“It was a nice experience teaching the blooming competitive coders in INOI workshop”

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Today we’re in conversation with Abhishek Pandey, known in the CodeChef community as vijju123, about his experience as a volunteer at one of our INOI Workshops in Mumbai that was conducted on the 12th and 13th of January. For those who don’t know him, Abhishek is an active competitive programmer with a max rating of 6 stars on CodeChef, who caught our eye by being an active and helpful contributor to our discussion forum. We reached out requesting him to be one of our discussion forum moderators and he readily agreed. Abhishek also has been a tester, editorialist (a favorite with the CodeChef community) and is the admin of the external rated contests hosted on CodeChef.

Abhishek’s dedication to the community and his hard work earned him an internship with CodeChef’s Contest team. As a part of his internship, he visited our Mumbai office for a week and we roped him in for this workshop, without getting much of his consent 😛 Fortunately he enjoyed himself and our students loved interacting with him.

Here’s what one of the participants of the workshop had to say,

“I was initially extremely afraid of Graph Theory and was taken aback by how easy the trainers (especially Abhishek Pandey) made it seem.”

Well, that was a lot from us, now let’s hear from Abhishek about his experience.

Did you enjoy teaching this workshop?

“It was a nice experience teaching the blooming competitive coders in INOI workshop :)”

I always wanted to try my hand at teaching. I kind of developed a liking for it while tutoring my younger brothers and cousins :p. But that’s an altogether different story.

Why the workshop was a nice experience in the first place?

Because of the kids :). When someone comes with a will to learn, even the teacher’s wish to teach gets rekindled. It’s a lot of fun to teach someone who is curious about the subject.

What are your feelings towards the workshop?

Two words – Positivity, and Responsibility.

The workshop overall is a positive experience, and no doubt such ventures should be encouraged – even at the college level.

Responsibility – because you have to make sure the kids don’t go home disappointed! That’s why I tried my best- even if it meant preparing/revising lecture plan at 4 am in the morning after finishing work. I was happy to know that the workshop was up to my mentor’s standards when she assigned the role to me.

Share some tips/pointers

  • Peer learning is helpful and helps sustain motivation
  • The struggle is inevitable. If you don’t face struggles in your journey- then you’re doing it wrong
  • If you are relying too much on someone else to solve your doubts, you won’t know how to solve them yourself!
  • Most people don’t understand tutorials because they are intimidated by the unknown.
  • Don’t follow the herd, lead it instead. Find DP (Dynamic Programming) tough? Well, you should be looking for a challenge and not shying away from it!
  • Time management is a skill that’s going to help you throughout life.

We thank Abhishek for his dedication and urge more volunteers to join CodeChef in our Schools initiative. You can learn more about becoming a volunteer here: https://www.codechef.com/school/volunteer

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