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### Alex7's blog

By Alex7, history, 4 years ago, ,

So I'm very curious to see how those factors correlate to your codeforces rating and other competitive programming accomplishments.

I hope that enough people will answer those questions so we'd get a representative sample and see what works on average and what doesn't.

1- How old were you when you solved your first competitive programming problem?

2- What is your primary programming language?

3- How many hours do you (on average) train weekly?

4- How many hours do you estimate that you've trained your entire life?

5- How many minutes do you spend on average thinking about a problem before giving up and reading the tutorial?

6- How many hours do you sleep on average?

7- Do you drink coffee and/or other caffeinated beverages during competitions?

8- Do you drink coffee and/or other caffeinated beverages during training?

9- How many years have you been training?

10- How much did your school promote critical thinking Rate on the scale of 1-10 (1 being rote learning all memorization no thinking at all and 10 being awesome super genius teachers)

11- How many months did it take you to reach Div 1?

I know that those are a lot of questions but please answer them so I can prepare some wonderful graphs and stats.

Also feel free to suggest any other factors that might have some impact.

Please answer in this form because it will make the data much neater :D

• +64

 » 4 years ago, # | ← Rev. 3 →   +10 1-15 years old 2-C++ 3-15 4-750 5-90 6-6 7-NO 8-sometimes 9-1.5 10-1 11-I haven't reached it yet but I think I will soon(maybe the next few months who knows :/).
•  » » 4 years ago, # ^ | ← Rev. 3 →   0 Looks like most people here started early. I didn't get into it until late (end of) 2014.
•  » » » 4 years ago, # ^ |   0 I bet the average starting age for the top 10% is way lower :D
•  » » » » 4 years ago, # ^ | ← Rev. 3 →   0 Yeah, some started in 7-8 years old. It's crazy, how did they even know about CP at that age? What made them so interested?Here in Indonesia (my country) competitive programming community is a very small minority. It's extremely unlikely for a kid at that age to know about CP. (let alone having the discipline to study it). Even worse, schools here encourage rote learning (all memorization).
•  » » » » » 4 years ago, # ^ |   0 I had a friend who had a relative who worked at the place where they held the Syrian Olympiad back in the day :DI tried it and I was hooked
•  » » » » » » 4 years ago, # ^ |   0 Wow. I wish I was like you. I never even had any interest to compete academically when I was a kid in school.
 » 4 years ago, # |   0 Why don't you share your answers :D.
 » 4 years ago, # |   0 This question "5- How many minutes do you spend on average thinking about a problem before giving up and reading the tutorial?" reminds me of my problem, I spent too much time being stuck, figuring out the solution (the idea) of a problem for hours and hours, when what I should have done is to just go immediately read editorials.....Does anyone here have the same problem? That is just too much of a waste of time (especially for beginners), horribly ineffective way of practicing.
 » 4 years ago, # | ← Rev. 2 →   +13 1- 152- C++3- During 2012 3 hours.During 2013 and 2014 10 hoursDuring 2015 The first 8 months 10 hours and then almost nothing for the rest of the yearDuring 2016 10 hoursSo the average is estimated at ~3.7 4- ~18005- 406- 97- Almost always8- Sometimes9- 4 years10- 111- ~14 months (considering div1 in 2013 which was 1700 and about as hard to reach as 1900 now).
•  » » 4 years ago, # ^ |   0 10 hours daily ? or in a week?
•  » » » 4 months ago, # ^ |   -7 I think that the answer should be pretty clear — 10 hours a week. Unless the OP is home-schooled or does not care about his school work at all.
 » 4 years ago, # |   +56 12- Cock T-shirt size?
•  » » 4 years ago, # ^ |   +12 Not all competitive programmer have cocks you know :D
 » 4 years ago, # |   0 Auto comment: topic has been updated by Alex7 (previous revision, new revision, compare).
