Learntofish's Blog

A blog about math, physics and computer science

How to get started with Topcoder

Posted by Ed on November 22, 2012

If you want to improve your programming skills, I highly recommend Topcoder. Unlike projecteuler which is heavy on number theory Topcoder focuses on algorithm design. In the live competitions you are given three problems that you can try to solve within a time limit. There are two divisions. Division 2 is for beginners whereas Division 1 is for those with a higher ranking.

Here are some nice tutorials on how to get started:
Getting Started on Topcoder
TopCoder Quickstart Tutorial

You do not have to participate in the competitions. You can also just use the archive to practice:
– Go to the problem archive.
– Click on Div2 Success Rate. This will sort the problems from easy to hard. You can then start working on the problems where the difficulty gradually increases.
– After compiling, testing and submitting your solution don’t forget to run the system test. For this, click on Practice Options -> Run System Test.
– Browse through other people’s solution and learn new tricks. This is a nice feature on Topcoder.

After some practice you should compete in one of the live competitions. First, it is very exciting and fun. Second, you learn to write correct code fast. Third, you read other people’s code during the challenge phase.

By the way, Mark Zuckerberg also has a profile on topcoder.

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One Response to “How to get started with Topcoder”

  1. Ed said

    Reblogged this on Programming, algorithms and data structures.

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