Traditional competitive coding is a mind sport where you compete with multiple people in solving algorithmic problems. After solving the problem theoretically , you need to implement it and submit the program to an online judge which then evaluates it.
Although the traditional definition of competitive coding involves competing in a time bound contest, many people prefer solving these problems in a much more relaxed environment.
Irrespective of whether you are a traditional competitive programmer or just solving algorithmic problems, if you keep on solving problems regularly , you will see a lot of benefits which include:
Improves your chance of getting hired.
Interview process of all the tech giants and other software companies is highly biased towards hiring people good at solving algorithmic problems within a given time. This is true , for both online coding round as well as for onsite whiteboard coding interview rounds.
If you dream to be a part of a big tech giants like FAANG companies and are confused about how to increase your chances of hiring, start by creating an account on websites like Codeforces and start taking part in short contests. This step alone will give you a clear edge over other candidates while appearing for interview.
Improves your understanding of algorithms
When we study algorithms just for clearing exams, we rarely pay attention to the correctness of the algorithms or the multiple different variations of that same algorithm. for example, when studying Graphs for exams you will study about BFS, but while solving problems on Graphs, you will come across several variations of BFS like 0-1 BFS.
When you solve problems, you will be constantly required to think about the assumptions, you will learn more about different invariants involved in each algorithm, which will drastically improve your understanding of algorithms.
Makes you faster
If you keep on solving more and more problems, you will notice that your speed has increased. This is because of two reasons :
- Whenever you see a new problem, there is a very high chance that you have seen a similar problem before. Therefore, you can think of the solution to the problem very quickly.
- Makes you smarter : Successfully solving a problem requires the combining logical ability along with computer science concepts. Practicing these two on a daily basis, will improve your logical thinking "muscle" making you smarter.
Improves your concentration
In a short contest , you will be required to solve an average of 4 problems in a span of 3 hours. That gives you an average of 45 minutes of time per problem, in which you have to think of a solution, code the solution and debug (if any issue arises). Moreover, during these 3 hours, your brain is consistently in "active" state. Even if you are bad at concentrating for long amount of time now, eventually you will see that your concentration is increasing.
Is Too much fun
Competitive coding is a mind sport, where you compete with thousands of other participants. Just like competing in any sport be it Cricket, Football or Chess brings makes us more competitive and makes time fly , so will competitive coding as you start taking contests seriously and participating.