 » 4 years ago, # |   0 1 — 17 years old2 — C++3 — 15-164 — 750 — 8005 — 1206 — 7 or 87 — I do not like coffee but I drink tea :)8 — same. only tea. but sometimes9 — 410 —11 — I hope to reach DIV 1 in next competition =)
 » 4 years ago, # | ← Rev. 4 →   +7 14 C++ Now I'm preparing for school final exams most of the time but previously it was about 20 hours, I suppose. Cf/tc rounds, usual problem solving on cf/timus/e-olymp. That's tough question... If I spend nearly 45 minutes per problem and my total number of problems solved is about 500, I can say that I've dedicated only 400 hours to my hobby... Still that's more than hours spent in all my steam games :P 45 minutes — 1.5 hours 5-6 hours on working days, 8-9 — weekends Not often. When I feel myself really tired, I'd prefer giving up contest (is this proper verb?) to struggle with sleepyness for 2 hours. Though I like writing srms at 4 am :P Same Isn't it the same question as the first one? 4 years from the moment I drew my first Scratch script. I don't get this question a bit... Self-education played much more important role in my programming carreer (well, it isn't carreer, just don't know better term for this) than teachers in school. Preparing for final exams in every class we learn separate topics (problems on which you can find in exam) more than memorizing sample problems. So, it's kinda 8 in your scale, i suppose. About 20 months since I registratred on cf. But then revolution came and now it says that I've never been in div1 :c Planning to reach it again till October-November, I hope. If you want to collect some stats you can also ask for total problems solved (it's not that hard to count, I assume), current age (instead of age of starting + years of competing), achievements you most proud of (or best T-shirts won :D)...And sharing stats in progress would be awesome, as was already suggested.
 » 4 years ago, # | ← Rev. 2 →   0 1- that age is just a number, number like limit of int , which I forget2- Depends, on number of wrong answers I get in a language3- Less than the time I spent writing comment4- Less than the sum of time limit of all problems in contest in that week5- my real struggle to understand problem begins after reading tutorial 6- I sleep till I am unable to sleep anymore7-NO 8-NO 9-NO 10- Can't be fair to say, I am myself stupid11-I won't :P
 » 4 years ago, # | ← Rev. 2 →   +19 1.- 18 (I solved my first problem when I joined university, but for the first 2 and a half years I didn't train or anything)2.- C++3.- Not sure on all times, but rough estimates: Some friends and I decided to train to reach worlds, and I practiced around 3 hours per week, as a matter of fact I was the worst out of the 3 of us, and one of the guys would consistently tell me to practice more, because compared to them it was as I if didn't even care (it's funny now I'm higher rated than both of them :P), I lasted for like 2 months and learnt only basic topics (DFS, BFS) then we competed and placed 4th (needed top 3) to qualify to worlds, then I got an intern and also was going to study abroad so I thought about stopping competitive programming, so I stopped training for around 9 months. Then I was studying abroad in a very easy university and I had lots of free time, so I started solving ACM problems just for fun, I trained for around 10 hours per week, didn't consider it training, I considered it fun :D Competed in ACM ICPC and again I was 1 place from qualifying to worlds... So I decided I wanted to qualify no matter what, so I started to train and learn topics and not just solve random easy problems for fun, and for the past year I've trained around 5-10 hours per week (I'm very inconsistent and take many breaks), I'm very happy that I qualified for worlds this year and I'm going to be there :D!!4.- maybe 1-1.5k?? I checked and I have 1250 problems in my laptop (most of them easy ones), I think more than 90% are AC5.- At least 15 minutes, but usually around 30-60, I realized that if the problem is too hard reading the editorial without spending some time to make sure I really understand the problem won't do me any good because I won't understand anything (usually editorials are very simplified and assume you already thought about the problem for at least some time).6.