Hepic_Antony_Skarlatos's blog

By Hepic_Antony_Skarlatos, history, 9 months ago, In English,

Hello people ! Today, I was thinking that I am 22 and still I did not manage to be at division 1 here in codeforces. That made me sad but also gave me a boost to practice harder in the future. Whats your age and how your own journey in competitive is going until now ? I was always wondering, there are people older than 24-25 years old who practice regularly in competitive programming ? Because cp is something fun and I would not like to stop it as I grow up because I learn so many things here.

 
 
 
 
  • Vote: I like it  
  • +101
  • Vote: I do not like it  

»
9 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +66 Vote: I do not like it

I'm 24. and I still want to become a grandmaster)

»
9 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it -46 Vote: I do not like it

LoOLOoooOLooOoOooOL. You will learn much more if you quit CP and start doing the stuff that a professional programmer does.

  • »
    »
    9 months ago, # ^ |
      Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

    I don't think that quitting CP helps, but in some sense you are right because you start developing a more professional thinking. This is why I like focusing on university lessons as well and study some books about maths in general. Of course it must be something related. Learning web development I don't think it helps much here though... even if web its fun sometimes!

    • »
      »
      »
      9 months ago, # ^ |
        Vote: I like it -33 Vote: I do not like it

      Lol.

      study some books about maths in general

      For most programming careers, you don't need advanced math. I think you don't even need calculus for that matter.

      Learning web development I don't think it helps much here though

      It doesn't help in CP of course. But web development is a skill that can make yourself marketable and it can help you to do much more things than CP can do for you (e.g. you can do a e-commerce site that makes you cash every month).

»
9 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

I am 20 , and will at least become Orange before completing my graduation :)

»
9 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it -38 Vote: I do not like it

The thing is, why do you want to be in division 1? Is it just for a personal sense of achievement? Or you want to use it as "trump card" to show your peers/future employers that you are a pretty darn good programmer? If your aim is the latter, don't waste your time because no one cares. If you are doing it for the former, then I wish you all the best.

  • »
    »
    9 months ago, # ^ |
      Vote: I like it +20 Vote: I do not like it

    What's your original account (if any) where you actively take part in contests at CF? Asking for a friend. xD

»
9 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +13 Vote: I do not like it

I'm ~1.5 years older than my crush

»
9 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +189 Vote: I do not like it

I'm 18 and I believe that I can reach violet before I become 19

»
9 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +13 Vote: I do not like it

I am 16 and i hope that in the near future i will get to div1.

»
9 months ago, # |
Rev. 2   Vote: I like it +27 Vote: I do not like it

I was always wondering, there are people older than 24-25 years old who practice regularly in competitive programming?

I am 26 and I have faced the truth a few years ago. My brain is structurally different from the brains of the red guys and I won't be like them no matter how much problems I solve. I have acquired peace of mind since that time and compete for my pleasure and entertainment =)

  • »
    »
    9 months ago, # ^ |
    Rev. 2   Vote: I like it +25 Vote: I do not like it

    Its so nice to hear from somebody that he has acquired peace with his mind. But let me disagree with the structure of brain. For sure red people have more skills on competitive and their brain is more flexible, but why is that ? What I think is because they started from young age where the brain is more flexible and they practiced really hard. Moreover they had friends or coaches who motivated them and trained them by showing to them how to practice efficiently. So yea, they have different structure but not because of dna. They just practiced more time, harder and more efficient than the rest people.

    • »
      »
      »
      9 months ago, # ^ |
        Vote: I like it +25 Vote: I do not like it

      Please pardon me if you got the idea that I'm talking about the difference in DNA. I think that the reason is not DNA, but as the brain evolves, it has different stages. You can exploit the flexibility of a young brain to make it's structure so as you are efficient at problem solving. My brain was trained to control the muscles of my body as efficiently as possible, so I have an unfair advantage over the majority of the global population of my age in that regard =) It takes me 10 times less time to gain mastery in any new physical activity such as playing ping pong or riding a skateboard than a normal person.

      • »
        »
        »
        »
        9 months ago, # ^ |
          Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

        Yea no problem. I get your opinion now and I think we both agree that its about training and especially when you are younger. I have see some studies though which say that there is no difference between being young or old in learning process, but because I am not the suitable one, if I am wrong someones to correct me.

        Of course I can't ask why you are saying this "My brain was trained to control the muscles of my body as efficiently as possible". I am just curious. Are you an athlete ?

        • »
          »
          »
          »
          »
          9 months ago, # ^ |
          Rev. 2   Vote: I like it +8 Vote: I do not like it

          I have see some studies though which say that there is no difference between being young or old in learning process, but because I am not the suitable one, if I am wrong someones to correct me.

