September Challenge was an Interesting and informative challenge for me.I believe all long challenges should be of this quality.
This challenge forced me improve my skills by working hard on some of the hard problems.
There must be 2 to 3 problems of Easy Level to motivate beginners and others Medium to Hard Problems.
The more the number of challenging( Medium - hard ) problems the participants will try to work hard on them ( since this is a Long Challenge) thereby upgrading their skill set.
Participants will try to experiment with different algorithms and Data structures in order to optimize their solution.
100 points per problem is only a motivation.
People must understand that.
The main aim must always be gaining the ability to solve hard problems by applying efficient algorithms and data structures.
Patience is the Key. Try to have a Never Give Up Attitude.
I believe the main aim of CodeChef is to promote Programming in India and help in developing quality programmers with the ultimate aim to bring a Gold Medal to India in this field.
I think the ranking is just a motivation.
But the Need Must Be Gold.
The easiness will not motivate Hard Work and practice ( Thats what i believe ).
As for the stories I think the stories in the problems are necessary as in real world the problems are not always direct ( The World is not Kind enough ). The problems are reduced to smaller subproblems or another well defined problem.
Thats the Nature of Problem Solving.
Thanks to the Problem setters we get to encouter such a diverse set of problems that force us to deduce them into Mathematical problems by analysing them.
The Cook Off must mantain the standard and should be set in a way so as to serve as a bridge for The ACM ICPC.
You can motivate few top emerging Programmers (of Low rating) who are working hard ( Solve more problems than their perfomance during previous contest) between or during contests by rewarding them with Codechef Laddus.