- 8-107.- Never8.- Never9.- Around 2 years, but I took some time off, during summers, and free weeks because I was tired of training.10.- 5, some teachers try, others just care about what you write in the paper, they don't care if you know what you are talking about or not. Basically I learnt all I know for competitive programming on my own, except for some very basic topics, which I was thought in school11.- Well, that is a hard question, I started to train and around 7 months later I discovered CF and in my first contest I reached div 1 (old div 1), then I lost it, and regained it (like 3 times), then CF decided to change rating system, so I guess the answer could be a little bit more than 1.5 years if we consider since I started to train and new div1.
 » 4 years ago, # | ← Rev. 5 →   +10 1.172.C++3.Variable.12 hours during school days, very recently notched it up to 45 hours :P ) and 0 on exam time :(4.Dunno :35.Depends on the problem. If I feel I can solve it, or can progress on it-1-3 hours. If I feel it's too difficult-like I have absolutely no idea how to progress with it, generally 15-20 minutes.6.Variable. 4 hours on school days, 8 hours on holidays7.No8.Sometimes9.While I've been introduced to competitive programming at 17, I've been taking it seriously for like 7-8 months, with few off periods.10.Having just entered 2nd year of my university-until now, it has been mostly non departmental bulls**t that's been taught to us, and I'd rate them all as 1.11.Haven't yet. Hope to within the next few months.
•  » » 4 years ago, # ^ |   +6 Became candidate master yesterday :D So I could update 11. 11-For new style Div-1, around 16-18 months. For old style(ie 1700) around 6 months before this, so 10-12?
 » 4 years ago, # |   +11 So far we have 20 responses which is great but we need a lot more to get a fairly representative sample.
•  » » 4 years ago, # ^ |   0 I think it will help us gain knowledge about how the greats trained to get to the level where they are now, which would serve as beneficial advice for not-so-experienced coders like me :)
•  » » 4 years ago, # ^ |   +27 A little bit of nitpicking: No matter how many responses, you'll never get representative sample, since the distribution is skewed. You only get responses from people who wanted to write one, and based on general forum dynamics, it's very far from actual user base.
•  » » » 4 years ago, # ^ |   0 Yeah I think you're right. I might have to look into other ways of collecting data.
•  » » » » 4 years ago, # ^ |   0 You can write personal messages to the people that you think could increase representativeness of your data.
 » 4 years ago, # |   0 Great initiative! Looking forward to the results.
 » 4 years ago, # |   +6 ~15 C++ 5-6 hours Don't know... About 1000 30 7 No No 2 2 About 9 if talking about old style div. 1. About 24 if new style.
•  » » 4 years ago, # ^ |   0 how you reached such a nice level just by training 5-6 hours a week ? wasn't it 5-6 hours daily?
•  » » » 4 years ago, # ^ |   0 Nope, it was 5-6 hours a week. Nowadays it is even less hours a week...
•  » » » » 4 years ago, # ^ |   0 well its impressive :)
•  » » » » » 4 years ago, # ^ |   0 what was your maximum training hours weekly?
 » 4 years ago, # | ← Rev. 4 →   +5 13.5 C++ 6 — 36 500 — 3000 30 min 11 sometimes sometimes 2 3 11 for new rating system and 6 for previous rating system.
 » 4 years ago, # |   0 Keep the responses coming :D
 » 4 years ago, # | ← Rev. 4 →   0 1- I was 19 years old when I solved my first CP problem2- C++3- I would say about 6 hours weekly (I'm having more free time lately, so I have increased the amount)4- About 300-500 hours, I'd say5- Before, I used to give in a lot quicker to read the editorial. I'd say that now I give up after atleast 1 hour of thinking about the problem. 6- On average I sleep between 6 and 7 hours.7- No8- No9- Training consistenly about 1.5 years.10- It's hard to decide this. I didn't really much care about grades when I was in school. I was an average student that tried to memorize everything before the exam (many times succeed and had good grades). 11- If you are willing to consider the old system (1700 rating) about 7 months. In the current system, I still haven't managed to.
