Top 5 Websites For Programming Competitions
For those algorithmic geeks and dirty programming hands, this information might be very lucrative, because here’s a list of the top 5 websites for programming/coding contests/competitions. Let’s get started:
1. ACM ICPC
ACM – ICPC is the most prestigious programming challenge for college students round the globe. Students from IITs actively participate in the yearly challenge, first at the regional level and if they qualify that then at the world finals. It is known for its toughest programming challenge on earth, being the oldest and most sought after competition. For the latest updates of the ACM community in India checkout
You can visit their archived site here to find tonnes of problems to get your hands dirty on and get a feel of high of having contributed your bit on the international programming site.
There is a menu on Left side of the page called ‘Online Judge’ there is an option like Browse problems. Under this section you will find the whole archived problems from 1988 to 2012 regionals and world finals programming questions. And as you can predict the contests have had a glorious history attached with it. You click on a particular problem and you can see time limit on it usually in seconds, making one realize the toughness of competition it would have been during the lie contest. But since you are solving an archived problem, you can take your own time to solve it and let your grey cells to wander and explore as much they can.
There is another menu item called Live Rankings which proudly shows its top contestants/ champions.
The regional winners get to participate in world finals, thus a free trip and the World finalists are rewarded handsomely with cash, certificate and fame.
Codechef is an Indian website which hosts global programming contests. It has relatively easier programming problems as compared to ACM ICPC, infact Code Chef seeks pleasure in preparing some of the finest geeks on the site for the ACM finals.
This is a place to Practice, Compete and Discuss. There are practice problems to make your concepts clear and boost your confidence. You can start solving Q from Easy, Medium, and go upto Hard and Challenge Level.
It holds monthly contests named like ‘August- Lunch’ and various other random challenges named like ‘August Cook- off’ to excite the grey cells of a computer science geek. A newly added venture is programming contests and preparation session for school kids, so that they can sharpen their logics while enjoying childhood.
CodeChef honours their winners with cash- some thousand bucks to the top 2 champs for their monthly contests and ofcourse their names are entered in the Hall of Fame. And the team which manages to beat the 29th position at the ACM ICPC world finals are awarded with Rs. 8 lacs.
It is a new website but not at all a newbie, in-fact it is ‘the Programmer’s playground’.
Hackerrank is a place to code, learn and compete. Here you will find contests related to Artificial Intelligence, Algorithms, Functional Programming and a miscellaneous section called the Miscellaneous Code Golf. Under the e Artificial Intelligence section you will find problems related to Bot Building, Machine Learning, Cellular Automation Games, etc.
Under the algorithms section you find problems related to searching, sorting, strings, graph theory, NP complete problems, etc. I am sure these words will sound quite familiar to a 2nd &3rd yr computer science engg. student. You start solving these niche questions; mind you will find you have got a better grip on the concept.
Then there is this Miscellaneous Code Golf section having problems related to Normal and Esoteric languages.
And lastly there is this Functional Programming section containing some initial problems on the same followed by problems on Recursion.
And once you have practiced enough, here comes the Challenge part, where you have regular Hackathons, Gamathons, CodeSprints and other archived contests where you can submit your solutions and become eligible to enter the hall of fame. The first ever Gamathon is on and is named in a trendy way ‘Gomoku’.
And there is a column called LeaderBorad where you can see the top rankers of the world.
But you need to login before you can browse anything in there.
Fame and lucrative gift hampers.
4. SPOJ- Sphere online judge
It is another world renowned online programming contest site. Here users from all over participate and submit their niche solutions to some mind boggling algorithmic and coding problems. This site sees enormous Polish and Russian geeks who constantly are in the top contestants.
On the left side of the home page there are options for Tutorials, problems, contests and forums for discussion. You can also live chat at #spoj on freenode.
The tutorial is on how to use Spoj and not on tutorial to algorithmic problems, giving information on which programming language to choose, memory and time constraints and answering other FAQs of new users.
There is a button called ‘status’ where you can see top users having solved a problem in particular language in particular time –span and min memory. You can see a lot many Indian names on the list, something to be proud of!!
And then there is this active Discussion forum to discuss your explorations or doubts.
Spoj honours its champs with artistic items, encouraging words and of course fame.
The top coder community has around 507,551 members, something that this site loves to boast about. Well this is a place to Design, Build and Solve as per the motto of the site. Click on the first link under the category called Community at the top of the page and go to Developer option and you can see a page dedicated to programming contests and software development.
On the top left you can view the Competition which are live. Varied topics like UI development and QA & maintenance are also included in here. You can watch out the event calendar if you are interested in participating in one of the coding challenges. You can see a column of active contests on the page like Bug races, Bug Hunts, Conceptualization, etc. and just below that is a column called Top 10 which shows the top 10 ratings of algorithms, algorithm countries, Architecture, Development and Test suites.
Tutorials: You also have a section called Tutorials to learn and practice before you actually jump into a live programming tournament. There are 3 sub categories under Tutorials called the Algorithm tutorials, Software Tutorials and Marathon Tutorials. You will find tutorials on Binary Search, Greedy Approach, Dynamic Programming, Binary Indexed trees and few others. Under the Software Tutorial category you will find Development, design process and patterns and Module Architecture.
The top coder awards their champions with fame, cash, t-shirts and other lucrative prizes.
Other 2 websites which conduct programming contests are
www.techgig.com/codecontest.com and www.programmr.com
But the above mentioned top 5 , in the ascending order of their toughness and popularity,are the best programming contests sites. If you are a novice, you can pick a site say CodeChef and start solving problems at the Easy level and slowly advance to higher levels. Well, if you are skilled programmer then ACM and Spoj are what you should target for. Well, for random problems visit Hackerrank and Topcoder.