Autoratch's blog

By Autoratch, 10 months ago, In English

At what age do you guys think is the best time to start competitive programming?

Is The sooner the better really true in every cases?

Like for example, I started coding at the age of 11 and competitive programming at the age of 13, I felt that some of the algorithms or some of the maths were really hard to understand at that time. But of course this give me a lot of years to do cp before graduating high school or university.

So I want to hear it from you guys that,

  • When did you start competitive programming/coding?

  • If you could turn back time, would you want to change the time you start and when would you change it to?

 
 
 
 
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10 months ago, # |
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6pm

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10 months ago, # |
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Yes, I started coding at age of ~6, and started cp at age 10, now I am 12 years old, and I think that starting at that age was really good!

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10 months ago, # |
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I started CP just a few days ago after coming to University. I really feel that I should have started earlier but I didn't had any knowledge about CP. I didn't even knew programming until I was 17 when we were introduced to Programming the first time. If I could have started earlier I could have tried for IOI. Guys of my age who started earlier are qualifying Code Jam round 2. By the time I'll reach their current level they would have become Red. Yeahh... the saying is true the sooner the better.

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10 months ago, # |
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I don't think starting so soon is beneficial. CP requires basic understanding of mathematics. I do think that if I started a few years earlier, I would have more time to develop. For me, however, starting before 13 yo wouldn't really make a different.

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10 months ago, # |
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I started some very basic competitive programming when I was around 10-11. I feel the best course of action is just taking maths seriously as soon as possible. I had a pretty decent level in maths back then, but I would only learn about new stuff if I needed them for cp, which wasn't efficient. Probably I would've liked doing more advanced math before that. I guess it doesn't make much sense to start CP any faster. It's actually the mathematical thinking that limits you in the end, but I guess one can start doing serious math at any age, and any form of critical thinking helps.

Ohh and also, as a personal observation, everything that I could do when I was around 12-13 years old, I could do now in 1/5 time and with much less effort. But then again, I didn't know about many things that could've made my life easier. Back then, I could understand literally everything that I can understand now, but the lack of things that I knew limited my creativity, and even made the understanding slower (as in I could understand anything, at a higher cost, but in finite amount of time, but would often have it impossible to come up with that thing myself). So the age, at least in my case, didn't really matter. What mattered was the order of learning which was fucked up in my case. If you'd just start learning all the maths that you need (like up to high school, should take probably around 5-7 years if you don't hurry and start when you're 6 years old; if it's US syllabus, maybe 4-5) and then do CP seriously and rigorously, I guess the age difference wouldn't be so obvious. I guess there's a chance that I overestimate what I could do long time ago, but I didn't push myself enough to clearly see my back-then limits. But to conclude, having a well-developed way of thinking, including a very good understanding of maths, is crucial, and the more math you do beforehand (even advanced one which is not directly useful, but simply develops your brain) the better it'd be.

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10 months ago, # |
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I started coding at age of 9, and competitive programming at 14, now i am 16 and dont want to change anything. olympic coding make me sad

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    10 months ago, # ^ |
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    Now I doubt myself. I am 20, and barely a low specialist. I started cp when I was 18.

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10 months ago, # |
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if you're exposed to math and in general problem solving and riddles early on in life (or alternatively you have a genius friend drag you into it) you should have a solid enough foundation in CP because it'll be enjoyable anyways whether you're good or terrible at it (ofc it feels bad to be terrible at stuff but you'll have the passion to grind through some of the slumps)

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10 months ago, # |
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I will graduate next year June. I started CP at age 22 :) Yes, chances are slim that I will ever make it to Red, but will keep trying my best until I graduate (1 more year to go).

PS — I am an Indian. Most of this community say Indians do CP for Job. But you see — we don't get the exposure at early age (due to many reasons which you can't even think). The first time I was exposed to programming was when I was 19. No hate to anyone though.

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10 months ago, # |
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I started programming at 11 and CP at 18. If I could turn back time I would have started at around 15 because I feel very left out when I see people talk about IOI, I hadn't even heard of CP when I was at school.

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10 months ago, # |
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I started programming last year and cp 3 months ago. And I’m 32 now. I wish I knew it when I was younger. But still I’m improving slowly everyday. It’s never too late or too early to be whoever you want to be.

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10 months ago, # |
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I started very very basic combinatorics about 11-12, then i left it for more than a year, after that i started real combinatorics, i did not try that much hard in the first 6 months, it was more for fun and less than an hours a day in average i guess. Then i took it more serious, like 3-4 hours a day (which is still nothing) for 6 months, after that, when i was something about 14 years and 6 months old, i started practicing for Computing Olympiads, and also started very basic programming, then i started CP when i was about 15, now i'm about 16.

