How to start Competitive Programming?

Published by Jan Heaney on

How to start Competitive Programming?

So you want to start with competitive programming! Why? I believe that question is important to ask. I believe that once you ask yourself that question, you’ll find it much easier to commit yourself. So ask yourself – why competitive programming? Your answer probably lies amongst one of these two: The first one is that I want to get better at algorithms. I want to do well in contests, because I enjoy programming and competitive programming is what I like. The second one is that you have your interview schedule and you need to get better at algorithms and data structures. The most efficient way that you find to do this, is to compete with other human beings all around the world and that is competitive programming. So if you have one of these two goals, you’ve come to the right place! This channel is designed to talk about algorithms, data structures, coding practices and computer science core concepts, so that you get a holistic view of what aptitude tests are. Competitive programming is like a sport. It’s a mind sport. So, when instead of using your body, you’re using algorithms and you’re using your coding practices to do well. The better you are at these two, the better you’ll do in contests. Now like in any sport, it does have some prerequisites and it also has some rules that you need to know about. Prerequisites for competitive programming are – as you can guess programming. You need to know about that. But since you’ll come here, I’m going to assume that you do know about it and you need to know a little bit about algorithms. So, that’s what this channel is here for. So, if you are here again, that’s taken care of. Now, what about the rules ? In general a programming contest goes this way : We participate in the contest. We choose a problem to solve. This problem will have its own input constraints. It will also have its own input parameters. You need to give the specified output for this problem. After figuring out an algorithm to actually solve this problem, we make a submission to the online judge and this submission, may be accepted or rejected. There’s quite a few ways in which your submission can get rejected. But if it gets accepted, you get points. If you make the maximum number of successful submissions, you win the contest, and that’s what competitive programming basically is. Now. I am a young software developer, I learn things through different sources. And one thing that I try to do, all the time, is condense that information, and make it as easily consumable by you guys. Why do I do it? Because I just enjoy it. You might be wondering – is competitive programming really necessary? And, the answer to that is, No. It’s not. You can still learn algorithm and data structures by yourself. But, this is one of the most efficient ways in which you can do so. So if you want to give it a try hit the subscribe button, and I’ll see you next time!


Priyatam Sai · July 9, 2018 at 1:21 pm

"it's a mind sport"–that tells all about it..btw good explanation..✌

Phirdeline · July 9, 2018 at 1:22 pm

What compettitive programming website is good for competing with my friends? For example in the end of a contest in Codeforces I can compare what place did I and my friend get. The thing I find problematic is that I and my friend need to wait for the next contest and it can take quite a number of days.

padmabala k · July 9, 2018 at 1:32 pm

Thank u so much for this Series Gaurav ! Yesterday, with a lot of frustration , googled this and here u release it today.. Yippeee… This is gonna be of great help !

Vijay kumar kaushik · July 9, 2018 at 1:43 pm

Can you tell which approach should be adopted in no strings attached problem of july challenge at codechef?

ananthoju sriharsha · July 9, 2018 at 1:43 pm

Is it good to compete continuously or first learn some concepts and models which are useful for competitive coding and then start
I have only 3 weeks to land on interview can u please help
Thanks in advance:)

Aditya Rao · July 9, 2018 at 2:02 pm

Hi Gaurav, Why don't you create a slack… I mean Flock Channel, for better intercommunication

Gyan Prakash Karn · July 9, 2018 at 2:15 pm

hired an editor? 😂 looks better.

gaurav joshi · July 9, 2018 at 2:29 pm

Awesome video but can you please help me with dynamic programming its really hard to wrap my head around it . Thanks in advance 🙂

SagaRock101 · July 9, 2018 at 2:32 pm


Rohit Sharma · July 9, 2018 at 2:46 pm

I subscribed initially because I was in the second category. Decided to stay even after because now I am in the first category. Thanks for the motivation!

Sreyan Chakravarty · July 9, 2018 at 2:50 pm

Good to see that you are back to what you do best.

Sreyan Chakravarty · July 9, 2018 at 2:54 pm

What if the answer to the question was that you want a better job? 🙂

Mihai 2537 · July 9, 2018 at 3:06 pm

Already subscribed, when is the next time? Are you going to start a new series or you will continue to upload as usual?

