12 Happy Years, The Chef Is A Big Boy Now!

3 min read

It’s official! The Chef has turned twelve, and we have to admit that it’s been a marvelous journey so far. Alongside an extraordinarily supportive community that we will always be grateful for, we have learnt so much in the last year. We’ve grown from our mistakes, explored and experimented with new concepts, and as we sit back and think about it all, we feel extremely thankful for all the love from you guys.  

The Chef’s kitchen was busy throughout the year, and we hosted close to 230 contests overall. We had some serious learning and competing going on as we had a grand total of nearly a 1,000 problems created on CodeChef this year. We saw equal amounts of enthusiasm from the participant’s side as well, and we had a record breaking 33,210 users on the site this February Long Challenge.

Looking back, one of the most standout moments from the past year for us (other than the pandemic 😛) was definitely our move to Unacademy. The move meant a lot to us as it finally gave us the opportunity to introduce live content by India’s best programmers to our community. As we worked hard to achieve this goal, our first foray into the world of audio-visual learning came in August 2020, when we launched a brand-new YouTube channel “Learn Competitive Programming With CodeChef”. Our channel was showered with tons and tons of positive feedback as students around the world dropped by to tell us how our videos helped them. This was just the beginning of things, and soon after this, on the 13th of September, we were able to introduce our learning program “Learn Competitive Programming With CodeChef” on the Unacademy platform. One of our main aims with the program was bridging the learning gap students have to face and provide every hard-working programmer without a shot at a bright future. We were able to successfully carry out this mission, and we are proud of the way the program turned out. 

We were pretty active in our school’s department as well, and we partnered up with IARCS this year as always to promote the Indian Computing Olympiad (ICO). Our campaign was a success and even during the times of the pandemic, we managed to get over 1.3k registrations. Alongside this, to help students prepare for the Olympiad, we ran a training program for students registering for the Zonal Informatics Olympiad. The program was accessible to all and covered topics such as Combinatorics, Number Theory, Sliding Window Algorithms, and more. We even had little practice contests to help students assess themselves! 

Another milestone for us from last year was the growth we witnessed in Indian colleges through our College Chapters Initiatives. We had 650+ applications out of which we were able to onboard 165 new Chapters after rigorous evaluation. We now have 280 Chapters spread across India, and the CodeChef College Chapters family is growing stronger every single day. Leading these Chapters we have over a thousand Chapter Leaders who bring their best all the time to help cultivate an enviable coding culture in their college. We are extremely proud of our college students who are without a doubt, the most enthusiastic people we have had the pleasure of working with. It’s because of them that so many colleges across the country now have a healthy coding culture. You can learn more about CodeChef College Chapters here.

Over the course of the past year, we have held a dozen events which include everything from training series to short duration workshops. We made a conscious effort to ensure that there was some learning series lined up every weekend that was open for all, and we had our community members join us each time with unmatched enthusiasm. One of our personal favorites out of all these was “Conversations with CodeChef”. In this series we talked to industry masterminds about their journey to the top and what it takes to be the best of the best. As the geniuses talked about their experiences as CTO’s, we had hundreds of avid coders join us to learn from them. 

Another event we are proud of was the Indian Programming Camp 2020. After two vibrant seasons, we were back for a third and this one was open for all. We had a syllabus by track for all our three Divisions and there was some intense learning happening within the 3-days. We had eight of our top educators dish out knowledge on topics like Game Theory, Suffix Structures, Graph Theory and more. The camp also came equipped with topic wise problem solving, and all participants were awarded certificates post completion!

Overall, it’s been a hell of a ride for us. We cannot possibly talk about everything we have done this past year, or show our appreciation in a single blog but nevertheless, we would like to thank you once again for all the love and support. As we look back and cherish the happy memories, we are also getting ready for what we hope will be an even better year for us. Cheers to these 12 years, and looking forward to many more🥂!

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