Why doesn't the Codechef do something about the sloppy Cook-Offs?

I have always liked codechef because of its platform. But since CookOff47, it has been a constant source of discouragement!

I also posted my query at FB event, but it seems like it got deleted. Huh, can’t handle criticism, let alone be critique!

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And last saturday, CookOff67 started off as a real disheartening. I seriously think, Codechef/DirectI anyone who can do something to promote coding culture in India, should see to it that such technical glitches are resolved.

The situation in the last cook-off was not nearly as bad as in e.g. Aug15 (I didn’t take part in 2014, so I can’t tell about COOK47).
After the initial glitch there was a fair and smooth contest (just half an hour later than expected). AFAIK no one was able to see the problem statements in the beginning so no harm was done. By delaying the contest by half an hour, Codechef did the best they could do in that situation. So while not being optimal, I don’t think any one should be discouraged.

Compared to that Aug15 was a completely different situation. Some got the problem statements, some didn’t or had to try several times. Same for submissions. And it wasn’t obvious whether Codechef would be able to fix all those problems - but luckily they were.


@abcdexter24: Regret that this happened. There are a couple of issues that you have raised. Let me try and answer them point wise.

  1. Technical Glitch - We are certainly aware of this and have done quite a few things to fix a lot of glitches that we have faced in the past. However, we agree and we apologise that we goofed up once again. Just to let you know, this was not because of any of the past reasons. It was not a load issue which has plagued us in the recent past. If you see, once the contest started, things went smooth. Not that I am trying to take any credit for it. This is how it was expected to happen from the start and it was unfortunate that it did not. The reason is not something that me or my team can take pride in. There was a change of credentials that did not propagate in our settings file and we did not notice that this caused the problems not to be moved on the contest page. It took us a while to figure this out during the contest and fix it. May sound dumb! And yes, that may not even seem to make much sense. Let me just say that there is a lot of baggage that we carry from legacy and hence it is not the best possible architecture that we have at present. We are moving ahead step by step, learning from our mistakes. And trust me when I say that the mistakes are different. In the past couple of CookOff’s we were breathing a sigh of relief that things have improved only to feel fooled once again. Hopefully, the day is not far when the automation that we are bringing in and the effort that we are putting in will also reflect in smooth conduction of our CookOff’s on a more consistent and sustained basis.

  2. Handling Criticism - I think it is unfair for you to say so. Let me, in my capacity of heading CodeChef for the last 6 years, categorically assert that we never ever delete comments; unless they are abusive and inappropriate for anyone in our target audience to view. Let me be frank in sharing with you that the amount of flak that we have received in the last 6 years is quite a lot and all of that is safely saved on our blogs, social media channels and emails. None of it has ever been deleted. Just as an example you can read a lot of criticism here: https://www.facebook.com/CodeChef/posts/10153108220472799. And they are quite scathing. They remind us of our mistakes and keep us on our toes. We have valued every single feedback, both good and bad. I do not know how your comment got deleted. It may have been through a mistake (either yours or one of us, admins), or a technical glitch.

We accept that we goofed up once again and we are fixing things. I would like to believe that we have come a long way in this and the differential that we need to cover is not as big as it appears right now. Your feedback and your participation is very valued. It shows that you care. And there cannot be anything more valuable for us. I want to assure you that we are concerned too and we are fixing things. You will see the results soon.


Ok, i hope to do better the next time :slight_smile:
Thank you for your detailed answer, if shows that you take constructive criticism seriously.

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