ivan.metelsky's blog

By ivan.metelsky3 years ago, In English,

As well as all other advancers to Yandex.Algorithm finals, I've got an e-mail from Yandex today.

I found some parts of the e-mail surprising.

"Yandex invites you to participate in the whole Summer School, and will compensate your airplane tickets, will provide all the accomodations onsite. You should buy your tickets, save the check and the boarding pass, and we will return your money onsite." (that alone perhaps would be fine)

"We (Yandex) like programming competitions a lot, and we respect the champions, but we don't take them as seriously as others, so there are some peculiarities you should know." (I wonder if "them" refers to champions, competitions or both)

"First, we didn't announce it and we are not going to give away big prizes for the champions, although we will give the winners some presents. We consider participation in our school and communication with other smart people our main present to the winners." (well, guys, thank you for doing us such a favour)

Is it just me or you also don't see much respect here?
 
 
 
 
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3 years ago, # |
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"we don't take them as seriously as others"

nice :)

Well, I also don't take Yandex as seriously as others :)


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    3 years ago, # ^ |
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    sounds very weird. I have much respect for all finalist and all participants. Summer school may be interesting, but I do not know whether the topics are really  that interesting.
    Is something besides summer school planed or is the competition just integrated in it. I would expect, that you also make some trips to some interesting places and so on,  but this also does not seem the case.
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    3 years ago, # ^ |
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    I'm very sorry for this poor wording, please see my comment to the post below.
 
3 years ago, # |
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Hm, sometimes it is better to be silent than speak (c)
Firstly, I thought it's bad joke - such letter from Yandex seems improbable. To me it sounds not just as not having much respect for the one of the most clever people from several countries, but boldly and arrogantly.
If that's real - Yandex just showed its true face and, as Coder noticed, answered the question whether clever guys should take them seriously...
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    3 years ago, # ^ |
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    I doubt that this letter has been reviewed by anyone who really took part in preparing the contest itself (at least I hope so, because they didn't seem like people who would write such letters). Looks too me it was written by some not so bright staff member (Again, at least I hope so, and I hope they are going to change something because people that organized contest should probably feel respect to these 15 top competitors). Nevertheless, it is a fail for Yandex reputation in contests society.
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    3 years ago, # ^ |
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    Well, even though I personally agree with Ivan, that ideally they should have stopped after the first paragraph, I've got to confess that what Yandex says is way better than what happens on ICPC or any other competition opening ceremony, when lots of people tell how proud they are to be in the same room with you and how proud they are to sponsor/organize/do whatever they do in this prestigious event (while, of course, they are not, and most of them don't really care -- most of them don't even understand what this competition is).
    Yandex is honest with you, and I kind of enjoy it :)

    Also I cannot help but mention one more time: solving problem doesn't make you a good coder. It's good up to certain extent, but other that that it just way of having fun (and of end up receiving prestigious achievement), and has nothing to do with developing any usefull skills.

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      3 years ago, # ^ |
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      You may be right but I don't think "radical honesty" is the policy of any large company:)
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      3 years ago, # ^ |
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      You don't think problem solving is a useful skill?
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        3 years ago, # ^ |
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        Oh, this is one of the most discussed topics here during the several last weeks :)
        Seriously, I'd recommend you to use Google Translate or anything similar, and look through 01 and 2. Personally I don't feel myself mighty enough to translate and retell all the opinions stated there.
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          3 years ago, # ^ |
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          Good links, thanks.

          Google Translate sure does well :D
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            3 years ago, # ^ |
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            Of course, you're supposed to select and translate Russian site version to read all the comments, thoughts and holy wars :)
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      3 years ago, # ^ |
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      Ok, agree, changed "good coders" to "clever guys".
      BTW, having clever mind is better than having skills and not having clever mind, because you (usually) can acquire necessary skills being clever, and not vice versa. Especially it is noticeable in financial industry, where investment banks like to hire PhD's, and not practicioners, because so-called "soft skills" is easy to obtain, but "hard skills" (like quant. finance, math and ...) is much harder.
      That's what for Yandex and Co. should respect sport programmers, and that's why other normal compalies respect them (or, at least, demonstrate respect - there is little difference, if one think of it)
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        3 years ago, # ^ |
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        And this is exactly why IT giants look for such people and organize such events. If person is successfull in programming competitions, he is smart. That means that hiring him today is good investment in future, since there's some level of confidence that this particular person will become a good engineer after developing required skills during first year of employnment or so.
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    3 years ago, # ^ |
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    I'm sorry for the poor wording, please see my comment to the post below.
    Of course we do respect the winners and the champions a lot, why wouldn't we? I agree those are some of the most clever people from several countries.
    Why would I even spend time coaching best teams of Moscow region for the ACM ICPC, if I disrespected them?
    It's just a mistake through lack of attention that was unfortunately not caught before posting.
 
3 years ago, # |
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Can you post the entire email? I wouldn't mind seeing it in context. Was there a Russian and English version? Just wondering if there's any "lost in translation" problems going on.
 
3 years ago, # |
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I just read the wikipedia article about Yandex and they say,
"From 2001 to 2009 Yandex was conducting regular Internet search contests under the name of the "Yandex Cup" with several thousands of participants and valuable prizes."

What changed their policy?
If it is really true what you said, one could add
"however, in 2011 they decided to don't take them as seriously as others"


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    3 years ago, # ^ |
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    But maybe, it is what SkidanovAlex said, maybe their are not so much interested in people from who they just know, that they can solve tricky problems. But why orginaze such an event and then do nothing special on the finals?
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    3 years ago, # ^ |
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    Ok, to prevent future speculations on the topic, "not to take as seriously as others" in the letter definitely means "мы не воспринимаем их так же серьезно, как другие (компании)", but not "мы не воспринимаем их так же серьезно, как другие (категории людей)"
 
3 years ago, # |
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...don't take them as seriously as others
As seriously as other companies or as seriously as other people?

UPD:
goryinyich опередил меня
 
3 years ago, # |
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I bet that after this e-mail nobody from outside Russia will visit the Onsite :)
 
3 years ago, # |
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It's a bit strange for me to see this e-mail from Yandex because, as I know, they regularly sponsor a lot of events (in Russia), such as open olympiad in programming (for high school students), russian olympiad in mathematics, summer computer school; organize icpc trainings etc.
 
3 years ago, # |
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This e-mail was from me, and I apologize sincerely if my words sound arrogant and offend the participants and the winners of the event.

I hope to explain what I tried to say, probably with wrong words.

First, about the tickets. It's just easier to do the way I described, but we also can pay for the tickets in another form if that's inconvenient for the participants. Last year we used this scheme, and it was OK for the participants of the school.
If you have any concerns about it, please contact me directly, and we will hopefully deal with the problems that might cause.

Second, about the competitions and champions. As I wrote, we like the competitions, and we sponsor them a lot. Also, some of you may know that I came from the same community, and I do understand the importance of the competitions and the highest level of champions. The phrase is not about the champions at all, it's just a poor wording. All I was going to say is that we are not as serious about sponsoring these events as to announce big prizes for the champions.

We think that holding a competition itself is a good idea, because the community loves tournaments. We think that a summer school in distributed computing can be a really interesting event, where you can both apply your algorithmic skills and get new knowledge. Also, you will meet some other really smart people there, which is an obvious feature of all onsite events. And we think that this school and knowledge, education you can get there - can really help some of you in your future or current professional career. We treat knowledge and education as one of the most valuable things, so that's where the phrase about "main present" goes from.