There is this common question in most of the student’s minds studying in different colleges especially those students who are pursuing an engineering degree and are wannabe software engineers for they have an interest in coding/programming. This blog is dedicated to all the students out there looking to help their cause and support their lifestyle while learning.
One common path which most engineering students choose, especially students from the Computer Science stream is Competetive Programming. Well, it is a great way to develop your logical mind and coding solutions to seemingly difficult problems. This is useful in the future for software development jobs in the industry but to be honest, it has a downside while being in college – you don’t have that much scope of earning money through Competetive Programming by itself. You need to know a tech stack to work on be it Web, Android, iOS, Desktop, etc. Well, you can earn a good amount of money though by winning various competitions online/offline based on Competetive Programming. Some common platforms and programs wherein you can participate are:
GeeksforGeeks is a computer science portal for students or working professionals which provides many ways to earn money. This website organizes the coding events every year like GSC Triple Threat Coding Contest, Geeks Coding Challenge etc. that provides a huge amount to the winners.
Also, you can earn money by writing articles for GeeksforGeeks. Some of the writing challenges are Write From Home, Technical Scripter, etc. This website provides the WFH internship as an Technical Content Writer. For more details, you can refer to the How to get Technical Content Writing Internship at GeeksforGeeks.
Coding competitions like ACM ICPC, Monthly Cook-off challenges, and more are a great way to earn. These competitions have a lot of monetary rewards if you rank among the top participants. Different contests have a different range of rewards which make participating in these contests even more interesting. Codechef hosts several contests where cash prizes are rewarded. Three major contests of the month are – Codechef Long (10 days contest with 10 problems), 2 short contests – COOKOFF (2.5 hrs), and LUNCHTIME. (3 Hrs contest).
(a) Codechef Long Prize Money Details:
- 1st prize: INR 12000/-
- 2nd prize: INR 8000/-
For Rest of World:
- 1st prize: $400
- 2nd prize: $300
(b) Cook-Off and LunchTime:
Top 10 from the rank list will get CodeChef laddus
For Rest of World:
- Top 10 from the rank list will get CodeChef laddus
- With CodeChef laddus, the winners can claim cool CodeChef goodies.
Here, you can take part in several job hiring challenges! HackerEarth is one of those platforms which benefit the lives of competitive coders. Coders can take part in the contests and if they rank well within the pre-mentioned criteria, they land interviews and jobs at cool companies. They also organize various online hackathons on their platform which students can take part in and win cool prizes and rewards.
Similar to CodeChef, they have various programming contests that have a wide range of rewards starting from goodies, swags to prize money.
This is one of the premier platforms to sharpen your coding skills. Leetcode has different challenges, contests, and mocks which have rewards(mostly goodies) as well as awesome problems to solve. This platform is dedicated to preparing you for your interview coding rounds.
It is always considered good to have a good grasp of any domain along with Competetive Programming. That will open you up to a vast range of opportunities. Here are some good opportunities as listed below:
1. Freelancing: Working part-time for different companies, startups, or individuals on a contract basis for developing their project idea into a working product/software for which you get paid.
One of the best websites to hunt for freelance opportunities is Freelancer.com. They have great opportunities for both sets of people – people looking to hire coders and developers to build their product as well as people like students looking for freelance opportunities. If hired, you sign a contract with the employer and you get your payments based on that contract.
2. Open Source: Programs like Google Summer of Code, Outreachy, RGSOC, and more are great sources of learning and income for students. It also adds great value to your resume when you apply for jobs at reputed multinational companies.
Out of all the open-source programs, the Google Summer of Code initiative is the most recommended and renowned in terms of relevance and value. If selected, you get to work on really cool projects under the mentorship of knowledgable mentors of organizations who provide great value. If you pass the program successfully, you get a stipend of 3000 USD for 3 months of work done.
You can have a look at the About and FAQ sections of the program on their official website Google Summer of Code. To prepare for Google Summer of Code, you can refer to the article How to Prepare For GSoC (Google Summer of Code) – A Complete Guide
Outreachy is another great program for students. Though they have different criteria of selection, they provide better stipends of 7000 USD for 4 months of work. If you haven’t yet undergone an open-source program, Outreachy is a great option for you to thrive.
3. Internships: Applying for internships of 3-6 months duration under different organizations/companies and earn a stipend per month. Internshala, Let’s Intern, Indeed, and LinkedIn are great sources of finding internships. Once you pass the interview rounds, you get offer letters from companies mentioning your monthly stipend for the work you will be doing in the dedicated period of the internship.
Remember, slow and steady wins the race, so do not rush anything. If you want to learn Competetive Programming, take your time and get a good grasp on it so that you can compete and stand a chance of winning those competitions. If you want to learn about a tech stack or domain, put your mind to it and achieve something which you can work with for learning never ends. The developer community out there is always ready to help each other. You shall thrive if you are willing to strive!