How was my experience at ACM-ICPC Regionals?

ACM-ICPC (Association for Computing Machinery-International Collegiate Programming Contest) is a team-based, programming competition. Also known as the Olympics of programming. So, it all started from January, 2019. I was in my 1st year of BTech in my 2nd semester and I got to know about the prestigious competition ACM-ICPC. The seniors who were just introducing us with competitive programming gave us full view of their experience and what it feels like to qualify for ACM-ICPC Regionals. From that very Day, I got it stuck in my head and the spark was created inside me.

So coming straight to the point our preliminary round was on 18th November. And we gave our best. Now it was the time of the results. On the beginning of November The Results turned out and “KUDOS!” we were selected for the Regionals . We got Selected in the Amritapuri Regionals and now the thrill begins.
On 27th December we had our date for the Regionals. So, Amritapuri is bit in a isolated location as there is no flight or train route directly to there. So, I and my teammates planned our journey and booked the tickets earlier.On 23rd I had my flight from Durgapur to Chennai. I reached there at there at 11:00 pm and had to wait for my other teammates who had their flight on 24th morning from Kolkata. They reached around 10:00 am in the morning and after 2 hours we left for the metro station cause we had our train at 4:00 pm from Chennai to Kollam. In Chennai, every place is very much connected through metro. So we reached the railway station and after a wait of 2 hours, We boarded the train and then I got a call from the Transportation Department of the Regionals. They took all the details and Confirmed us that they will be there to receive us at the station.
25th December, 6:00 am train reached at Kollam station. Weather was very much comfortable as in Kerala in winters there is no cold. We were being taken from there to the campus of the Amrita College. A huge college with a very big campus area. We were dropped at your hostel. Where we would live for the next 3 days. Top quality food and service and a very healthy behavior from the management department of the Regionals site. On that Day we had to go through the registration process and the goodies and kits were also provided. Then we had a photoclick from Codechef.

These were my Teammates Arindam Kundu and Ryan Rehman .Our team name – arraycubed.
On 26th we had a practice contest in which we were provided with our systems to set with the environment of the contest. All types of editors were there. And we were given a set of previous year’s preliminary round question. After that there was a beach tour which was planned by the management but it got cancelled and hence we discussed the whole strategy for tomorrow’s contest. On that night was a banquet Dinner where more than 20 items of food was available and yeah it was awesome.

Now, comes the showtime 27th December Friday. We were allotted our systems by 9:00 am and the contest begin at 9:30 am.First problem, it was a simple implementation problem but due to the peer pressure in the environment I forgot to consider one corner case and hence a wrong submission, Now I cooled my mind and I solved it. Second problem, this was done by my teammates and hence accepted. As were proceeding one by one question we were being Balloons of different Color and it was pretty much awesome to see who has more balloons and who is dominating the contest. But the Third question and fourth question was figured out by us but every time we got a wrong answer, we tried many test cases but still we got wrong and hence just 2 questions solved in 5 hours. Totally disappointing result and were just very much upset as we our minimum aim was to solve 5 questions. So on that Day only we had our train back to Chennai and on next day returning flights. All seniors and friends started to ask about what happened but we were completely in a shock due to our result. After 2 years from our college we have qualified and that was a proud moment but we could not perform there.
Overall it was a great experience for us where I meet many coders who were just awesome and just shared with them my views and learned a lot of things, And it was all of that spark and hard work that helped me reach here.

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