Sreyan Chakravarty · July 9, 2018 at 3:15 pm

Gaurav I wanted to ask a general question about CP. During preparation how long do you think someone should struggle with a problem before looking at the editorial? How long should someone struggle before giving up and looking at the solution?

Dhairya Shah · July 9, 2018 at 6:34 pm

Can you please tell what things u learned during your college curriculum

Vicky Jagtap · July 9, 2018 at 7:05 pm

when you are uploading videos for beginners??

Rohan Bose · July 9, 2018 at 8:25 pm

Somehow I feel the questions are not about algorithms anymore. They are just Maths or greedy ! Cant really understand where solving 100s of greedy problems will take you 🙁

Vaibhav Ghadge · July 10, 2018 at 7:43 am

Now I understand what is cp waiting for next video 😙😀

CS Tutorial · July 10, 2018 at 8:13 am

dada kamon achho?? 😎

simon dungeon · July 10, 2018 at 10:34 am

Awesome bro.. I too need some guidance on CP .. how to start and where to start ..
I am a beginner and learning C++

SHIVAM BHALLA · July 10, 2018 at 11:37 am

Can u tell me some sources apart from your video lessons, where I can learn and understand data structures.

Shinobi Wolf · July 10, 2018 at 2:07 pm

From which college you have completed your

Spiritual · July 10, 2018 at 2:23 pm

you should start a playlist for noobs there are so many in my college

udit sanghi · July 10, 2018 at 3:33 pm

I do cp cuz I don't like anything else.

EKTA AGRAWAL · July 10, 2018 at 3:34 pm

Hey should I start with geeksforgeeks or directly I can go for hackerrank ?

Ganesh H. Borde · July 10, 2018 at 3:37 pm

Programming is addiction 😙😀

sudipta samanta · July 11, 2018 at 3:12 am

Will be waiting for this series.

Changs _ · July 11, 2018 at 4:30 pm

That Equilibrium problem though….😂😂

Akshay Chavan · July 11, 2018 at 4:55 pm

You got one new Subscriber!!😃✌️

Abhinav Sharma · July 11, 2018 at 8:59 pm

Hi Gaurav, I just came here to your channel. Nice Content btw. But I suggest you start with DS+Algo topic wise because that would guide most of the viewers. I feel this is the main problem esp. in India because there is increased demand and talent shortages. Students really don't know where to get started and where to apply what all is taught in college or is self learnt.

Abhinav Sharma · July 11, 2018 at 9:00 pm

If you want to get started with DS or Algo I would highly recommend Abdul Bari's YouTube channel. He has amazing Content. 🙂

Vivek Gawande · July 12, 2018 at 10:26 am

Holy shit you're 7* on codechef? How many years did it take?

abhishek sharma · July 13, 2018 at 7:03 am

The way you said, hit the subscribe button and I see you next time.. awesome

Late Night Code · July 13, 2018 at 2:14 pm

after watching only this video i blindly subscribed 🙂

Sonu Sonu · July 13, 2018 at 7:44 pm

are you coming up with new competitive programming series algorithms or will continue your system design lectures .

Ganji Raja · July 13, 2018 at 10:07 pm

It was fun to solve easy problems as they take 10 minutes max….and medium are also fun as they take around 30 minutes or something like that but hard problems take 2-3 hours and sometimes you cant even find the solution yourself thats very boring…..but the expert level algorithms like sudoku solver or a game design these are the most fun part ever…but they take 2-3 days of thinking while your in college ,bus ride , eating ,taking a shower , these will give you the kick of your life but it takes 3-4 months to get there…..

Bahubali Hattiholi · July 14, 2018 at 5:04 pm

subscribed 🙂

Web Artisan · July 14, 2018 at 8:03 pm

what if the answer was, I don't know 🙁

Arun Gupta · July 15, 2018 at 4:13 am

👍👍👍👍👍👍better use mic

Deshmukh Ganesh · July 15, 2018 at 10:07 am

need more videos in this playlists.
as I was searching begginers' friendly coding channel, I got yours.

samitmohan · July 15, 2018 at 12:23 pm

My new favourite YouTube channel
Keep creating man

Anubrata Bhowmick · July 15, 2018 at 3:48 pm

Where can I get that cup? 😛

aziz as · July 15, 2018 at 8:50 pm


moumita chakraborty swarno · July 15, 2018 at 10:07 pm

how to be consistent in problem solving?