          I was interested on this topic some time ago and I've read a lot of the research papers on how the brain gains knowledge and also read about the difference between young and adult brains. You can also find a lot on this website: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

          I am just curious. Are you an athlete?

          My father wanted me to become an olympic champion in swimming. I have started swimming since the age of 4, but stopped at age 11. My father was dissappointed by my performance and I later I was roaming from boxing to sambo to archery. In the final year of my school I was doing MMA and started training with weights in a gym.

        • »
          »
          »
          »
          »
          9 months ago, # ^ |
            Vote: I like it +53 Vote: I do not like it

          One thing to mention here — as far as I know, there are no strong chess players who started at age 20+. However, it may also be related so some other things, like social reasons (simple example: you can probably study for 10+ hours per day when you are a child, but in adult life it wouldn't work like that, unless you are professional player already — otherwise you are supposed to have a job etc.)

          However, chess are much more developed compared to CP, much more popular, and strong chess players invested much more time and effort into their preparation than strong CP folks. Reaching chess GM is nowhere close to reaching red at CF; I would even go as far as to say that it may turn out being at same level as reaching LGM at CF, in terms of required resources.

          So it may turn out that indeed beating Petr when you started at the age of 25 isn't realistic for a lot of people :) But it is multiple levels above simply reaching red.

          • »
            »
            »
            »
            »
            »
            9 months ago, # ^ |
              Vote: I like it +5 Vote: I do not like it

            Crazy how Um_nik got into top 5 and he started at 17-18 with a strong math background of course.

            • »
              »
              »
              »
              »
              »
              »
              8 months ago, # ^ |
                Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

              Because programming is math + implementation. And the second part is much easier.

              • »
                »
                »
                »
                »
                »
                »
                »
                8 months ago, # ^ |
                  Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

                Yeah you're right, but did he know so well math or was it more logic then IMO math? I think it was logic.

  • »
    »
    9 months ago, # ^ |
      Vote: I like it -19 Vote: I do not like it

    Yes, I think you are right. Most of the russian guys I see here are above orange.

»
9 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it -14 Vote: I do not like it

I'm 19 and I believe that I am too stupid to become red.

»
9 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +13 Vote: I do not like it

Hello,

I was a contestant long ago and now I am just a coach of a small team. I found out that I had one student who finished his medical studies, practiced and later realized that he is meant for solving problems. So he joined back in university in Computer Science and now solves problem regularly. He is 10-12 years older than me but his level of motivation is as fresh as a new-comer. His dedication is proving to be right, as he is progressing exponentially.

My personal opinion is that age is just a number if it comes to LEARNING and PROGRAMMING.

Happy coding.

»
9 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +11 Vote: I do not like it

I'm 15.

While there's somebody about 13 but red .

There's a saying "You are not able to defeat him if he's younger but more powerful" :)

  • »
    »
    9 months ago, # ^ |
      Vote: I like it +13 Vote: I do not like it

    And there are also 25 years old guys who are newbies.

  • »
    »
    9 months ago, # ^ |
      Vote: I like it +11 Vote: I do not like it

    chen_zhe: "You are not able to defeat him if he's younger but more powerful"

    I'm 15,but I'm only a specialist…

»
9 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +92 Vote: I do not like it

I'm 25; I stopped doing any work on developing (or at least maintaining) my CP skills after ICPC WF 2017 — I went for a full time job instead and started learning software development and programming, and now I'm devoting my free time to other random stuff.

I'm still participating in various competitions from time to time, simply because it is a fun and interesting thing to do, and I enjoy spending some of my time this way.

Answering your question about older contestants — among people currently having rating 3000+ at CF I see at least 3 guys which are older than 30. However, I have no idea if they practice regularly nowadays :)

»
9 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it -22 Vote: I do not like it

I am 19 and I think red EZ

»
9 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it -70 Vote: I do not like it

I am 21 and I love gKseni. Pray for us.

»
9 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

I'm 24,6. I am too old to reach to the red)

  • »
    »
    9 months ago, # ^ |
      Vote: I like it +63 Vote: I do not like it

    No, you're not.

    • »
      »
      »
      9 months ago, # ^ |
        Vote: I like it +31 Vote: I do not like it

      Is this reply backed by statistics or plain human optimism and desire to make him feel good for a moment? =)

      • »
        »
        »
        »
        9 months ago, # ^ |
          Vote: I like it +40 Vote: I do not like it

        I was not red when I was 24,6.

        • »
          »
          »
          »
          »
          9 months ago, # ^ |
            Vote: I like it +25 Vote: I do not like it

          Well, that's not statistics... =)

          I will pay you $1000 USD if -emli- ever becomes red. People pay to visit Burj Khalifa. I am also ready to pay to see a miracle happening.

