Competitive programming is a mind sport held over the internet involving programmers as contestants. If you are a fan of coding, you may love competing with your fellow developers and the only weapon that you’re gonna use is the Java programming language.
The question that arises, “What exactly do I have to do to become great at competitive programming?”
The answer is simple, yet complex at the same time. First of all, if you aim to become an excellent competitive programmer, you will have to learn Java.
While learning, focus on understanding the concept of object-oriented programming and then mastering the skill of writing optimized code which is reusable and scalable at the same time. By doing so, not only will you be able to achieve your goal, but also you will be one of the promising candidates for the job as a Java developer.
Well, that’s just the first step and from this point onwards, we’ll illuminate some really effective tips which you can follow to become an accomplished Java programmer and show you how you can learn Java from scratch on CodeGym by playing!
Harness the Fundamentals of Java
The best possible way to master any programming language is to start with the fundamentals first. Every star coder started from this step some time ago.
At the very beginning, the code may look gibberish and even bulky, but the more you learn, the more you understand deeper aspects of programming and come closer to the level where you may win your first competition.
Since you are here, let’s make it easier for you by individually mentioning the basics of Java:
- Conditional statements
- Data structures
- Object-oriented programming concepts
These are the first and most essential steps you need to learn before going to more complicated things.
Practice! Practice! And One More Time Practice!
Learning a new skill only bears fruit when you show some perseverance. Meaning thereby, you should practice what you learn.
The basics of Java programming can only be mastered when you are in the habit of brushing up your skills on a daily basis. When it comes to competitive programming, you have to be persistent enough to understand the fact that you can only speed up your coding potential when you practice rigorously.
Suppose you have recently learned the concept and syntax of variables, operators, and functions. Take part in short contests which will eventually build up your confidence and you will be able to finish up a solution that took 4-5 hours once but now it took 2-3 hours at max.
In order not to get bored while mastering your code, there are some Java learning platforms where you can practice in a fun way. We’ve put together some perfect choices for you below:
Do you like playing games?
CodeGym is a platform where you can play and learn at the same time. It’s an online Java programming portal with over 1200+ tasks, 500+ projects of varying complexity ranging from beginners to advanced, and 10 programming levels. CodeGym literally makes you a master provided you dedicate time and effort to learning Java.
Furthermore, you have access to a whole community of fellow developers where you can learn from their experience, share your views about any task, and get connected with several notable peers. If you really want to become a competitive programmer, learn Java from scratch on CodeGym and your journey will be amazing!
CodeChef is another platform designed for those who want to learn and excel in algorithms, speed programming, data structures, and related programming contests.
CodeChef offers a lot of learning modules and has its own in-browser coding environment where you can tweak an already written code or write a brand new script and play along with it. An interesting fact about CodeChef is, they host 30+ programming contests in which you can participate and submit the solutions in more than 35 programming languages.
Those who stand out from the contestants, get rewards and bonuses and their rankings keep on growing as they keep on learning more. CodeChef also features a well-endowed discussion forum where you can get answers to your queries and play your part in sharing what you have learned for the good of the community.
Codewars is another community-created online learning portal that is meeting the needs of fresh programming learners. It features a number of challenges which are referred to as “Kata”. It’s basically a Japanese term that denotes a certain formation that fighters form when they are about to charge on their common enemy.
There are 20 different programming languages in Codewars and 12 more are getting on top of it. Engaging in solving “Katas” will result in increasing your rankings and each time your results get matched with actual results, you get stars and rewards for that as well.
Code Tracing on Paper
This is one of those authentic tips, the utility of which cannot be ignored. On a computer, you can code as much as you want, perform some tricks and your code will still generate some results if it’s correct syntactically and semantically.
Being an aspirant for competitive programming, you need to be way more ahead than that. You should take out some time and solve a problem by writing the code using pen and paper. Make up some analogies, just anything, and write-up its solution on the paper. On your very first attempt, you will find it quite tedious picking out your own mistake! After some time, you will get so good that your code won’t require any optimization. And that’s what really matters in speed programming!
As you see, competitive programming is all about practice. Don’t waste your time and start practicing today. Let us know how it goes and, of course, if you have any questions, feel free to ask.