2018 Recap: A look back on CodeChef’s adventures over the past year

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CodeChef has completed 10 years of being India’s most popular competitive programming platform, but we’re only getting bigger and better with time! 2018 was a huge year for us, we kicked things off with the launch of rating divisions in March of 2018. The new divisions allow for fair competition among our users, with Division 2 users now able to compete against each other for prizes and ranks in our contests for the first time. We also focused on promoting competitive programming among women through a dedicated Women’s Day campaign.

CodeChef's 10th Anniversary

Through March and April, our team lead Anup Kalbalia, was jetting from one college to another to spread the word about CodeChef and encourage participation in the ICPC. Several universities had the benefit of this orientation session and this year we hope to reach even more. At the end of the month, Anup also represented CodeChef at the ICPC where he spoke at the ICPC CLIS 2018 about competitive programming & sustainability. Anup was also invited to offer live commentary on ICPC’s global online channels. A proud moment for CodeChef!

May was a jam-packed month for us! We held a special workshop for School Teachers at ABV-IIITM Gwalior, we felicitated the young Indian programmers who represented the nation at the prestigious IOI competition, we held our first ever open programming workshop in Hyderabad, as well as our summer school programming workshops.

Through June and July, our workshops continued, with a special focus on teacher training. CodeChef offers a series of workshops for different groups, including DSA training for college students and professionals, pedagogy training for teachers and professors and Python training for school teachers in Pune in collaboration with CSPathshala. 2018 saw us administer every kind of workshop in our repertoire with tremendous success.

In August, we had a trio of achievements to our credit. Our Alibaba Hackathon represented not only our very first partnership with a major international company but also our very first Hackathon as well as the public launch of our API. This was a huge feat for us, and we were heartened by the community’s amazing response to our API. You can check out some of the interesting app ideas that we received from you all here. September saw the launch of SnackDown 2019 registrations which kept the team busy.

There was no slowing down in the last quarter as this period saw the launch of online qualifying rounds for both SnackDown and ICPC 2019. We powered through three rounds of elimination for SnackDown and finally by December, we had our top teams.

December also found our team traveling to all ends of the country for the much anticipated ICPC Regionals in Kharagpur, Kolkata, Kanpur, Gwalior, Pune, Amritapuri and Coimbatore. Meeting competitive programmers from every corner of the country was an exciting and exhilarating moment for us. Our T-shirts had a new and rather bold statement, and they were once again a huge hit with the participants.

In January, there wasn’t a moment to breathe as SnackDown preparations were in full swing by the new year. But our Schools team found a couple of days to dedicate to ICO related activities. CodeChef is the community and platform partner of IARCS for the ICO, as part of this partnership we not only conducted the ZCO and INOI exams, we also conducted our first ever completely volunteer-driven INOI workshops in 10 cities. These workshops were created to introduce school students to some of the more advanced topics that were essential to compete at the INOI. Not only did our attendees love them, our intern Abhishek enjoyed teaching them too!

SnackDown 2019 in February turned out to be a fabulous experience. Though hosting in a foreign city meant that we were in for a few surprises, CodeChef took everything in their stride and worked hard to make the contest and the trip to Bengaluru, memorable for all the teams who attended (that includes Team CodeChef!)

Now on our 10th birthday, we’re going right back to the beginning of the roller-coaster for another year full of coding excitement and magic as we embark on ever more new projects, and work together to deliver more experiences to our growing community.

Cheers,
The Chef

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