The Downfall of CodeChef: A Story of Missed Opportunities

Hi folks,

I returned to CC after an year and i was shocked to see what happened to this once loved platform for CP. I’m going to write about my take on this.

This is just a constructive criticism for the platform, hopefully i don’t get cancelled here for speaking truth. :confused:

In this blog, I will explore the various reasons behind the downfall of CodeChef.


One of the major challenges that CodeChef has been facing is the issue of plagiarism. There have been several cases of users being caught copying code from other users, which has led to a decline in the credibility of the platform. While CodeChef has taken steps to prevent plagiarism, such as using plagiarism detection tools, it has not been enough to stem the tide of copied code. This has led to a loss of trust among users, particularly those who take part in CodeChef contests.

Weak Leadership

Another reason behind the downfall of CodeChef is weak leadership. In recent years, there have been a number of changes in the leadership of the platform, which has led to a lack of direction and a decline in the quality of the platform. This has resulted in a loss of confidence among users, who are now turning to other platforms for their competitive programming needs.

Too Much Paid Stuff

CodeChef has also been criticized for its focus on paid features. While it is true that CodeChef offers a number of free features, such as contests and challenges, there are many features that are only available to users who pay for them. This has led to accusations that CodeChef is prioritizing profit over the needs of its users, which has contributed to the decline in the platform’s popularity.


Another factor that has contributed to the downfall of CodeChef is the use of ads. While it is understandable that CodeChef needs to generate revenue to keep the platform running, the use of ads has become excessive in recent times. This has led to a decline in the user experience, particularly for those who are using the platform on mobile devices.

Sold Out to Unacademy

In 2020, CodeChef was acquired by Unacademy, an Indian online education platform. While the acquisition was meant to provide CodeChef with more resources and support, it has led to a decline in the platform’s popularity. Many users have accused Unacademy of prioritizing profit over the needs of the CodeChef community, which has led to a loss of trust among users.

No Free Speech on CodeChef

Another issue that has contributed to the downfall of CodeChef is the lack of free speech on the platform. While it is important to maintain a respectful and professional community, many users feel that CodeChef has become too strict in its moderation policies. This has led to accusations that CodeChef is stifling innovation and creativity.

Messing Up Old Users Accounts

Finally, the nail in the coffin came as this last change. The changes made to the rating calculation on CodeChef, which resulted in the modification of ratings and stars for old accounts, were certainly a major point of contention among the user community. Many users felt that the changes were unfair and did not accurately reflect the amount of work they had put into the platform over the years. This led to a significant amount of frustration and anger, with some users even threatening to leave the platform altogether. The mishandling of old user accounts in this manner has only served to further erode the trust that users have in CodeChef.

It remains to be seen whether CodeChef will be able to recover from these setbacks and once again become a leading platform for competitive programming.


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