          • »
            »
            »
            »
            »
            »
            9 months ago, # ^ |
            Rev. 3   Vote: I like it +57 Vote: I do not like it

            Reply above is backed by majk's personal experience, as he became red at more senior age :)

            I suspect that neither Michal (or me, as I probably have similar views) nor you can't actually provide any research/evidence to support his point of view. Even for mental activities and skills in general all the scientific results are controversial and inconsistent; for competitive programming in particular there are simply no papers on it at all :)

            I can say once again that I don't know a single person who actively did competitive programming training for long period of time and didn't get to at least high yellow / low red color. I also know a lot of people who claimed that they worked a lot — when, in fact, they didn't. All of that is my personal experience which doesn't matter much here. It is not how science works and it doesn't prove anything. It may turn out that my experience is correct and proves what I think it proves (that reaching red doesn't require any innate talent, and it is possible for almost everyone after practicing enough), or that it is wrong and I'm missing some hidden variables here — maybe I was just lucky to only know such people, or everyone who wasn't capable of doing well quickly lost interest and stopped practicing...

            You can say again that you are special and not like everybody else; or, more precisely, you are ordinary — and all the red guys are special and they got magic innate gift, and that's what allows them to be red. It will be a claim not backed up by anything either :)

            I'm on your side here: I don't think -emli- will become red in future — but it is unrelated to his age. I have a bunch of reasons to think so, and they include, for example, the fact that I don't think he has much motivation to even try reaching red. I somewhat know him, including having several conversations in past — so...

            I also don't think you'll reach red, and you described it above: you're fine with your current level, as you said — "I have acquired peace of mind since that time and compete for my pleasure and entertainment". You're enjoying it, and that's the most important part :)

            All the CP training theory which exists at this point has been summed up relatively well already, long time ago in F.A.Q. (in PM) post. From my experience, pretty much everyone who's complaining about how they can't improve honestly believe that top guys were born with rating 2500 or so and then they became LGM after practicing for an hour per day over 1-2 years.

            • »
              »
              »
              »
              »
              »
              »
              9 months ago, # ^ |
              Rev. 2   Vote: I like it +2 Vote: I do not like it

              I also don't think you'll reach red, and you described it above: you're fine with your current level

              If the level was bothering me it still wouldn't increase it. There are some qualitative things which I can list from a top of my head which don't change over time (no matter how much I practice):
              1. Comprehension of the problem. The time it takes to have a meaningful representation of the problem on which my conscious/subconcious may start acting is enormous. Sometimes it takes me a day for my brain to form the representation, although I've solved the problem during the contest on my reflexes.
              2. The generalization mechanism is broken. I need a lot more instances of the problems to be able to generalize over what I've seen. I know 2 orange guys personally, so I'm comparing it to what I've seen.
              3. Short term memory is too short. In order to solve the logical problem, sometimes you need to remember like 5 steps of the implications A -> B -> C -> ... I can remember only 2 or 3. I need to constantly remind myself of what were the previous steps and instantly forget the progress that I made.
              4. Long term memory is also broken. In order for learning to happen one needs to remember lessons learned. That's the only reason to practise — accumulate knowledge. But my brain doesn't accumulate it. I have re-learned segment trees (from e-maxx) at least 4 times and implemented more than 10 problems with it, but I still cannot write this algorithm down right now. I vaguely remember the idea, but its unusable for the real problem solving.

              There are more points to make, but I don't remember them all =)

              all the red guys are special and they got magic innate gift

              I don't think they have innate gifts. Theirs brains just developed properly for the CP activity. If I was born again and I was a father of myself I could have made that young brilliant child a legendary grandmaster =)

              • »
                »
                »
                »
                »
                »
                »
                »
                9 months ago, # ^ |
                  Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

                I think you are very strict with yourself. You need to be more positive. We are our thoughts and being negative is not good (sometimes being realistic is not good as well). Also why don't you follow "feymans technique" to learn something, like segment trees for example ? Maybe it will helps you remember it in the future.

                • »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  9 months ago, # ^ |
                  Rev. 2   Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

                  I am sorry, but you made me smile =) I am not pessimist and I don't have negative thoughts. I am not strict with myself and read about all the possible techniques for remembering staff out there. For example, there is a fact that the more senses we use, the higher the probability to recall things later. Also, the highly emotional event is very likely to reside in memory for a long period of time. Negative events are prioritized over positive events by our brains. There are a lot more things to know about memory... =)

                  I just ran experiments with myself. I have a notebook and I tested different hypothesese. This notebook has now over 50 pages of experiments over the years =)
                  There is also one interesting fact from my notebook. My performance degrades over time. There are problems which I was able to solve 2 years ago and I couldn't solve them now :)

              • »
                »
                »
                »
                »
                »
                »
                »
                9 months ago, # ^ |
                  Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

                I think , the fact that you are making notes and trying to learn how to learn ,is the thing that holding you back , you know if someone set some thoughts on his mind based on just some stupid experiments will affect him a lot , if you say that you have a broken long term memory or whatever the facts that you think you got , your brain will work based on your thoughts , you know some healthy people died only because they set to their minds the thought that they are about to die , what i want to say is that we become what we think we can become .

