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Competitive Programming – A Complete Guide

Last Updated : 04 Apr, 2024
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Competitive Programming is a mental sport that enables you to code a given problem under provided constraints. The purpose of this article is to guide every individual possessing a desire to excel in this sport. This article provides a detailed syllabus for Competitive Programming designed by industry experts to boost the preparation of the readers.


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What is Competitive Programming?

Competitive programming is a mind sport, where people compete against each other to solve some programming questions/logic with an efficient approach and within a time constraint. The goal of competitive programming is to write code to solve a problem within a given timeframe. 

Why Should You Do Competitive Programming?

Competitive programming is the best way to master your analytical thinking, and logical thinking and improve your coding skills. It is now being considered by many tech giants like Google and Facebook. Also, Facebook organizes the Meta Hacker Cup annually to promote all the Competitive Programmers around the world to compete against one another and earn a chance to get hired at Meta.

Here are some reasons about why you should start Competitive Programming:

  • Mental Agility and Quick Thinking: By practicing competitive programming, you start thinking quickly and within the given timeframe and this improves your mental agility and helps enhance your thinking ability.
  • Competitive Spirit: Competitive programming can be fun for those who enjoy the thrill of competition. Solving challenging problems that too within a timeframe boosts confidence and a sense of accomplishment.
  • Career Prospect: Competitive programming is very important when it comes to technical interviews for software engineering-related jobs. Many tech giants use competitive programming contests as a medium of recruitment. Companies like GoogleServiceNowAtlassian, etc. have technical interviews based on competitive programming problems.
  • Learning Opportunity: In Competitive programming, we get a wide range of variety of problems and various arithmetic concepts. Competitive programming exposes various data structures and algorithms which help us better understand the complexity of problems.
  • Personal Growth as a Programmer: Competitive programming is one of the best ways to grow as a programmer. It helps you get a command over problem-solving, as you’ve to solve challenging problems within a time limit. 
  • Networking: Participating in various coding contests gives you a chance to be a part of communities with like-minded people. Here in these communities, you get various important resources and guidance from experts who can help you get so many opportunities like referrals, job-opening information, mentorship, etc. 

Basics of Competitive Programming:

Basics Of Array , String, Greedy and Bit Manipulation

Number Theory and Combinatorics

Searching, Sorting and Basic Data Structures

Tree and Graphs

Recursion and Dynamic Programming

String Algorithms

Geometry and Game Theory

Advance Data Structures

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