KAN's blog

By KAN, 6 weeks ago, In English

As you probably know, most of the rounds on Codeforces are created by active community members. We are very grateful to our talented authors from all around the world for bringing their ideas to tens of thousands of competitors, providing fun and learning experience for contestants of every expertise, from beginners to the world's top programmers. This post will cover the steps you need to take propose a round and become a problem writer on Codeforces.

Who can be a problem author

Best problems usually come from the most experienced participants. We have limited resources for rounds reviewing, so to make the process flawless for writers, starting January 1st, 2021, the following requirements for problem authors will be applied:

  • rating: orange or above, or
  • was a writer in the past.

The restrictions may be updated in the future, the post will be updated accordingly. If your round is already in the review status, don't worry, it will be reviewed regardless of the current restrictions.

If you are an experienced writer/jury member in other competitions, please write any current coordinator (listed below) a private message about your wish to prepare a contest and describe your experience in this area.

How to propose a round

If you meet the requirements, you should have the link "propose a contest/problems" in the personal menu on the right sidebar. Click on the link and follow the instructions carefully. Prepare and submit your proposal for a contest and problems.

In some time you will have a coordinator(s) assigned to your contest proposal. They will review your problems and you will discuss the problems with them. Please be active, respond to coordinators' questions in time, make the proposed changes quickly. Codeforces coordinators are very experienced participants and reviewers. Please respect their opinion, and note that they have the highest priority in any decisions on the problems.

Our coordinators are: antontrygubO_o, isaf27, 300iq, BledDest, adedalic, Nebuchadnezzar and KAN.

You can only propose a whole problemset for a Div 2 or Div 1 + Div 2 round. We don't consider single problems. Also, we don't consider proposals for Div 3/4 or Educational rounds.

How to prepare problems

Problems for Codeforces rounds are prepared in Polygon. It is not recommended to prepare problems before the coordinator's approval, especially if it's the first time you propose a contest.

For each problem you will need to write a clear statement (in English or Russian), code a validator (a program that checks tests' correctness), a checker if necessary (a program that checks output), and of course correct solution. Also, you will need to create tests to check the contestants' solutions on. Your coordinator will do the statement translation if necessary, check your work, and suggests what to change and add if needed.

Before you start working on problems, even if you have experience working with Polygon, you must read these rules. All the work with checkers, validators, interactors, and generators is done with testlib.h library, you can read the introduction by the link and download examples from Polygon. Whenever you have any troubles and/or difficulties, contact your coordinator for help. It is much faster to do something right from the first time, then to do it wrong and then redo it again.

Writers reward

It is interesting and challenging work to invent and prepare problems but is also time-consuming and demanding work. That's why we pay authors for preparing problems for Codeforces. The rewards are:

Round Type $
Global* $800
Div 1 + Div 2 $400
Div 2 $200

We reserve the right to reduce a reward by $50 if something in the round goes wrong because of the authors' fault.

*Global rounds are selected by coordinators from available proposals.

Best Div 1 + Div 2 rounds can be selected to be sponsored, in this case, the authors' reward is higher and is discussed separately.

Conclusions

We hope that with your help we will keep the regular stream of regular rounds full of fresh and interesting problems! If you have any questions on how to become a problem writer, ask in the comments. Please note that unrelated or outdated comments in this blog will be cleared once in a while to keep the blog and comments up-to-date.

 
 
 
 
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6 weeks ago, # |
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Unfortunately the current queue proposal is too long (several months, worse for div2 rounds), that's why we decided to make requirements more strict. I hope this will help us to catch up with the queue.

(Not included in the post, because, I hope, this status is temporary.)

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6 weeks ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +17 Vote: I do not like it

Excuse for my curiosity, but who decides whether the round will be Global? It seems that due to the double amount of remuneration, the authors will never object to the round being Global

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    6 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    Coordinators select which rounds will be Global depending on the problems.

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      6 weeks ago, # ^ |
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      In problem selection which difference actually makes a round global instead of div1+div2? Pardon me if i'm wrong anywhere.

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6 weeks ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +86 Vote: I do not like it

rating: orange or above, or

Does this follow the convention that both Masters and IMs are "orange" or that Masters are "yellow" and IMs are "orange"?

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    6 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    Both are orange.

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    6 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    There is no color difference, so why?

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      6 weeks ago, # ^ |
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      Color of a username doesn't change, but if you look at graphs of ratings you see that various shades are used and that's where this question originated from

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6 weeks ago, # |
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why does codeforces not allow people lower than purple to set contest

ratism

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6 weeks ago, # |
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How to be a Tester on these rounds?

