I was randomly browsing youtube and came across a video titled ‘An interview with a competitive programmer’. The title piqued my interest as I had no idea about ‘competitive programming’.
The interview was with Errichto, who had secured 2nd place in google code jam. He described his entire journey with competitive programming and it inspired me to chart my own course.
I was in phase of transitioning from Java to Python in 11th grade, but my experience with Python was lacking. So I decided to stick with Java for competitive programming, as Java programs are generally faster than equivalent Python programs and I already had experience in working with Java.
I looked into ways to become a competitive programmer in India, when one is a high school student. During this search I came across IOI and competing in it became my main goal in life. To compete in IOI as an Indian the path one must travel looks like something like this:
ZIO/ZCO –> INOI –> IOI Camp –> IOI
I took part in ZIO( Zonal Informatics Olympiad) which involved solving some mathematical puzzles. I gave my best in the exam and I was among the 6 students selected for INOI from Gujarat(My home state). Around 300 students are selected for INOI and from these 300 students only 30 are selected for IOI camp.
DAIICT was going to host INOI in Gujarat. I used this opportunity to visit the campus OF DAIICT.
I did not have the necessary mathematical prerequisites to qualify for IOI camp in 11th grade. This setback did not deter me and I vowed to return next year with more preparation.
I could not participate in INOI in my 12th grade due to the Covid-19 panemic. I have kept on honig my competitive programming skills and mastering a variety of data structures and algorithms.
I currently use Python to solve programming contests due to my familiarity with it. But I am planning to shift to using C++ in near future.