11 years ago, when CodeChef broke into the programming scene in India, we were just novices with a dream to build a thriving programming culture in India and abroad. Today, being one of the largest competitive programming platforms in the world, there’s a simple observation we can vouch for – every humble beginning promises a sky high trajectory, as long as you keep going. On that note, here’s something for the budding programmers who are just starting out with a head full of dreams – Starters. The first ever rated contest for Division 3 programmers on the CodeChef platform, Starters is a 3-hour monthly programming challenge that gives the novice coder, and that means absolute beginners too, an even playing field to make their presence felt.
What does it mean for the beginner?
With the new contest on the platform, school students, first-time competitive programmers, women coders looking to resume their programming career, first year college students, anyone from computer science or non-CS streams, or anyone with basic programming knowledge would finally be playing in a league of their own. Not overshadowed by the heavyweights of competitive programming from Div 1 and Div 2, or missing the chance to have the stars of recognition beside their names on the platform, this opens up a new avenue for amateur programmers. Competitive programming should not be elusive to anybody on the basis of skills. Starters marks the beginning of an era where programmers step into the arena right from their budding days, and work their way up to the bigger leagues.
Programming is a knowledge, which is best acquired by hands-on experience. Books, study materials, and discussions go a long way, and CodeChef makes sure you have enough resources on them, but nothing beats the experience one gains from a contest, especially when it’s rated. It’s more than just games, scores, ratings – it gives you a situation exactly like what you’d face at a big tech company interview. It trains the mind to dish out the best solution within the shortest possible time. So far, all our monthly contests have been rather intimidating for the novice coders, sometimes leading them to copy others’ codes out of sheer pressure. Starters opens up the space for a healthy contesting atmosphere, appropriate for amateurs.
How does it work?
Starting Jan 31st, 2021, we’re going to have a 3-hour IOI-styled programming contest best suited for absolute beginners, every month. All programmers, from all Divisions, can partake in the contest, but only Division 3 players are eligible to be rated. On the last Sunday of every month, 4 PM – 7 PM (IST) is when the action unfolds on Starters. For all those logging in from outside India, check your timezones here. While you’re at it, why don’t you register and set yourself a reminder for this Sunday?
Rules are rules
The problems in Starters might be leaning towards the lenient side, but not the rules. To make sure the initiative serves its purpose, all coders are expected to abide by the CodeChef code of conduct. There are a few more things that we’d like you to know before getting into the action, and it’s all mentioned in detail here.
We want you to feel the heat of competitive programming, the thrill of it, as well as the uncountable benefits, but at the right pace. Let’s get cracking.