We are back with the third and final member of team “11coders” from Indian Institute of Technology – Roorkee. Let’s hear his side of the story.
Team name: 11coders
Team rank: Amritapuri regional: #2
Q. How old were you when you started programming and what got you started in programming?
A. I started coding when I was 18 (In my first year of B. Tech).
Q. What inspired you to get into competitive programming? Were you passionate about it since school or anything special in college?
A. I was very much interested in mathematics and puzzles, I enjoyed solving them, and I got similar fun in solving programming problems which required good logic. Then I continued solving problems, soon I got to know about ICPC in my first year itself. Thanks to PAG (Programming and Algorithms Group) in IIT Roorkee, which directed a bunch of puzzle lovers towards a bigger goal named ICPC.
Q. 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.
A. Initially I used to practice problems on SPOJ; soon I realized that many problems require a well known algorithm which I was unaware of. Then I started to read new algorithms. Soon I started giving contests on CodeChef and codeforces, solving problems with a time constraint is really fun. Main goal for giving contests is to learn by up solving problems which I couldn’t solve during contest.
Q. 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.
A. Before onsite we did a lot of team practice; this helped us to know our weakness and strength. Knowing strength of other teammates can help to pass questions to the person who is strong in that topic. Our main weakness was a lot of penalties, so to overcome it we always used to read the code once to ensure correctness. This approach did slow us a bit but minimized the penalties.
Q. 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 ;)?
A. The only way to improve is practice and I too did the same. To decrease amount of time, one just need to increase the amount of practice.
Q. Do you have any other thoughts as we wrap up?
That was Aman from team 11coders. We hope you enjoyed the interview. We have few more in the pipeline and will be publishing them soon. Till then, share this interview among your friends, and family and send in your wishes and questions for them. #GoForGold.