Sites and Tools for Competitive Programming

Computer programming is a fundamental skill that isn’t just limited to software development or cutting-edge research. It is used to ensure customers or online users have a great user experience when banking, ensures a seamless supply line, and also creates exemplary online experiences when shopping or merely browsing items.  

Due to constant changes in this fast-paced world, competitive programming is also on the rise. Competitive programming differs from everyday programming in several ways. 

The first difference is that it is a mind sport used to solve coding problems with the help of algorithms and data structure.  

This means that a solution needs to be provided with a code that is fast and consumes the least memory. Such codes are usually unreadable. However, other factors are also important such as the execution time, program size, and the output produced. 

Top companies prefer hiring candidates with competitive programming skills over those with regular programming skills. 

The skills required in competitive programming are as follows:

  • Algorithm skills
  • Basic math skills
  • Programming skills
  • Typing speed
  • Debugging skills 

Sites and Tools for Competitive Programming

Best Sites and Tools for Competitive Programming

5 Best sites for Competitive Programming

  1. Physics Wallah 

Physics Wallah is India’s leading ed-tech platform that provides the best coding courses and exposure to interested candidates of all ages at the most economical prices.

Those interested in competitive programming can learn C++ and Java from the root level with algorithmic challenges, one-on-one sessions, and live interaction with experts in the field.

Additionally, all classes are interactive with the assurance of personalized attention to ensure all students understand each topic and are ready for the market.

  1. Topcoder

Topcoder is a popular platform for competitive programming and is also one of the best sites for beginners to practice coding. The website focuses on algorithm challenges that can be completed using their code editor tool and are also suited for advanced-level candidates. 

  1. Coderbyte

This website covers over 200 types of questions based on competitive programming and coding challenges. These questions and challenges can be solved in 10 different programming languages. It is an ideal site to seek help from the coding community and gain expertise in algorithms and data structures.

  1. Codewars

If you are looking for an extensive collection of coding challenges, then Codewars is the best website for that. You can submit challenges that can be edited by the Codewars community and also allows you to solve some challenges online using their editor of more than 20 programming languages. 

  1. CodeChef

CodeChef is an Indian platform that offers more than a hundred competitive programming challenges. It is considered one of the best sites for competitive programming wherein you can write code in their online editor as well as view a collection of their challenges. You can access coding problems based on your skill level. 

This site hosts three contests every month that can span up to 10 days and it is the ideal platform for beginners to get some exposure. 

Other Best Tools for Competitive Programming

There are several tools you can use during programming challenges. Some of them are mentioned below: 

Online Integrated Development Environment (IDE) Tools

  • Ideone

This is an online compiler and debugging tool wherein you can easily compile codes and execute them. Ideone allows you to save your programs but does not show the execution time of the program. 

  • Rextester

This tool is similar to Ideone but allows you to develop and execute commands for your program. Moreover, the tool also shows you the execution time of your program. 

  • HackerRank IDE

This integrated development environment (IDE) is used to increase a developer’s productivity by combining his capabilities such as building, testing, and software editing in an easy-to-use application. However, it automates common setup tasks such as building projects that may be needed to prepare a front-end review.

  1. Difference Checker
  • Diffchecker

This is an ideal tool for stress testing. This means it can be used to find bugs in an algorithm. With the help of stress tests, a large number of random tests are generated to check the efficiency of the algorithm and the brute force algorithm. 

  • CSA Academy Difftool

CSA Academy Difftol is a helpful tool to figure out changes in two versions of the same file. You can also use this tool to compare outputs given by two different programs. 

  1. Online Debugger
  • OnlineGDB

This tool is an ideal tool for debugging code. It is a compiler and debugger for several programming languages.

  1. Formatting Tools
  • CodeBeautifier:

 This is a formatting tool that allows you to beautify your source code. It is a program that improves the visual appeal or presentation of the programming source code based on the analysis of the syntax and indent lines appropriately whilst also removing extra blank spaces.

  • Tutorials Point Formatter: 

This tool is similar to CodeBeautifier, meaning it takes care of the presentation of the source code. 

  1. Visual Tools
  • Geometry Widget

This visual tool allows you to properly visualize a problem wherein you can manipulate objects on a plane like segments, circles, polygons, and so on. You can use the export button to create a mark-up tag that renders a copy of your plane. 

  • VisuAlgo

VisuAlgo is a dynamic visual tool that helps you visualize your problem. It is also an automated assessment system that generates random questions to test students’ understanding of data structure and algorithms. 

  1. Problem Archives

  • SPOJ

SPOJ or Sphere Online Judge is an online judge tool or system that is a problem-set archive, judge, and contest hosting service. This tool is an archive for programming problems that receives and checks submissions by the community. 

  • Google CodeJam Archives

This is an archive by Google wherein you can see results and code from past competitions or code ram rounds. You can even attempt the problems yourself.

Conclusion

Competitive programming is a great mental sport that allows programmers to challenge themselves within a given time limit. Not only does competitive programming enhance problem-solving skills but it helps you code better and more efficiently.

Many universities and companies prefer competitive programmers to regular ones because their approach to problems is simpler and quicker.

As a coder, you should challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone if you want to make it big in the industry. Competing is one way you can evaluate your skills and earn recognition. Moreover, you push yourself to execute quicker and shorter codes that help you to get the job done faster and more efficiently.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Is C or C++ better for competitive programming?

Ans. For competitive programming, C++ is given preference to C. 

Q2. How to learn competitive programming?

Ans. 

  • To get started with competitive programming you must first learn a programming language used in competitive programming such as C++, Python, Kotlin, Java, or Ruby.
  • Become proficient in the fundamentals, syntaxes, and implementation of the language
  • Learn algorithms and data structures
  • Practice a lot and solve real-life problems 

Q3. What is the best age to start competitive programming?

Ans. There is no best age to start competitive programming. You can start as early as 10 years old or as late as in your twenties or thirties. 

Q4. Where can I prepare for competitive programming?

Ans. You can prepare for competitive programming on platforms like Physics Wallah, Udemy, CodeEasy, Coding Ninjas, and HackerRank.

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