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How to become good at problem solving??

I recently joined code chef, I have solved some 15-20 questions under beginner section, after seeing this month's Long challenge, I couldn't come up with a solution for even the first problem. How could I improve my problem-solving skills??

asked 04 Aug '17, 20:35

shubham0812's gravatar image

1★shubham0812
9218
accept rate: 10%


Hey,

Don't worry to get stuck on a problem that's something you must feel pride in that you are doing something new and learning stuff. Becoming good at problem-solving and Competitive programming is something that you won't regret.

You can do a few things to get started in competitive programming. I'm assuming you are a complete beginner, please correct me if this is not the case.

Mindset (Originally taken from here)

This sounds off topic but please bear with me for a moment. What I struggle with a lot is essentially not doing what I know I should and want to be doing. My mind is not focused, I go watch a stupid video on youtube and the whole day is gone. It is really hard for me to get myself going. I don't know you, I don't know if you have the same struggles as I do but maybe some of this advice will help you stay focused if you need it.

Here are a few things I've learned about doing competitive stuff:

  • You don't have to and you really shouldn't overwhelm yourself on the first time. Don't go to the bookstore and buy the heaviest, biggest book on Computer Science only to read the first few pages and realize you don't understand it and give up. I'm guilty of doing this a lot. Instead, try to find something that is not so into detail and easier to wrap your head around it. In the next steps I try to recommend you easy to understand tutorials online.
  • Don't wait to get motivated
  • Don't let other people's success demotivate you

I hope this advice helps you stay on track. Now to the more technical stuff.

  • Start practicing, have a target and solve at least two problems daily (minimum).

Good Resources on how to start

So do as much as you can, Live to code. Remember Efforts never die.

Plan/ Time-Table Please go through this article by Anudeep Nekkanti.

PS: Don't want to take credits for the answer. The whole answer is from the articles which I found useful and the only thing I did was making them short and precise.

Request for reader's to go through each and every article, though each one of them is complete still they have some untold story to learn from.

Hope this helps!

link

answered 06 Aug '17, 23:53

sandeep_007's gravatar image

5★sandeep_007
7997
accept rate: 16%

edited 07 Aug '17, 00:38

yeah it sure did, thanks a lot!

(09 Aug '17, 13:53) shubham08121★

you're welcome, I'm glad you like it. :)

(09 Aug '17, 21:14) sandeep_0075★

@sandeep_007 Thank you

(18 Aug '17, 21:15) kunnu1202★

@kunnu120 , your welcome.

(18 Aug '17, 23:18) sandeep_0075★

It's ok if you cannot come up with a solution even for the first problem. Just try not to get demotivated by this because it's the same with everyone starting out. The key is to be self-motivated and enjoy solving problems. Just try to challenge yourself and do the problems that you don't find easy. If you can solve the beginner problems, try solving the less submitted beginner problems, that way you can improve fast.

For starters the below links may help you. They really explain how to train and get better in the most optimal way. :)
http://codeforces.com/blog/entry/16599
http://codeforces.com/blog/entry/17842

link

answered 04 Aug '17, 21:33

ista2000's gravatar image

4★ista2000 ♦
2.4k723
accept rate: 20%

edited 04 Aug '17, 21:34

alright, thanks for the tip I'll keep solving and learning :)

(04 Aug '17, 21:36) shubham08121★

You're welcome, man. :)

(04 Aug '17, 21:47) ista2000 ♦4★

It comes with practice dear. Since you are just a beginner now, contests may feel tough, but challenge yourself. You have 10 days time to work it out. Solve more problems, look for concepts, google algorithms. Thats how you excel.

And remember, try to solve variety of questions. Get your hadns dirty on everything, string, array, 2-D array.

link

answered 04 Aug '17, 21:19

vijju123's gravatar image

5★vijju123 ♦♦
15.5k12066
accept rate: 18%

edited 04 Aug '17, 21:19

thanks, It seems I have a lot to learn then :)

(04 Aug '17, 21:37) shubham08121★

Take it step by step, you will succeed. Also, you can search forums for previous such Q like "How to start with competitive coding" in case you are unsure. :)

(04 Aug '17, 21:39) vijju123 ♦♦5★

thanks a lot!

(05 Aug '17, 11:50) shubham08121★

Dont worry long contest are meant for learning thats why they give 10 days to solve problems and since as u described u were not able to do first q of this month's long this means you still have to focus on your implementation skills so along with problem solving try to focus implementation skills as well Happy coding :)

link

answered 04 Aug '17, 23:09

divik544's gravatar image

4★divik544
5251110
accept rate: 10%

alright, I'll keep that in mind and focus on learning new skills.

(05 Aug '17, 11:50) shubham08121★
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question asked: 04 Aug '17, 20:35

question was seen: 2,956 times

last updated: 18 Aug '17, 23:18