                • »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  9 months ago, # ^ |
                    Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

                  healthy people died only because they set to their minds the thought that they are about to die

                  Sorry, I can't believe it. Can you share a link to that?

                  if you say that you have a broken long term memory or whatever the facts that you think you got

                  The fact became a fact after I started noticing it. In a school I thought that I am smart :)
                  No amount of optimism will make you fly. If you train very hard and diligently for a few years and then jump from a skyscraper you'd better have a parachute. It is important to be adequate to the physical reality and understand it's constraints. Optimism and pessimism are both inadequacies.

                  we become what we think we can become

                  Sounds beautiful and poetic, but physics is different.

                • »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  9 months ago, # ^ |
                  Rev. 2   Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

                  "healthy people died only because they set to their minds the thought that they are about to die", that did often happens in wars , a lot of soldiers died through a heart attack , you can read this article .

                  Well i'd say The fact became a fact after you are thinking that you are noticing it :p

                  It sounds beautiful and poetic and i truly believe in it <3.

                  we become what we think we can become.

              • »
                »
                »
                »
                »
                »
                »
                »
                9 months ago, # ^ |
                  Vote: I like it +32 Vote: I do not like it

                Maybe I am telling you things that you have already heard. And maybe what I am about to tell you is not actually relevant to your situation. But I wanted to say something about your point 4 (which is also relevant to point 2).

                Are you sure you really understand segment trees?

                I remember having the same problem with finding bridges about 2 years ago. Whenever I had to do it, I had to look at some tutorial again. I knew some general ideas about that like "remember the discovery time of each vertex and record the lowest possible vertex accessible from that vertex" (which is a bit of a red herring if you ask me).

                But the thing is, I did not actually understand finding bridges. Maybe I even thought I understood.

                I can actually tell you what I was missing. What made everything click eventually was this: if you traverse a graph depth-first and record every edge you visit, these edges form a rooted tree. All other edges are between a vertex and one of its ancestors.

                Once I started to truly understand why bridge-finding works like it does, I started building intuition about it. Now I am pretty sure I will never forget how to find bridges because the concepts needed are all built into intuition.

                And once that happened, I also became able to use the same ideas for very different problems. I think the concepts from finding bridges are some of the more useful for graph problems. The thing is, you can't generalize something you don't understand very deeply.

                • »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  9 months ago, # ^ |
                  Rev. 4   Vote: I like it +5 Vote: I do not like it

                  That's interesting, but still I don't have a good measure for the depth of understanding.

                  At one time I understood fenwick tree pretty well. I even tought one of my friends in such a way he could implement it on his own (although he is system administrator, not a programmer :) ). I remember I had deep pictures which showed me all the relations and how and why it works. The algo was clear for me as a sky on a sunny day. But everything fades. Now I have a shade of an algorithm that looks like that:

                  void add(tree)
                  {
                     for (bit; bit; bit &= bit)
                     {
                       // here we increase something
                       tree[bit] &= bit;
                     }
                  }
                  
                  void remove(tree)
                  {
                     for (bit; bit; bit &= -bit)
                     {
                       // here we decrease something
                       tree[bit] &= -bit;
                     }
                  }
                  

                  Of course I have some more pictures in my head that relate to this algo, which I cannot draw here now, but will help me reconstruct the missing details. But the thing is I'll need to think for maybe half of the contest or just go to e-maxx and copy the algorithm. The same with gcd(). I've written it a ton of times, but I'll need about 15 minutes to reconstruct it.

                • »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  9 months ago, # ^ |
                    Vote: I like it +11 Vote: I do not like it

                  To be fair, I don't think anyone really cares about how fenwick tree works, or about how gcd works

                • »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  9 months ago, # ^ |
                    Vote: I like it +20 Vote: I do not like it

                  There are many levels of understanding

                  1. Understand others' code in tutorial for a particular data structure/algorithm

                  2. Solve ordinary problem with reference code or cheatsheet

                  3. Solve ordinary problem on your own

                  4. Solve intermediate problems with variations from data structure/algorithm

                  5. You find what you learnt is trivial!

                  In a data structure class most of the students get stuck in stage 2. They can describe algorithms in simple words, but they cannot implement the codes. In CP you should get into at least stage 3-4 before moving on to another algorithm. Otherwise it’s hard to solve a problem in contest even you ‘understand’ the algorithm. Say if you can construct GCD in 1 min (that not harsh) then you get a lot more time to think on other problems.