 » 4 years ago, # |   +4 I was eleven. C++. I am not sure but maybe 20 hours on average when I go to school. I think I should start doing a little more. I guess 2000, but I am not sure. Maybe I spend too much time. I don't like looking at the editorial and I usually leave a lot of problems for tomorrow and I guess I have forgotten about a lot of them. But recently I started solving harder problems which I can't solve without editorial so I think them between 0.5 and 2 hours, depending on how interesting they are. Maybe 6-7 hours for the last month but before it was like 4.5-5 hours, I know it's bad. Yeah, I love the green Monster (I mean the energy drink) but sometimes coffee does the job. Yes, I need energy :D Two years. Actually, three years ago, my dream was to become a football player and play for Real Madrid :D :D :D I am not even good at football :D One. Less than month for the 1700-Div1 and I guess 15 for the new Div1 :)
•  » » 4 years ago, # ^ |   +7 By less than month I guess you mean after registering for CF, not starting programming. Am I right?
•  » » » 4 years ago, # ^ |   +5 Yes.
 » 4 years ago, # |   +3 01) I started learn programming at 17 years old (1st year on college).02) My primary programming language is C (without plus-plus).03) For now it's about 4 hours a week (I'm very busy, too much daily activity).04) On my lifetime, I've trained for at least 753 hours (Based on my browsing history and submission history on several OJ :p ).05) During training, I give up on a problem after no new idea for about 3 hours, for reading tutorial, it depend on my mood, sometimes I give up and never read the tutorial because usually I feel very bad, sometimes hate myself, why I'm so damn stupid :(06) I sleep about 6 hours (If I sleep below 6 hours I will feel uncomfortable).07) I never drink coffee in my life, usually I drink hot black tea without sugar before competitions begin (to prevent sleepy and increase concentration). During competition I just drink mineral water.08) Nope, drinking mineral water during training is enough :) I drink much water like a fish :p09) I've been training alone for 4 years, and I can't feel any improvement :(10) I rate my school 3 of 10, because mostly I learn critical thinking by my self.11) As you can see now I'm on div 2, why it's so hard just to achieving div 1 :(
•  » » 4 years ago, # ^ |   +16 Congratulations. You're div 1 now
 » 4 years ago, # | ← Rev. 2 →   -8 1) 12.7 (means 12 years 7 months ) 2) cpp 3) 8 a day so 8*7=56 4) ummmm... 8*30=240 5) 30 mins (I rarely go for the tutorial. I usually ask the people on irc for help) 6) 8-7 7) no 8) no 9) I am practicing seriously for 1 month 10)8-9 11) not yet in div 1 
 » 4 years ago, # | ← Rev. 2 →   0 1- 16. 2- c++. 3- 3+every round on codeforces sometimes I train a lot because of the contests but lately there hardly been any. 4- ??? 5- I read it for 15 mins then if I feel that if I could solve it if I think more I keep thinking else I read the tutorial. 6- 7 to 8 hours. 7- sometimes I drink tea. 8- sometimes I drink tea.(it's not because I need it it's just because I like it) 9- less than a year. 10- 7. 11- let me get to div 1 first then we'll about it.
 » 4 years ago, # | ← Rev. 2 →   0 maybe adding a "what sites do you use to train" question will help??? and what kind of problems you are good at/you are bad at???
 » 4 years ago, # |   0 IDK C++ I have no average. Randomly depends on the week and exams and stuff. Depends on the problem but I Leave the problem. When I feel I am stuck. otherwise I complete trying. Idk 7 I think I like tea in the morning but I rarely do never did it. 1 one more month And I will be so close . looking forward to seeing the graph. :)
 » 4 years ago, # |   0 19C++about 20 hoursmore than 700 hoursabout two hoursIn best cases 6, I hate University :( YESYES14 months2Still div.2, but i hope to become Div.1 before the end of the year...
 » 4 years ago, # | ← Rev. 2 →   +2 ~16 C++ 28-40 1000+ If it's in a contest, I'll give up right after the contest, otherwise, about 5 hours. 6-13 NO NO ~1.5 8 Old Div1, ~7. Current Div1, ~17.
