Every coder wants to be one of the best! Yes, it’s true. But do you ever think how can someone be considered as the best coder? Okay, suppose there is a guy who wants to be the best racer, so can he do that by just practicing it? Not, what he has to do is to prove himself, get the better of others, and conquer the battle. Similarly, if you want to be the finest coder, you have to face challenges and showcase your programming skills. And, the best way to do the same is Competitive Programming and Coding Competitions.
The Coding Contests or Competitions provide you the opportunity to analyze your skills and proficiency, and to compare yourself to other programmers across the world. Apart from these, various scholarships, prizes, jobs & internships opportunities are also provided to the participating programmers. There are various platforms (or websites) that conduct these coding challenges online on a regular basis. Best 7 Coding Challenges Websites are listed below along with a brief description.
TopCoder is one of the most popular platforms for online programming competitions. Anyone can join the Topcoder Community to participate and compete in challenges. The TopCoder Community has majorly 4 segments – Design, Development, Data Science, and Competitive Programming. The design community deals with Information Architecture and UI/UX/CX Design whereas the Development segment looks into Bug Bash, Code, First-to-Finish (F2F), Quality Assurance and UI Prototype Challenges. There are various data science challenges also named as Marathon Match (MM), Data Science First to Finish, Data Science Sprint & Ideation and Data Visualization. The Competitive Programming domain of Topcoder community revolves around Single Round Matches (SRMs) offered on weekly basis at a specific time in which all participants compete against each other to solve the problems as fast as possible. Some of the major stats of the TopCoder Community are listed below:
- There are 5 times more engineers than Microsoft, Facebook, and Twitter combined!
- Around 1,400+ Crowdsourcing challenges are completed per quarter.
- The Community has around 1.5M members in over 190 countries.
- Also, nearby 1,800 new members join per week.
HackerRank is a leading platform for competitive programming challenges where you have to solve the problems as per the given specifications. HackerRank offers you to solve these programming challenges in any of various programming languages such as C, Java, Python, Ruby, etc. Apart from this, participants can solve the problems in various computer science domains like algorithms, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. You can also earn badges by solving challenges on the HackerRank website and these badges will be added to your profile. The type of contests hosted by HackerRank are listed below:
- 101-Hack – A monthly algorithmic contest in which five challenges have to be solved within 2 hours.
- HourRank – The shortest contest format in which 3-4 algorithm challenges need to be solved within 1 hour.
- Week of Code – A weeklong algorithm contest where one new challenge is offered each day. Also, the challenges become more complicated as the day passes.
- Ad Infinitum – A 48-hour contest of Mathematics conducted every three months.
- Real Data/Machine Learning Contests – A weeklong contest focuses on real-world data skills and requires the use of machine learning techniques.
- Language/Domain Specific Contests – These are the contest based on various programming languages like C, Java, Python, etc.
- Company Contests – The contests sponsored by specific companies that are looking to hire developers. The nature of this contest varies as per the requirements of the sponsoring companies.
- World CodeSprint – It is a 24-hour contest having 7-8 challenges to be solved.
3. International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC)
The International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) is one of the most renowned competitive programming competition. However, from 1977 to 2017, ICPC was held under the authority of ACM and was termed as ACM-ICPC. ICPC contests are team competitions and as per the rules, each team must consist of 3 students representing their university. The ICPC features various levels of competition – Local Contests, Regional Contests, Regional Championships, and The World Finals. Every year, the ICPC regionals start from the local competitions among classmates to find out who may represent their university and the final regional contest determines the teams moving forward to the World Finals. The teams leading at each regional level contest from 6 different continents qualify to compete at the World Finals. During each contest, the teams of 3 are given 5 hours to solve around 10+ programming problems. The solutions must be submitted in C, C++, Java, Python or Kotlin language. Some of the major stats of the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) are listed below:
- It is one of the oldest programming competition in the world.
- More than 50,000 students are part of the ICPC family.
- Around 3,000 universities in 111 countries are associated with the ICPC.