Probable they are wrong, i don't remember clearly :).

If i where back then, i would have started CP when i was 14 years old (6 months sooner), and also would have not left Computing Olympiads when i was 12. Indeed i had the potential but i wasn't introduced to CP, also i was learning combinatorics.

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10 months ago, # |
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I started getting serious into competitive programming after finishing a CS degree (23 year old).

Should I have started earlier? Sure. I probably could've trained a bit harder and made ICPC in university. But I am extremely happy about starting when I did — it has definitely made me logical when it comes to approaching real-world problems.

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10 months ago, # |
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I don't think the sooner the better is true in every case. If you start too early, you might not be able to understand many of the algorithms and the formulas and lose interest in CP too early. However the more early you start, you do get more advantage. So I'd say about 12~13 is just right. If you're really talented, you might start even earlier but I don't think that's the case for a majority of people.

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10 months ago, # |
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I started cp after entering the university and now I feel like I should have started it early.However it varies from person to person as I have found many of my friends who registered on cf after me and are now experts.

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10 months ago, # |
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Earlier is always better in respect to how good u'll be assuming you go through with it, and those who say otherwise are crazy. Even if you didn't understand more advanced concepts, just the exposure of having the cp mindset helps you in the long run, though you probably will as long as you built from bottom up. I also think the math needed to start you off in cp is quite simple (highschool standard curriculum stuff) and could easily be taught to someone very young for the type of people that get into cp anyway, and you can be exposed to more advanced math through cp. I wish I learned about it in elementary years.

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10 months ago, # |
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I am from typical middle class Indian family. I Heard about programming at the age of 19.I write my First code at 20 and start CP from last month at age of 21. believe it or not but in my entire family(including all uncles, cousins)no one is even heard about programming. I am happy that I know about programming and started CP at age of 21 and able to teach my son/daughter at their early age. pardon me for any error in English.

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    10 months ago, # ^ |
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    Wow sir u .....honestly you have such an inspirational story

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10 months ago, # |
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I started competitive coding since i was only one month old...... in my mothers abdomen ....and participated in google code jam just after i celebrated my first birthday....Believe me or not the journey has been amazing so far.......

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    10 months ago, # ^ |
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    But Your account shows that you registered on CF 5 months ago , and after seeing your profile , I observed that you are above 21 right now. So basically your profile contradicts your own statement . lolol....

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10 months ago, # |
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I learnt programming in 3rd semester of my undergraduate and started cp from 5th semester . May be quiet late but currently i am in 8th semester and last 1.5-2 years have been a great learning experience. If i would have started it from at least 1st semester, i would have more time.

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    10 months ago, # ^ |
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    Same with me also bro... I also started cp in my 5th sem currently I'm in 6 sem. And i year of my cp carrier i have learnt a lot many new algo and problem solving techniques, but in my I'm also get join very late this field

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10 months ago, # |
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I wrote my first line of code in my first semester and started CP in my mid-2nd semester(I was 18.5 then). I do think it would have been better had I been introduced to CP when I was in school, since I was quite good at non-abstract math even then. It would have been a better investment of time than taking part in some random speech/essay competition or studying.

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    10 months ago, # ^ |
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    I never even heard of IOI/IMO or any other competitions. School life has always been around focusing "their" curriculum.

    IMG-20200610-110728

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10 months ago, # |
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I think , I am late if compare with you, I started both coding and competitive programming at the age of 23 . Before that I didn't knew that what coding is . But I love this and trying my best.

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10 months ago, # |
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I'm 23, thinking to start CP :)

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10 months ago, # |
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I started coding when I was at 8th grade.I had to know Python for a school project.A few months later a friend of mine, who had already participated in the local competitions, adviced me to try out Codeforces.Now I graduated from 10th grade and I don’t want to change anything.

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10 months ago, # |
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I am 8 years old and I started coding at 6 years old

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    10 months ago, # ^ |
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    I said earlier that starting CP before 13 wouldn't be beneficial.

    Well, I was completely wrong in this case.

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    10 months ago, # ^ |
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    I am 2 years old and I started CP at 20 years old

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10 months ago, # |
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Hi I just want contribution

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10 months ago, # |
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I started competitive programming when I was 13 years old. In Japan, almost no one starts competitive programming in 12 or earlier. Many other IOI Japan competitor starts competitive programming in 15 or so.

So I am surprised that, in other countries, many people starts competitive programming in, 11, 10, 9, or even 8. Because here in Japan, almost no chance exists to know competitive programming before 12.

In this reason, I don't regret that I should've start earlier. If I say like that, think how other Japanese competitive programmers think. Instead, I teach competitive programming for many young students like age 12-16, so that many people feels like "it was very nice for my life to meet the journey of competitive programming!"

