Note: This is an introductory article for the Algorithmic Problem Solving Course offered at KLE Technological University, Hubballi-31 (2018-19)
Not every university offers a full-fledged programming course that prepares towards competitive programming. KLE Technological University is one of those few universities that has a vision knowing its importance and how it can lead to positive profiles. No, we are not among the very first pioneers. There are programs elsewhere that started more than a decade ago. But, as the saying goes, better late than never.
A Quick Overview
One might know how to devise algorithms, analyze solutions, implement and solve problems; with a wealth of tools (data structures) at disposal. But the competitive programming world has a lot of other challenges which need more than the routine thinking. A great way to improve coding skills is by solving coding challenges. Solving different types of challenges and puzzles can help one become a better problem solver, learn the intricacies of a programming language, prepare for job interviews, learn new algorithms, and more. While most companies have now started hiring through online coding platforms (HackerRank, CodeChef) many most others are moving towards it. This course, Algorithmic Problem Solving (APS), is a preparation towards that direction.
Why Algorithmic Problem Solving?
Here are top 3 reasons on why you should do this course.
To be an effective software engineer one of the important skill is to understand and solve large, complex and poorly defined problems. The computing world has yet a lot of challenging problems that need to be solved and they go beyond traditional algorithmic thinking. Making code efficient and cosmetic demands perseverance and that can be only mastered through extensive problem solving.
Prestigious competitions like ACM ICPC have opened up new doors to programmers and recruiters as well. With sufficient resources available to stake, there is a need of systematic approach to follow and gain mastery over it. Most of the Universities like National University Singapore have already introduced a course on competitive programming.
Programming needs to become a habit. One needs to work under constrained environment spending numerous hours on a single problem. It’s not the correctness that only matters. Memory and time play a crucial role too. One has to explore several techniques trying multiple solutions that finally would satisfy the test case tree. Though you would have undergone several programming courses like C, OOPS, Python etc, this requires a new skill set that one has to master.
Did You Know?
- There are programming languages that allow you to set the way the cache memory works and that could change the behavior of the code?
- Programming is usually and mostly math?
- Brute Force is magic and when that magic fails, will open up a hat-full of new magic tricks?
- Most top programmers around the world are still teenagers?
- There are several conceptual data structures that have more than 3 levels of optimization?
- Algorithms are representations of real world science and behavior?
- The list follows!
What The First Offering of the Course Got!
- KLE technological University stood 29th out of 80+ colleges in University CodeSprint 04 which was evaluated as minor 01 for APS class. A total of 5415 participants participated all over from world. 86% of our students were in top 25% in the contest. The class had bagged two silver and 31 bronze medals.
- World Code Sprint 13, hosted on HackerRank was semester end examination for the course which was a 2 day coding contest. A total of 4126 participants participated in the contest. 100% of our students were in top 25% in the contest and secured various medals.
- Infosys conducted HackWithInfy, a nationwide competitive programming contest where 7 of our students have been offered with various Programmer roles. 3 out of 7 have been offered with 8L offer and 5 out of 7 students were from APS course.
- Samsung conducted a ‘Codethon’ open for North Karnataka colleges in September 2018 where more than 8 colleges participated with near to 100 teams. Seven teams were awarded cash prizes and internship interviews. There were two final year teams from KLE Tech who won the prize and both the teams were from APS course.
What APS Will Do To You?
- It will make programming a daily habit to you
- You will build your own code library
- You will have an online portfolio that you can proudly talk about
- Will boost your confidence to participate in coding contests
- Will make you realize that coding expertise is not an overnight job
- Will put you in the bucket of ‘world’s coders’
- Will keep you sane and happy
More than anything else, if you like coding, this one is for you. Or, you can always develop a new interest.
Gift yourself some best things this New Year! Wont you?