                • »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  9 months ago, # ^ |
                  Rev. 3   Vote: I like it +10 Vote: I do not like it

                  Well,

                  I tried using Fenwick tree, GCD and oriented area just as things that I should remember "as is" and treat them like axioms. But that didn't worked out for me: I was keeping forgetting them every time I needed them and without logical understanding I wasnt able to reconstruct them.

                  So I tried studying and playing with those topics better until I got logical understanding of them. And it helped me to not only remember them clearly, but also to understand some concepts or improvements that may be based on those topics (such as oriented volume or linear Fenwick tree initialization).

                  Thats only my personal experience, but at least someone cares. =)

            • »
              »
              »
              »
              »
              »
              »
              9 months ago, # ^ |
                Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

              I_love_Tanya_Romanova From my friend i have heard that you are a very good hard worker.Though I am not good at english like you nevertheless I want to share my personal problem about cp with you in cf message box.Hope you will share your experience with me.

        • »
          »
          »
          »
          »
          9 months ago, # ^ |
            Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

          majk , were you specialist when you was 24,6 ? :D

          • »
            »
            »
            »
            »
            »
            9 months ago, # ^ |
              Vote: I like it +15 Vote: I do not like it

            When I was 24,6 I didn't know Codeforces existed. On the other hand, the title "Specialist" wasn't even used back then, so ...

            • »
              »
              »
              »
              »
              »
              »
              9 months ago, # ^ |
                Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

              Sorry for asking , but im curious , how old are you ?

              • »
                »
                »
                »
                »
                »
                »
                »
                9 months ago, # ^ |
                  Vote: I like it +23 Vote: I do not like it

                31

                • »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  9 months ago, # ^ |
                    Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

                  Intresting , i wonder how you find time to practice tho .

                • »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  9 months ago, # ^ |
                    Vote: I like it +9 Vote: I do not like it

                  quoting majk: "by dicking around for the past few months"

                • »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  9 months ago, # ^ |
                    Vote: I like it +3 Vote: I do not like it

                  Laggy knows me well!

            • »
              »
              »
              »
              »
              »
              »
              9 months ago, # ^ |
                Vote: I like it +14 Vote: I do not like it

              What's your background? Why and how did you even try to reach that level?

        • »
          »
          »
          »
          »
          9 months ago, # ^ |
            Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

          I even think that it is difficult to become orange(is that color orange?) QAQ But I will try my bese

»
9 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

I am 22 and I want to be at least Orange.Don't know how far i can go. :( :( Because I've only 1.5 years to complete my graduation and main problem is my brain is not sharp as grandmaster. :( :(

»
9 months ago, # |
Rev. 3   Vote: I like it +10 Vote: I do not like it

I'm 16, and I really think that coaching is important in CP. I used to train alone with only OJ and CF, and stayed at pupil. But after I went to a camp and got some apropriate coaching, I suddnely rised up to Expert. take a look at my abnormal graph XD

Actually the reason why I started CF was because of the editorials and this comment section. Thanks to many people who read my questions after a contest, I think I learned much

»
9 months ago, # |
Rev. 2   Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

I'm 24 years and a half. Started problem solving when I was 20 years old.

»
9 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +64 Vote: I do not like it

I'm 19, and started competitive programming around 2 years ago after failing horribly in IMO. This year I've taken every div1 CF that I possibly could (I have missed two I think, both due to ICPC world finals). My goal is to become red before my account is 2 years old! (I still have 3 months left)

»
9 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +14 Vote: I do not like it

I am 22 and I just started half a year ago. My rating is now ~2300.

Well, I actually received some training at middle school, but I totally gave up at grade 10. For 6 years I'd never learned anything or wrote any program relevant to CP. In the university my major was electronic engineering and I was interested in machine learning, so I did coding a lot, but it had never involved any sophisicated algorithms.

»
9 months ago, # |
Rev. 2   Vote: I like it +41 Vote: I do not like it

I am 19 years old (almost 20), in my third year of university. I started coding around 2 years ago. My goal is to reach 2500 before I graduate! I try to take part in all well-known contests (and ofcourse upsolve problems) to be a step closer to my goal :)

»
9 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +5 Vote: I do not like it

I'm 16, started learning CP about 1 year ago. I am learning to compete in national olympiad and to become red in the future :)

»
9 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +4 Vote: I do not like it

I am 21 and a math final year student, started learning programming languages and CP two years ago since some red coder friend invited me. No coaching and not a team member. Joining CP makes fun and keeps my brain get simulated in summer vacation. Solving easy equations fast brings me to ~1900.

Unfortunately, I have no time for going further. By next week I will fail the team formation test the third time and probably leave this community.

