Re: [dev] What do you guys think about competitive programming?

From: Ben Woolley <>
Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2016 17:37:29 -0700

> On Aug 12, 2016, at 1:13 PM, Mattias Andrée <> wrote:
> On Fri, 12 Aug 2016 22:05:26 +0200
> Martin Kühne <> wrote:
>> On Fri, Aug 12, 2016 at 9:58 PM, Mattias Andrée
>> <> wrote:
>>> Programming contests can be fun, but it depends on the
>>> competition, some barely have a focus on programming
>>> but mathematics instead. I don't see them as promoting
>>> bad practices, you are under extraordinary pressure so
>>> this should not influence your programming practices
>>> under normal conditions. I don't think the skills, that
>>> are generally useful for programming contests, are
>>> generally useful in other contexts. I hope recruiters
>>> realise the differences in programming competitions and
>>> what the employee will be doing, but that has merits
>>> similar to any other contests, mathematics skills, and
>>> other problem solving skills such as solving puzzles.
>>> It shows competitive attitude and cognitive
>>> capabilities.
>> I even see programming skills wrt free / open source
>> projects different to those an employer would expect. An
>> employer sooner says they're disappointed of somebody's
>> performance, while my personally growing patchset may
>> never actually ripen to be submitted to upstream for all
>> the various reasons. Maybe it's my own code that sucks,
>> but maybe it's the project's design decisions or upstream
>> maintainer's understanding which is incompatible with the
>> work. Nobody has to be loyal to anybody else in these
>> matters, which I see as a core feature of these things.
>> cheers!
>> mar77i
> Agreed.
> Noone should be fooled to thinking that hobby programming,
> which free software and open source projects often are,
> is representative of a typical programming job. And because
> of the time pressure in programming contests, programming
> contests are closer (although not that much) to a normal
> programming job than hobby programming.

The collaborative environment of open source projects is very important for a typical programming job, and shows ability across a wide variety of challenges and conditions.

Also, I typically find that I am needing my juniors to slow down and my seniors to speed up. So if a junior is going fast, I likely won't like the result.

But if someone is winning contest after contest, surely they probably have something of value. I would then ask to see their open source work to get a more complete picture.
Received on Sat Aug 13 2016 - 02:37:29 CEST

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