsn) from IIT Delhi. Here is a brief about his ICPC profile followed by the interview.
How old were you when you started programming and what got you started in programming?
I think, I started coding in c++ in class 9. My motivation was to compete in inter-school competitions happening all over Delhi. We did win some of those contests. But I really got introduced to competitive programming when I gave INOI in my 12th grade and cleared it. And then, I learnt systematically in the IOI Training Camp. I learnt almost all the algorithms there.
What inspired you to get into competitive programming? Were you passionate about it since school or anything special in college?
I always loved mathematics and was part of Robotics club in my school. But programming robots was not challenging enough, so I dived into competitive programming given the first chance.
How to start preparing for ACM ICPC for those who are new to algorithms and competitive programming? It would be great if you could share your journey from a beginner to a World Finalist today.
One simple advice. Practice, Learn as you do. Do not read theory first. Attempt problems, get blocked, search, ask, read, learn and apply. Follow it like a recipe.
Can you throw some light on how did you and your team manage the time and coordinate during the onsite finals? It would be great if you could share some tips for the next year ICPC aspirants.
Our time management at onsite was quite ad-hoc so not much to say. A good chemistry is needed though. So, make sure that your teammates are also your friends.
What did you do to improve over these years and maintain your target status for all these years with all the competition? What do you think was your most effective method to improve? Any hacks on how to reach where you are in less time ?
No hacks, genuine curiosity and perseverance is the key.
Hope you enjoyed the interview We are coming up with more, stay tuned!
Today is the day when it all began – the day when the cerebration of creating a truly global programming platform, while amending the programming scenario in India, transitioned from our minds to the canvas. And CodeChef was born.
Seven years, thirteen hundred contests, and over nine million submissions later, here we are with you all by our side, standing tall as ever. It has been one joyful ride to say the least. The transition from infancy towards adolescence has taught us some hard lessons and given us a plethora of moments to cheer. And to give credit where it is due, let us start by thanking those who made this happen.
First and foremost, it is you, who constitute the heart and soul of our community. None of this would have been possible without you. You have been there with us through the thick and thin of it. Always.
The conscientious SPOJ team for its constant support through their unwavering and loyal Judge. You’re the engines powering our McLaren.
Our amazing Chefs – the problem setters, editorialists, testers, the translators, and the omnipresent contest admin. They define what we are.
The support team and staff at Directi, for ensuring that CodeChef is up and running 24×7. They are the people whom no one sees or knows but they keep working behind the scenes to help us run the platform.
All our beloved team members, interns, former and current, who worked hard and are consistently working (when not on the foosball table) to take CodeChef to newer heights.
Every single individual above has contributed immensely towards the development of the CodeChef platform and community.
Now that we have thanked all the people involved to take us where we stand today, it is only imperative for us to show you our report card. The effort put in by everyone associated with CodeChef certainly isn’t quantifiable. If anything, it’s an indication of how far we have come from where we were when we started. And it does make us happy today. We hope you like them too.
* All the data mentioned above is from March 2011 – February 2016
If there’s one word to describe our past year, it would be turbulent. We saw some amazing highs and we have been through some crushing lows. And as we embark upon another year, let us take you through some of the highlights of the year gone by. Do share your favorite moment of this year with us.
To start with what pegged us down, it has traditionally been the shorter format of the game. We have been found wanting in handling the load at the start. And this year too has not gone without those hiccups. The load is an indication of your growing love and we were extremely disappointed in not being able to do justice to it on multiple occasions be it the August Cook-Off, Amritapuri Online Round, or the Hindustan University Online Round. We have made plenty of improvements to give you a much better experience at these short contests, and only when we thought that things have improved we were fooled once again in our last CookOff. Are we doing anything about it? Certainly we are. Do read about it here.
With the goof-ups behind us, let the happy times roll in and let us brag about some good things too. What may seem to be contrary to popular belief, most of our engineering team’s time this year went into performance improvements. We hope you will see and experience the benefits soon. However, there are also some other moments/feats/features that we have achieved in past one year, that bring smiles to us.
We brought back our annual onsite event SnackDown after a hiatus of 5 years. With participation of over 8K teams from across the globe in the SnackDown 2015, this was clearly our biggest event of last few years! We only hope that this continues to be a more regular annual event from now on.
For our little friends in schools, we introduced the beginner category in our practice section.
We added a tad more security to our kitchen as we moved to “https://” from “http://”.
Coming to the performance fixes, we changed our caching layer and contest page loading logic.
To add a pinch of excitement to our contests, we introduced the feature to freeze rank list, hide time and memory of submissions in a running contest.
Our online IDE “CODE, COMPILE & RUN” became more flexible with the introduction of multiple tabs and code saving features. What was even more exciting was to make submissions to problems through it!
Our comment page got a facelift, becoming even more interactive and secure.
We feel great about the fact that we could be of help in hosting the ACM ICPC Amritapuri Regionals onsite round, when things went bad. It was a moment of huge test for us to be able to make sure that nothing gets goofed up in transitioning a running contest, something that we had never done before. We are happy that we were able to do it as we have been ourselves been a victim of load failures many times in the past. This undoubtedly tops our list of feats we are/was/were/will be proud of.
We ended up hosting all the rounds (including online and onsite) of all there ACM ICPC 2015 – 2016 India regionals. This was the first time we hosted an onsite round for any ICPC regionals.
And finally, the effort that we have been putting in with CodeChef for Schools. Now into its second year, the initiative has seen a slow start but it has started finding firm steps amidst the programming fraternity. We have seen a constantly increasing presence of school students not only in our monthly contests but also across all other programming contests/workshops in the country, which is an indication of brighter things to come in the future. We also have many schools, colleges, students, professors and professionals from around the country joining hands with us in promoting programming among the schools.
Most of these features and changes, which we introduced in the past year, were all result of your feedback and suggestions from our community members and we will continue to follow the process. Keep sending your requests and choke our pipelines – it keeps us busy and helps us make the platform more suited to your needs.
And now, it is gifting time. Yes, what is a birthday without some giveaways? So, here a small gift that we hope you will like. There is a lot more exciting stuff that has been keeping our Chefs up till late nights and you can expect them soon. Very soon.
There is a new “Laddu Accrual System”. Yes, it’s as sweet as it sounds. We are sure this will bring a lot of smiles to the community. We are aslo running a small contest on our facebook stream. The first one to find out the correct URL for our newly launched Laddu Accrual System, gets 300 laddus. So, what are you waiting for? Let the website scrapping begin?
Now, while we take a dip in the pool of accolades accumulated in the past one year and use the critiques towards enhancing the platform, you go search your closets for your party hats and bugles. Because no matter how clichéd it sounds, there can never be a party without you.
That will be all from us for our 7th anniversary blog. It has been quite a ride with you all, and we hope to have many many more. With that it’s time now to start the celebrations of our 7th anniversary and we hope to find you all by our side.
In anticipation of yet another exciting year ahead, let’s set the ball rolling.