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

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And it’s time to meet the third member of team “stronglyConected.” Meet Akul Sareen. Akul here shares her thoughts on ACM ICPC 2016 – 2017 World finals and how his preparation for it. For any aspiring programmer out there, these are some true words of wisdom.

  • Team name: stronglyConnected

  • Team rank: Kolkata regional: #3

Team “stronglyConnected” from Birla Institute of Technology & Science - Pilani Campus

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

A. I was in Class 12. I came across project Euler and liked the fact that I could come up with some idea and make a computer do the dirty work for me.

Q. What inspired you to get into competitive programming? Were you passionate about it since school or anything special in college?

A. It was fun, and that was enough motivation for me to get started.

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. Pick any online judge, sort the problems by most solved and start practicing. Whenever you come across any problem all it usually takes is one search on the internet to get the answers you are looking for.

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. Try and identify the cakewalk + easy problems as quickly as possible and get rid of them. After that the pace of the contest slows down considerably and you can decide how your team wants to manage the keyboard etc. depending on the contest.

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 most improvement usually happens when you are having too much fun to notice it. So, as long as you are enjoying practicing, carry on.

“It was fun, and that was enough motivation for me to get started” and that is what should be the ultimate motivation. So, kids if you are preparing for any programming competition, or have just embarked on the journey into the programming world, make sure you enjoy the ride. It will be all worthwhile in the end.

That will be it for our series of interviews with the ACM ICPC 2016 – 2017 world finalists. We hope you enjoyed them and we hope they have inspired you enough to pursue your programming interests. In anticipation of covering some more of you in the years to come, we will not put down the pen. If you liked these interviews and would like to hear from some more famous programmers, kindly do let us know and we shall bring them all for you.

Regards,
Rudreshwar
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