What is TopCoder ?

Well you might have heard of this famous website when exploring the web here and there. I also found it when exploring the google career’s website. They still remember they had mentioned it somewhere that if you participate in online programming competitions like Top Coder then you can mention your score in your resume while applying for google. Something like that. I don’t remember it exactly. Well coming to the point, top coder is an online programming contest where you can participate and increase your programming skills. They have wonderful set of problems and conduct online programming competitions periodically. The range of competitions vary from designing stuff to programming stuff, you can puruse your interest. If you win some competition etc. they also give your good amount of money. So its better than freelancing. They also have a rating system - in which they rate each of their member according to the performance he shows in the competitions. This gives a boost to the participant to have a high rating. Best programmer’s are highest rated and wherever you will see their username its written with a red-color, which implies a red rated coder - the highest rating in TopCoder platform.

Getting Started with TopCoder.

For all online programming competitions, you atleast need to be registered at Top Coder’s Website. After that for different competitions you again have to register separately. There are two many kinds of programming competitions hosted on Top Coder as I said before. After signing up to the Top coder website, you will have to go to the community portal, there you can see all the latest happening in TopCoder Community. TopCoder is also a wonderful website for someone who wants to learn programming, data structures and algorithms. You can find one of the best programmers in the world competing with each other at TopCoder and especially their tutorials on the TopCoder’s website about how they do tackle the programming problems and how they view a particular problem. So its really nice to hang out with TopCoder’s community.

As you are reading this article and you have reached up to here, so I expect its your first time at TopCoder, so I would be telling you the most basic and most major things at TopCoder about how to get started, about the major competitions that run on that website. Rest small things you will catch up when you get a hold of it.

There are two kinds of important programming competitions at a broad level related to Algorithms or I must say programming. You can reach those by going to the community portal on the TopCoder website and then navigate to competitions and then to algorithms. There you will be finding two types of Matches to compete in.

  • Single Round Matches (SRM)
  • Marathon Matches (MM)

Both are important in their own way. For first kind of match you need to download a JAVA applet from the TopCoder website in which you will compete. The applet is called the ‘TopCoder’s Arena’. I love it. Besides giving you a platform to compete in SRMs, it give you a platform to interact with big programmers and to practice for SRM, MM and many other competitions. Whenever SRM begins, you need to come to this arena and then after logging in to the arena, you will have to enter the SRM room assigned to you. Remember as I said above you will have to register for the match before competing in it. The registration begins 3 hours before the SRM starts and closes 5 minutes before SRM starts. You can further find many tutorials on the TopCoder website about SRM matches and Marathon matches, my aim was to introduce you to the TopCoder, one of the best online programming arena for programmers. I hope you would love to code at TopCoder.

Hope you will have a high rating ahead in TopCoder.

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01 June 2012