»
9 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it -6 Vote: I do not like it

i am almost 20 now and in 3rd year of my engineering.I was more involved in reducing the processing time of a neural network using parallel processing for the ETCC.now from past ~5 months i have been doing cp.

»
9 months ago, # |
Rev. 2   Vote: I like it -9 Vote: I do not like it

im 20,1 (second year of univ)and i believe color does matters.... but i think failing and learning something from it is most important ;i always try to change color of solved contests green(upsolving till last problem) and learn and learn and learn :D

»
9 months ago, # |
Rev. 3   Vote: I like it -8 Vote: I do not like it

I'm 21 years old (4th year Engineering student)

I started training alone 3 years ago when one of my friends told me about ACM & IEEE Xtreme

»
9 months ago, # |
Rev. 2   Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

I am also feeling very sad.My age is 23.I started cp around 4 years ago.Still i am in division 2 :( I want to be purple in between next 2 or 3 contests but don't know what will happen.

»
9 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it -6 Vote: I do not like it

I'm 15, and I started CP 2 months ago. I want to be CM before the USACO season starts but that's going to be pretty difficult. I will be happy if I can be expert :)

»
9 months ago, # |
Rev. 3   Vote: I like it -19 Vote: I do not like it

23 years 0 months 2 days O_o. I started Competitive Programming just few months before 22. I think here age doesn't matter. It's just my personal opinion. Still now I'm not even a specialist. But believe me, I'm not worried about my age! At this moment my only concern is, how much more time the codeforces queue will last!

»
9 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +41 Vote: I do not like it

32 years old, started a year ago. From my rank you can see I still suck :-), but slowly getting better. I'm a software developer/architect and working on software development professionally for more than 15 years, but cp is much different. I started cp as part of preparation for interviews, but then continued since its fun. How far I will push it I cannot say, but I also strive to become grandmaster :-)

  • »
    »
    9 months ago, # ^ |
      Vote: I like it +25 Vote: I do not like it

    Honestly, I am quite interested to hear your view about why you chose to do CP because it likely has no link to your work.

    • »
      »
      »
      9 months ago, # ^ |
        Vote: I like it +5 Vote: I do not like it

      In my opinion, everyone should practice CP. Solving problems in competitive programming increases our ability of thinks. I can see a a big difference about my approach of thinking before & after I've started solving problems.

    • »
      »
      »
      9 months ago, # ^ |
        Vote: I like it +5 Vote: I do not like it

      I think, he already answered it in the phrase "I started cp as part of preparation for interviews". Being good in CP correlates with ability to pass interviews in some well-known IT companies.

      • »
        »
        »
        »
        9 months ago, # ^ |
          Vote: I like it -16 Vote: I do not like it

        but then continued since its fun. How far I will push it I cannot say, but I also strive to become grandmaster

        What about this? I am curious about why he finds it entertaining. Because it is likely CP doesn't help him to solve his problems at work, neither would it help him to produce a product that is usable by a large consumer base (in contrast to his profession). Furthermore, it really requires a lot of time, sometimes without any progress.

        TLDR: Why does the OP find CP to be "fun"?

        • »
          »
          »
          »
          »
          8 months ago, # ^ |
            Vote: I like it +47 Vote: I do not like it

          Some people just like to compare the length of their lance with other guys on the Internet.

        • »
          »
          »
          »
          »
          8 months ago, # ^ |
            Vote: I like it +11 Vote: I do not like it

          Just a bit of background, I'm married and I have a baby now, so besides that is no that much free time for me. I'm spending around 5 hours weekly on CP, either practicing problems or competing.

          I don't know why I find it fun, I was always interested in many areas of IT, but algorithms and data structures especially. When I solve a hard problem or score good at competition I feel quite excited. It seems to me that I'll do CP as hobby for a lifetime, even in 30 years :-). But even with my hobbies I want to see a progress, to get better over time, it's not fun for me if I'm stagnating. Also, I think that CP helps also a lot to any software engineer to better approach any problem and understand software performance. Also, it is good general mental exercise I suppose.

          Why you do CP?

          • »
            »
            »
            »
            »
            »
            8 months ago, # ^ |
              Vote: I like it +8 Vote: I do not like it

            Its nice to hear that people try advanced algorithms even if they don't aim in medals but only in fun and knowledge.

  • »
    »
    9 months ago, # ^ |
      Vote: I like it +10 Vote: I do not like it

    Thats amazing. I hope that when I will be 32 years old, still I will like cp so much as I do now.

»
9 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it -7 Vote: I do not like it

Hello, I`m >16 years and I still want to become a blue)))

»
9 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it -26 Vote: I do not like it

But Is It Rated?

»
9 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

I'm 20 years old. You can see my target in my handle name. I think CP is a part of my life that I can not living without. Anyone here and friend and do gym with me?