 » 4 years ago, # | ← Rev. 2 →   0 1) 22 (Facebook Hacker Cup Qualifer , for the first time i saw competitive programming). 2)c++ 3) I usually solve 2-3 problems weekly , so 2 hour . 4)250 hours 5)15 minutes 6) 7 hours 7) No 8) No 9) Never trained but trying to regular participate in contest , for last 1.5 years. 10)Rote Learning is popular , I rate 3. 11)Idk
 » 4 years ago, # |   0 When will we get the graphs I am waiting desperately.
•  » » 4 years ago, # ^ |   +7 I only have ~60 entries I need many more in order to get something meaningful
 » 4 years ago, # |   +7 1. 17, second semester of my college 2. C++, of course because it is fast and have easy STL unlike Java 3. Only 10 hours but routine, each 5 on Saturday and Sunday. I am no considered smart or genius so I have to train harder to compete with other geniuses 4. 1500 hours probably? 5. It is like a whole day. I love thinking on my own and mining my perspective more deeper before reading intended jury solution 6. 8, although I usually sleep at 2am for competitive programming but it means I wake up at 10am 7. No. But I will drink much water if provided 8. No 9. 2.5 years 10. I rate 5. My school teach about basic algorithm & data structure but none about competitive programming 11. Exactly 12 months 
 » 4 years ago, # | ← Rev. 2 →   0 1-172-C++3-30-454-250~3005-30 min ~ 1 hour6-6 hours7- done it 3 times before and didn't really see that much of a change8- No9- Didn't even complete my first10- 111- Still at the bottom but there is always hope :D
 » 4 years ago, # |   0 6 weeks ago and there's no one of RED/Yellow Coders answer your questions !! , this wired
•  » » 4 years ago, # ^ |   +11 6 weeks ago and there's no one of Gray Coders answer your questions !! , this wireless
 » 4 years ago, # |   0 Is this just for survey or you are planning to do some kind of data analysis on it? If you are planning to do so, please keep it open source so others can join, contribute and learn.
 » 4 years ago, # |   +13 20 C++ 4 5000 1 5 No Yes 3 1 INF
 » 4 years ago, # |   0 First of all Alex&, i m a big fan of yours and especially the way you explained dima and trap graph on youtube, i learnt a lot PLZ do more videos like that, here are my answers 20 C++ for past 1 month 10 hours 40-50 hrs earlier 30 min now 2hrs(bcoz i think developing ur thinking is more imp) 7-8 hrs no no only 1 month -1(it made me more dumb) not yet, i think it will take me atleast 1 yr because my speed is quite slow
 » 4 years ago, # | ← Rev. 2 →   +13 21 C++ 10 800 120 7 No No 2 3 7
 » 4 years ago, # |   +16 18 C++ 15 2000 30-60 7-9 No No 2.5 3 16-17 months.
 » 4 years ago, # |   0 15 C++ 20 1000 40 10_12 NO NO 1 1 9 months
 » 4 years ago, # | ← Rev. 3 →   +5 1 — 15 2 — C#, but I use C++ for competitive programming(It was a requirement fir the IOI training, and I liked the STL so I kept using it for CP) 3 — ~2 4 — Can't give an accurate estimate. 5 — I look for the tutorial after ~1 hour of making no progress 6: 6 — 11 hours depanding on the day. Probably 8 on avarage 7 — No 8 — No 9 — I've been programming for ~4 years, and training a bit less than a year(although at a slow pace since august) 10 — 3, but they allow me to go to Olympiads and university on school time. 11 — 1 year, reached it in goodbye 2016Oh, I didn't see there was a form... I'll fill it later
 » 4 years ago, # | ← Rev. 2 →   0 1- 18-19 2- c++ 3- 2 in average for each day in a week but some day i don't do anything :3 4- i don't know hhhh 5- 2-5 hour or some time 3 days :3 6- 5 7- yes 8- yes 9- less than 1.5 year 10- i don't care hahahaha 11- not yet :'(
 » 4 months ago, # |   0 17 c++ 2.5*7=17.5 hr no idea 25 min 8-10 hr sleep no,i drink lot of water no 10 months of serious training earlier it was just for fun with no aim 3 I will update this comment once I reach Div. 1
 » 4 months ago, # | ← Rev. 2 →   +3 1- 10 y/o2- C++3- ~15 / week4- 1000-2000? (rough estimate)5- 30-60 min6- 8-97- no8- no9- 4 and a half (first 3 were pretty lazy, started doing CF rounds and working on my own ~1 and a half years ago10- 811- not yet there :(
 » 4 months ago, # | ← Rev. 2 →   +2 42.0 years old 420 42.0 6942.0 420 6.9 no no 6.9 6.9 6.9