Meet ACM ICPC 2016 World Finalist Anuj Yadav of team “stronglyConnected” from Birla Institute of Technology & Science – Pilani Campus

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Greetings CodeCheffer! We are back with yet another stronglyConected programmer, Anuj Yadav. A member of team “stronglyConnected” from Birla Institute of Technology & Science – Pilani Campus Anuj takes us through his journey to the ACM ICPC 2016 – 2017 World finals. So, fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the ride.

  • Team name: stronglyConnected
  • Team rank: Kolkata regional: #3

Team “stronglyConnected”

Q. How old were you when you started programming and what got you started in programming?

A. I started programming in the second semester of my college. I saw my college friends doing questions on SPOJ in their rooms and decided to try it out myself.

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. I think the best resources to start preparing ACM ICPC for a beginner is to start doing questions on CodeChef, Codeforces, Topcoder or Hackerrank starting from the easy problems on those sites. They cover a wide range of topics and have editorials for most of the problems so that you won’t get stuck. You should also do questions on Project Euler to improve your mathematics. Start taking part in CodeChef, CF, TC, HR contests after you have reached a basic level of coding. Make sure you up solve the problems that you could not solve during the contests.

I started by doing 100 SPOJ problems and after that I started doing CodeChef Contests, Codeforces Contests, Topcoder SRMs and some Hackerrank Ad-Infinitums. CodeChef contests are very good for learning new data structures. Nowadays, I only do TC SRMs and CF contests.

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. Each problem was read by at least two of the members of the team. If one of the members has a solution for the problem in mind then he explained the problem to the other person who verified the solution. If the solution was agreed upon by the two people then one of the people would code the solution (Usually Pranet or Akul in my team) and the other person would move on to read other problems.

We prepared for the regionals by doing many virtual gym contests on Codeforces. It is important to ensure that you practice team contests in an environment that would be there at the regionals. As there is only one computer available for coding during the regionals you should also ensure that you use only one computer for coding during your team practice.

Q. Do you have any other thoughts as we wrap up?

A. Please do not get into the habit of solving only easy problems rather than the ones that challenge you as that habit is tough to break later.

Good Tips for improving:

We will be back many more wonderful thoughts from these programming geniuses in our future posts. So, keep watching this space. Till then, share this interview among your friends, and family and send in your wishes and questions for them. #GoForGold.

Team CodeChef

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