»
9 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +7 Vote: I do not like it

I'm 20, in my final year of Engineering. Started CP after doing terrible (last place) at a competition during tech-fest of some college. I want to be a candidate master within this month and a master by the time I complete graduation! :)

»
8 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +9 Vote: I do not like it

I'm 14. i start to code 8 months ago. I will try hard to reach master in 2018 and participate in IOI. pray for me, please.

»
8 months ago, # |
Rev. 2   Vote: I like it +29 Vote: I do not like it

I'm almost 16 and my goal is to reach nutella and make a cf blogpost with a picture of me eating nutella.

»
8 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +95 Vote: I do not like it

I'm 35, I always loved math, won a contest when I was a kid, but never programmed until the age of 22 and never knew CP existed before about 2 years ago.

I spent a lot of time on Project Euler, and as I got a new job with more programming, I started getting interested in Python.

One night, I stumbled upon Google Code Jam. It seemed so much fun to me, but I didn't know any of the programming structures.

And then I found this great community: at first, I found the problems extremely difficult, the time limits ridiculously small. I didn't understand why my python solution always got TLE. I got to learn again c++ thanks to it, and to learn at my old age how to code faster (2 hours to solve 1 problem seemed a good timing before I came here)

I'm roughly the same age as Petr, and I always considered myself as very gifted in math, and being on this site has been the most humbling experience ever. When I see what he did as a teenager, and what everyone on this site achieves (not only talking about div1), I'm truly impressed.

As a very old guy on this website, make no mistake : you have the time fall in a coma, not do anything until you're 30, and still have a lot of time to be great in programming and in other things in life.

Also, behind the world of competitive programming or landing in a Tier 1 tech company there is a whole world full of people that need problems solved efficiently, and people able to formulate these problems. Having practised CP will help you in interviews and interaction way beyond "landing your first graduate job".

Anyway, even with my awful learning rate, it's still profitable for me to do a few hours of CP per week, so there is no question for anyone younger (or anyone older for that matter).

Never stop CP-ing it's the best. Having this kind of challenge and knowledge base and community around at your age is something priceless.

There are not that many activities where half of the best people in the world are under 20 and so accessible. If this activity is something that is actually valued in the real world beyond competition (at least more valued than esport), there is no question.

So, do it to have fun, for your career (even at 35 it's still useful, after all Google interviewed me just because I was top 3000 at GCJ), to progress in programming but also in math and in general problem solving. No need to be less than 20 for that.

I hope I'll still be here getting outsmarted by kids for a long time.

  • »
    »
    8 months ago, # ^ |
      Vote: I like it +5 Vote: I do not like it

    Your post is the reason I asked the question. Thank you for your story and the motivation you give us !

»
8 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

I'm 16 years old , I'm going to go to IOI2019. :D (In my view my CF rating will grow before IOI2019 xD)

»
8 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

I'm 16 years old.The road of my programming contesets is just started. I'm not good at programming now and my rating is lower than 1500. However,I am determined to try out my best. I will study harder and practice more regularly in the following days. I believe there will be one day I got success and achievements by my own.

»
8 months ago, # |
Rev. 3   Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

/

»
8 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

I'm 16 and I've just become Expert. I think the age is not problem, and the way you keep going will bring you success. Good luck!

»
8 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +10 Vote: I do not like it

I'm 16 and I want to be yellow =)

»
8 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +11 Vote: I do not like it

I'm 25

»
8 months ago, # |
Rev. 2   Vote: I like it +66 Vote: I do not like it

I'm 23 now. I was first exposed to programming contests when I was 14. It's been pretty interesting to see how my relationship with contests has changed over the years.

From 14-19 I would compete in the "big contests" but never took the time to solve problems otherwise. At the time the "big contests" for me were USACO (American high school olympiads) and ICPC. As you might imagine, I wasn't that good and didn't progress very quickly since I didn't invest in any proper training. I think a big part of the issue is that I overvalued innate talent. I didn't understand how necessary it was to solve problems on your own and I didn't have an idea of how fruitful that could be.

From 20-21 I trained pretty hard with the aim of performing well in ICPC. Our college ICPC team would have 5-hour practices once or twice a week to do old contests. After those I would go home and upsolve problems that we didn't finish. I also started to compete in Codeforces and Topcoder whenever they had rounds and I would upsolve those problems afterward as well. It paid off both in terms of personal improvement and in advancing to the ICPC World Finals during my senior year in 2016. I also met several of my best friends from college through the ICPC community.

After I graduated, I took a job at a tech startup and for a couple of years I stopped spending much time on competitive programming. In the first year, I would do Codeforces occasionally but otherwise I was focused on work, other hobbies, and on my social development. In the second year, I didn't compete anywhere apart from the annual Code Jam and Hackercup rounds.

