Competitive Programming – Myths and Mind Blowing Facts

Competitive Programming has been the most trending activity to be part of for the whole coders’ community on today’s date. Competitive programming is a brain game conducted in different sites over the internet, where coders solve the challenges by coding it according to given statements and constraints. But why do most of the coders love it, the answer is: It not only increases the thinking and logical ability but also pushes the brain to try different approaches for finding solutions in challenging situations.

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As Competitive Programming has gained a lot of attention in the present, most of the guys who find it difficult or are new to it are wandered that is it compulsory to learn competitive programming to crack a job at tech giants. Well, there are several myths and untold facts about it, which a coder must be aware of before beginning the journey at Competitive Programming. So come on guys, let’s discuss those myths along with facts.

Myth -1. Competitive Programming is Compulsory for Cracking the Tech-Giants

This is a common myth among today’s generation of coders. Before beginning to code, every newbie coder had just heard this from many guys, that if you are good in competitive programming, you will surely crack any coding interview, but in case you are not familiar with you will fail.    

Fact:

The fact actually is, If you are not into the competitive programming but have a stronghold on Data Structures and Algorithms concept, then you will crack any coding interview, because at the end of the day what matters is your problem-solving skills, not the Competitive Programming profiles. Knowledge of Data structures and algorithms is compulsory to make yourself stand out in a Competitive Programming contest. But it doesn’t mean that competitive programming is of no use, it brings a great improvement in the problem-solving skills of an individual. Coders can learn DSA concepts in a better manner, by implementing it in competitive programming. So don’t get discouraged if you haven’t begun it, but still, if you have ample time, then you must give it a try, it’s gonna be a great experience.  



Myth – 2. Competitive Programming must be the Top Priority and Development Skills are of No Use

Folks have made Competitive Programming so much overhyped due to which a common mindset is created among the students that an individual should just do competitive Programming throughout the whole day, night, and even your whole bachelorette. Mastering it and not learning any other technologies(Web Development, Backend Development, Machine learning, and many more)will surely land you in a tech giant. Boosting any skills other than competitive programming is just a waste of time.

Fact:

Assuming that mastering competitive programming is the only thing, which is required for cracking coding interviews, is completely a blunder mistake. A decent Competitive Programming profile plays a great role in making you in the next rounds because of your good problem-solving skills, but after you get into a company, it won’t make you solve coding questions. Different technologies are used to built different projects. That’s the reason why most of the companies prefer the guys who have built some real-life projects with the application of trending technologies and also should be crystal clear with the concepts of technology used in the project. Because that’s how a developer is going to begin his/her journey in a company.

Myth – 3. Competitive Programming Coders are Most Talented Among All

Competitive Programming coders are assumed to be the most talented guys among the engineers who are preparing for an IT company. It is a common myth among the guys who start coding in college. If he/she is a competitive programming coder then he is judged to be smart. Many coders just enter into it to be cool among their circles, because they have a misconception that a competitive programming profile reflects your IQ.

Fact:

Students who are into Machine Learning, Development, or Ethical Hacking, or any other domain, who are working equally hard, can also be smart and more productive than competitive programming coders. It’s true that they are good problem solvers, but still not the best because competitive programming coders spend the majority of time in finding the solution to the challenges but at the same time, maybe other guys are implementing the solutions in real life by developing applications and models. 

Myth – 4. Competitive Programming can Only be Done in “X” Language

Most of the beginners are always in a dilemma because of confusion in choosing the language, to begin with. They think that only C++ or Java or Python is best, so should I switch to it or stay on the one which is he/she familiar with. They end up a lot of time-wasting on this.

Fact:

No language has been specified for competitive programming, one can choose any language. It’s also a fact that C++ has a lesser runtime than Java and Python, but using python has also its own advantages. Its syntax is really simple and beginner-friendly. You may use any language but focus on understanding the logic behind the code. Once you have learned implementing data structures on your own without using pre-defined Libraries, then switching to any language is gonna be a cakewalk.  

Myth – 5. Students can Begin their Coding Journey with Competitive Programming

Noobs have started entering competitive programming to go along with the trend, without any prior knowledge of basic coding approach, and this will not make your coding skills stable but you will surely end up in a trouble along with a lot of time wasted.  

Fact:

First, you need to learn the syntax of a language, and next should be important data structures and algorithms, then learn how to implement them. After all this, you still need to do a lot of problems to catch the logic. You shouldn’t expect that at the first moment you see the problem, you will get the logic to solve it. You should write all the test cases, find the corner cases, choose the appropriate data structure, and then structure code. It can’t be done mentally so soon. Don’t waste your efforts in hope of quick results. There is no shortcut to hard work. To master yourself in a particular domain, you need to invest an ample amount of time.

There may be some more myths about Competitive programming in the coders’ community but what matters the most, to a coder who is aiming to crack a coding interview at a reputed IT firm is that mastering a single skill, whether it be competitive programming or development, won’t let you crack it. Being a “Jack of All, Master of none” will lead you nowhere ultimately. Have a clear vision of your aim, introspect your targets and efforts needed for it, and don’t run along with the crowd.  

Focus on Data Structures and algorithms, Core topics, and Projects, and then if you can cover these all then start mastering Advanced Data Structures Concept. You will surely crack any opportunity if you prepared yourself with these areas. You should surely try Competitive Programming, but not because it is a trend or to look cool, just start it as a hobby.

Must Read: What is Competitive Programming and How to Prepare for It?

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