P.S. Still, I think that competitive programming is a very enjoyable journey no matter when you start :-)

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10 months ago, # |
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Is it advisable to start cp after the graduation.will they still have scope for development

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10 months ago, # |
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In India generally students do sports programming in college and with the sole purpose of getting jobs. Very few would be there who started competetive programming in schools ,although many know programming from their school time but only that much which is required to pass their papers.I think programming platforms like codeforces and codechef should have been introduced to students from school time as it will give extra time to build up skills.

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10 months ago, # |
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I started 15 months ago I am 20 now and many normal people in India start at this time only ,thus I can't say much but competing with others in the contest demotivates me and sometimes motivates me. But when I joined here I thought that I will learn those algorithms or data structures which I don't know, and seriously gradually I came to know about some but most of the contest nowadays I don't find any new thing that can be learnt , from

March onward I feel that the contest have gone more mathematical,constructive , observational and other much much stuffs which will take a lot of practice for me to learn it. Thus I hope to find something new in almost every contest and sometimes I succeed and most of the time I fail to do so. I don't know why but my story is too much on sad side!

Also we in India at your age of 13 and 14 were busy playing street games or cricket rather than competitive programming . Until 11th class of my school I was not knowing what is C++ and Until 1st semester of my college we most of the Indians do not have a laptop or a PC. In India here everything goes slowly slowly and gradually.

Till 2nd semester you would be reading formulas of chemistry , physics ,Maxwell equations and vector calculus even in Computer Science Stream, Thus 1st year of every Bachelor student in India is spent in learning physics , chemistry and some math also here we get admission to top universities not on the basis of programming skills but on the basis of Physics, Chemistry and Maths( IT is the only subject I liked) and the exam you well know is JEE .

and until first year of your university you keep on hand writing bunchs of assignments a week and drawing engineering drawing sheets . That is our first year is spent in exploring all 40 fields of engineering in some colleges like hours you will also learn how to run an axe to cut something in mechanical and carpentary lab.

Also you will learn how to make a complex electrical circuit and connect it in real life scenario. From second year 2 to3 subjects like Data Structures and Algorithms come in your course which I love most. But till this time you will reach almost 20 years of age and slowly slowly you start learning and people are much ahead from you, from now but remember still you have to submit bunch of hand written assignments to your professor otherwise you will not get good grades here thus according to our colleges and universities there is no place of Competitive coding in your full B-Tech degree ? And if you want to pursue doing it then you have to struggle hard for it. I can write much more as I have suffered this in India and many others are like me who have such sad stories?

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10 months ago, # |
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I started Cp when I was 21.
Right now, I am 20 and hopeful :)

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10 months ago, # |
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I started very basic programming at the age of 10,and started CP like a month ago.now my age is 14.

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10 months ago, # |
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I started to code at 16 lol... But I'm doing CP now at 19

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10 months ago, # |
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  • I started practicing Competitive Programming problems when I was 13 (about 16 months ago).
  • I participated in my first contest at 14 (about 8 months ago).
  • I am now 14 (about now).

As for programming in general, I have been doing it for fun since I was 8. But this was mostly building fun games with JavaScript and the other usual suspects (HTML and CSS), and have been doing recreational mathematics for as long as I remember.

It is fine to start competitive coding as early as you can, because nothing focuses and engages you more than the adrenaline of a live contest.

However, it is essential that live contests take no more than 30% of your total coding and maths time. The reason is that live competitions require quick solutions, where you cannot always maintain a high level of mathematical proofs behind your algorithms. Also you do not usually have time to craft your code to the best programming standards as well. At the very least, I would recommend going back to the problems when the competition is over and spending more time on each problem without the nerve-racking haste of a live competition.

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10 months ago, # |
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I started when I was 14 and if I could I would've started when I was 11. It has been great I've had lots of ups and downs and excitements. I got into it because of some local competitions and my main focus was on theory specially graphs and combinatorics I got more serious about coding about a year ago and here I am.
Thanks for reading

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10 months ago, # |
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I started when I was 14.

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10 months ago, # |
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High school is probably the best time because you can prepare for IOI or USACO. Either that or college is the best time because you can prepare for ICPC even though you probably won't make it. You could start middle school. Earlier is probably the better.

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9 months ago, # |
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Everybody is so young. And here am I, in my thirties, just recently started with all the cp stuff

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9 months ago, # |
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Well right now i am 0 year old because yesterday I took birth. I was doing programming since when I came into existence as sperm.Hope to become red when i will be 1 year old.I was doing programming with other sperms with the help of advanced Technology which can't be explained in this world.