- ICPC has around 400 on-site competitions.
CodeChef is a competitive programming website that offers several challenges for aspiring programmers to practice and sharpen their programming skills through various online contests. CodeChef conducts a programming competition at the start of every month and also conducts 2 smaller programming contests at the middle and end of the month. You can submit your solution in any of the programming languages as the contests accept solutions in over 55+ programming languages including C, C++, Java, and Python. Apart from these contests, CodeChef also offers various algorithm tutorials and forum discussions to make the journey of computer programming more feasible. You can receive points and move up through the CodeChef ranks which is really worthy. There are various coding competitions where you can show your programming skills such as – Monthly Programming Contests, Cook-off and Lunchtime Coding Contests. Some of the major stats regarding CodeChef contests are listed below:
- CodeChef has around 1,250,000+ programmers from 12,000 institutions.
- There are approximately 3200+ programming contests with around 92 million+ submissions.
- The contests have the prizes of around INR 20,000 for Indian Community and $700 for Global Community.
5. Geeks Coding Challenge (GCC)
Geeks Coding Challenge (GCC) is a 3-day coding contest organized by GeeksforGeeks (one of the leading website in the Computer Science domain!). The contest is conducted online where you can solve various coding problems and can compete with other programmers online. You can solve the problems from any of the following programming languages – C++, Java or Python. Also, the total prize amount for Geeks Coding Challenge is worth more than 6 Lakh Rupees consisting of cash prizes, accessories, courses, etc. One thing to remember here is that the number of seats for the Geeks Coding Challenge (GCC) is limited, so you have to make sure to register yourself before the seats get filled and the registration will be closed. Also, there is not any participating fee for this contest. The contest is divided into 3 rounds which are described below:
- Round 1– It is the very first round where all the registered candidates have to appear for a 90 minutes coding challenge. The top 250 candidates from this round qualify for the next round of the contest.
- Round 2– The second round is a 120 minutes coding challenge where the top 250 qualified candidates from the first round compete with each other. The top 100 candidates from the second round qualify for the final round.
- Round 3– It is the final round where all the top 100 performers from Round 2 compete for a 120 minutes challenge.
LeetCode is the leading platform that offers various coding challenges to enhance your coding skills. It offers various weekly and biweekly programming competitions for the participants. The contests are generally of a duration of 90 minutes. You can solve the challenges in their own online editor (named as Playground) in any one of the supported programming languages. Apart from the Coding Contest, various additional features such as job interview preparation, discussions, etc are also provided on LeetCode. Some of the major stats of the LeetCode are listed below:
- LeetCode is one of the largest tech communities with millions of active users.
- You can practice over 1400+ coding problems and the number is increasing day by day!
- LeetCode supports over 14 popular coding languages that make it more preferable.
Also, at the end of each contest, you will be rewarded with rankings and points which can help you in getting a job in top tech giants.
Codeforces is a Russian website that hosts competitive programming competitions where the number of competitive coders across the world competes with each other. The contests conducted by Codeforces allow you to write solutions to the problems that are tested during the contest. Those who pass that set of solution tests receive the opportunity to go through the sources of other contestants, search for mistakes there and suggest the tests on which these solutions do not work. Accordingly, you can hack or challenge others’ solutions and can earn points through it. Then after the contest, all the solutions that pass the pretests and have not been hacked or challenged are tested on the final set of tests. The best thing about Codeforces is that the contests are regularly conducted here as every month they organize nearly 6 contests. Also, participation in the contests is free and open to everybody. Codeforces offers various type of coding challenges and features such as –
- Short format Contests with a duration of 2 hours.
- Educational Contests of 2-2.5 hours duration conducted 2-3 times in a month.
- You can challenge or hack other contestants’ solutions as well.
- You can also solve problems from previous contests for learning objectives.
Programming needs a lot of patience. Start participating in different competitive programming contests and improve yourself day by day. Show your ranking in your resume and this will also help you in landing a job in top tech companies.
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