Why I started competitive programming?


I first tried my hand at competitive programming when I in my first year in college. It was a 2-3 hour programming competition and had 3 questions. I did okay(solved 2/3, couldn’t solve the most difficult one) in the competition but didn’t enjoy it. So, I never tried it again until the semester break. In the break, I gave it another go. I did okay again and still didn’t have fun. So, I just stopped doing it. It made no sense to me. I thought it’s better to spend my time exploring and learning development rather than just doing programming for programming’s sake. Yes, that’s what I called competitive programming, “programming for programming’s sake”!


Recently I started competitive programming again but this time I had a different approach. I didn’t participate in any competition. I thought of competitive programming as an exercise.
Just like we do physical exercise, I started doing competitive programming. I would set aside around an hour daily and will do a question or two on daily basis.
And now it’s been around a month and I kinda like it. I have a simple approach to this:

  1. Attempt the question. If I get to the solution, great.
  2. But if I don’t get to the answer, I approach the question again the next day.
  3. If I’m still not able to do it, I search around the internet for the logic but I still implement solution through my code.
  4. After completing the question, I will search around the internet and see how other people approached the question.

Although it’s only been a month, I feel like this is something which I can keep doing. It’s something which will keep my programming brain exercised(hopefully).