Recently, I returned to programming contests. I'm competing on Codeforces whenever there's a contest and I started participating in Atcoder rounds as well. I'm back for the simple joy of solving beautiful problems and implementing their solutions. As I grow older, it feels more necessary to have something that centers me and is always there for me regardless of how other things in life change. That thing seems to be programming contests.

I've also realized more and more how important programming contests have been for my personal development. It's hard to overstate the value of learning something in an environment with precise and immediate feedback. You learn to be really honest with yourself about your strengths and weakness. You learn to critically evaluate your behavioral tendencies both in the contest environment and in day-to-day life. You learn to approach things in a discplined way and you learn how to perform under pressure.

Looking back on things, I'm really glad that this community exists. Looking forward, I'm excited for many more years to come of training, competing, and being a part of this community.

»
8 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

Hello I am 20 and in my 3rd year. I wish to become blue before next month ends. I am trying hard(missing classes) for it to happen. Wish me good luck!
Happy coding :)

  • »
    »
    8 months ago, # ^ |
      Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

    I am trying hard(missing classes) for it to happen.

    Wow. That's some serious dedication there. Is CP some silver bullet to getting jobs in India and Bangladesh? Why do these people prioritize it above their studies?

    • »
      »
      »
      8 months ago, # ^ |
        Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

      Its because the companies here(in India) ask coding questions in interviews and because of that many people do cp and eventually many of us fall in love with it and get addicted to it so much that we pay any price in an effort to master it.

      • »
        »
        »
        »
        8 months ago, # ^ |
          Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

        _ the companies here(in India) ask coding questions in interviews_

        Really? So the companies in other countries don't ask coding questions in interviews?

        • »
          »
          »
          »
          »
          8 months ago, # ^ |
            Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

          I don't know.

          • »
            »
            »
            »
            »
            »
            8 months ago, # ^ |
            Rev. 3   Vote: I like it -10 Vote: I do not like it

            Well. A search on Google + personal experience tells me the answer — yes, companies in other countries ask coding questions as well. So it turns out that your reason is a little invalid.

            How about saying that it is because of peer influence? (i.e. many people in your country is doing it, so everyone else just follows along). Let's have a look at the type of questions that are asked by your fellow countrymen on quora regarding CP (You know what I am talking about).

            Also, if you don't believe me, not many people are that fanatical about CP besides those in India and Bangladesh. See this.

            • »
              »
              »
              »
              »
              »
              »
              8 months ago, # ^ |
                Vote: I like it +10 Vote: I do not like it

              You should have used (Competitive Programming — Topic) instead of search term to get better results:

              Take a look here

            • »
              »
              »
              »
              »
              »
              »
              8 months ago, # ^ |
              Rev. 2   Vote: I like it +3 Vote: I do not like it

              As far as peer influence is concerned in my batch there are 120 students out of which hardly 10 students do CP on regular basis. So peer pressure is not there. Well, maybe my reasoning is invalid for the whole of India but at least it is true for me.

              • »
                »
                »
                »
                »
                »
                »
                »
                8 months ago, # ^ |
                Rev. 2   Vote: I like it +8 Vote: I do not like it

                1 in 12 is a lot. Like a lot a lot a lot.

                (By the way this isn't actually relevant but my country has about 10 people who do competitive programming on a regular basis)

                • »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  »
                  8 months ago, # ^ |
                    Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

                  I study at IIT, so we are talking about 1 in 12 in an IIT!

»
8 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +3 Vote: I do not like it

I am 22. I am into competitive programming since I was 17. Still blue.

  • »
    »
    8 months ago, # ^ |
    Rev. 2   Vote: I like it -30 Vote: I do not like it

    Sure. I was into CP since I was 3 and I am now 30. But I am still unrated. LoooOOooOoLOooOoOoL. ROFL. Lmao. Do you get what I am trying to say?

»
4 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +3 Vote: I do not like it

I am 27 and I do CP as a game with nothing to lose, and will continue to do so.

»
4 months ago, # |
Rev. 2   Vote: I like it +3 Vote: I do not like it

I'm 19 now. I plan to be yellow before I'm 20.

»
4 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +2 Vote: I do not like it

I'm 23. I hope to become red before i die :)

»
4 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it -11 Vote: I do not like it

I am 13 and I am Expert.

»
4 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

Im 18 and in half a year I will be taken to the army D: (yea, this is great required Russian army...). Before this time I want to score as much as possible :D

»
4 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

i'm 16 :)

»
4 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it -10 Vote: I do not like it

after too much time traveling fighting the organization, I lost the count of my true biological age :(

»
4 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

I'm 12. Hope to get to master by Feb. 1st, which is my b-day.