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6 weeks ago, # |
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How to become a coordinator?

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6 weeks ago, # |
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What if there are multiple writers? Is the payment divided among them?

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    6 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    Codeforces accepts complete contest only. Coordinator never combines different problems from different people to form a contest.
    Whenever you see multiple setters they are friends and they propose contest together. Hence they themself decide the share of individuals involved instead of codeforces team.

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      6 weeks ago, # ^ |
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      This is true in general, but there are exceptions. That's true that we only consider problems proposals as a part of a complete problemset, because it is easier to work with. In case a round has many authors who know each other, they are to split the reward.

      However, sometimes we do mix independent authors, for example to fill a gap in another round. Mostly spare problems from previous/upcoming rounds are used for that. In this case we split the reward according to problem level and the amount of work done by each author.

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6 weeks ago, # |
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What about rewards for setting div. 3 rounds?

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    6 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    Div 3 rounds are always prepared by vovuh and MikeMirzayanov

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    6 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    I have had the same question after reading this post. Thank goodness, I've read this before posting this query. :D

    Now that I'm thinking, it could be possible that they might be setting Div 3 contests mostly themselves (since they're not very frequent here, as much as I've seen), and might be accepting easier questionnaire as a voluntary contribution, or might be paid based on their quality.

    P.S.: Just a thought, no declarations included!

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6 weeks ago, # |
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Will there be another section (or possibly a separate blog post) on how to write editorials? It might be beneficial to propose/standardise some rules on the same as I've seen numerous editorials which were really poor, really good and in between (though the quality in general has definitely been improving with time, so it may not be necessary).

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    6 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    At this time I don't see any good way to standardise any rules for writing editorials. This is actually the same with statements: while we have this huge set of rules, they only work if the writer has a feeling of good statements, and just needs some technical guiding. In many rounds it is coordinator/tester who rewrites 50% of statements to make them clear, and even after that they are not always ideal.

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      6 weeks ago, # ^ |
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      There should be some suggested way of providing solutions, with proper explanations and good code style. A linter could be used to make sure solutions are written well. There are many ideas to improve edutorials, and if you are paying money for the problems, solutions should have a high quality too. Many times I struggled to understand the solution and it was easier to solve the problem myself, and sometimes even after that I could not understand what the author meant. And if it is not good, there should be a way to improve it, like testers improve statements.

      I have written a blog about some ideas

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6 weeks ago, # |
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If there are multiple writers, is it necessary for all of them to be orange or above?

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    6 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    No, at least one of them should be orange or above.

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6 weeks ago, # |
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Max rating is orange or orange by the time of proposal?

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    6 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    You must satisfy the requirements at the time you submit the proposal. You will still be able to work with it if you lose your rating though.

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6 weeks ago, # |
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where do you take the money to pay problem writers? all sponsored by telegram?

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6 weeks ago, # |
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If someone reached orange but now is currently in a lower rating, is he/she a problem author?

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    6 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    No, you must satisfy the requirements at the time you submit the proposal. You will still be able to work with it if you lose your rating though.

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6 weeks ago, # |
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What if the person is not a master but he is good at putting problems?

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    6 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    If you are an experienced writer/jury member in other competitions, please write any current coordinator (listed below) a private message about your wish to prepare a contest and describe your experience in this area.

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6 weeks ago, # |
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How much is the reward for making a Div.3 contest?

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6 weeks ago, # |
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Money = Problem

Problem = Money

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6 weeks ago, # |
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Excuse my rudeness, but where does Codeforces gets the money to pay problem authors? 400$ for a div 1 and 200$ for a div 2 is quite some money, and you will expend all the raised 100k$ in about 1-2 years.

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    6 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    They get paid by companies to run global rounds, and news flash, codeforces profits, even after giving you 800 dollars :). So that money goes towards the codeforces fund. Plus, Mike probably gets donations from HarborSpace since he works there. And lastly, 200 dollars is absolutely nothing. Just think about how much money you can make with the time to make a contest.

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6 weeks ago, # |
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How do the writers of a round get paid when the Div 1/2 contests are based off of another round (e.g. Round #687 based on Technocup 2021 Elimination Round 2)? Is it also $400?

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6 weeks ago, # |
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If the proposal does not have the required quality will you inform the writer or just ignore the proposal?

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    3 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    We will provide feedback for each problem.