Subham Sarkar · July 16, 2018 at 12:26 am

Want more contents

Trevor Belmont · July 16, 2018 at 4:38 am


이준형 · July 16, 2018 at 2:28 pm

Looks like your channel has great contents. I'll subscribe you. Keep posting good videos!

Sanjay S · July 16, 2018 at 4:12 pm

What model of MacBook is that ?

Swastik Swarup Das · July 17, 2018 at 12:34 pm

i really like coding, and i want to do more stuff with it rather than basic school stuff, but where do i start where do i learn ?

Chinmay Joshi · July 23, 2018 at 4:01 pm

Hey Gaurav, So what I struggle with problem solving is I some tend to miss one of those cases of input that ruins my entire code.
Any suggestions with that?

kashish mittal · July 25, 2018 at 2:35 pm

i have been doing competitive programming for 6 months.
right i am doing programming in c language at codechef .I like doing cp(competitive programming).
I want to start it in c++(as you said c++ is best for cp).
Can you suggest that how can i learn c++ for cp and otherwise also at its best.??
Thank you.

ABHISHEK ROY · August 7, 2018 at 8:17 pm

Hello Sir, I would like you to discuss the approaches of all the problems (after the event) codechef long challenge.Also tell hpw to handle numbers like 10 power 12 having powers of 10 power 12. (Aug 18 long que)

Margashi · August 10, 2018 at 2:38 pm

Hey…is a MacBook air good laptop option for computer science student!?

Gladden Rumao · August 16, 2018 at 12:40 pm

Today was an awesome session at Fr. CRCE .I am from FE COMS ..Loved it 😘😘

Sachin Bhandari · August 21, 2018 at 4:44 pm

Sachin Bhandari:
I have just learned data structures and their basic operation(stack,array,queue,tree,graphs) now how to start competitve progrmming.?
Should I start algos now? And what else should I know? Like numbers theory.i m totally I to start from beginner level?

I am a newbie, facing problems to solve code chef problem s bcz there questions use algorithm even in beginner section.

Hacker rank is a good site bcz I can get question on data structures on topic wise but questions are based on basic operation like (pop,push,deletion,insertion,preorder etc) and if I solve hackerearth problems they are seeming tough

Nikhil Kumar · August 23, 2018 at 5:20 am

Eagerly waiting for it.

RHimanshu · September 9, 2018 at 8:02 am

Hi Gaurav…Just wanted to ask one thing…Can you tell me the pattern of Interview of this Product based companies…some ask DS Algos, some ask language in depth skills and also technologies(i.e kafka, cassandra) that you have used in current product(which you have worked on) that too in depth. Very confused what to prepare as we are not aware of which company will ask what, we just know 2-3 tecnical rounds we need to face.

Rajdeep Roy · October 7, 2018 at 2:10 pm

Though I am not from the background of science. But I really have a likings on the computer science. So i would like to know about whether any chances to be a software developer or a good coder by learning without a science background. And if yes, then what are sources I should go for.
Thanks Gaurav.

Premang Raithatha · October 13, 2018 at 4:31 am

why it is so addictive ? more than anything in life.

Umang Malhotra · October 24, 2018 at 6:56 pm

Hi! Which language do you prefer/use for doing competetive programming?

Abhilash Kokkonda · October 26, 2018 at 1:57 am


Loveena Saran · December 8, 2018 at 3:24 am

Can u make a series on algorithms and solve different questions from codechef or hackerrank ?

l аm frоm Каzаkstаn · December 23, 2018 at 10:26 am

in programming competitive: engineering 40% math 50% physics 10%? what important

ZERO ONE · January 12, 2019 at 12:40 pm

I came here to know what is Compi Prog…… And he is asking why ? 😛

TechTips - Tarun T · January 19, 2019 at 2:27 am

For sake of enjoyment, this could be done by senior professionals and with a goal to get better and faster in algorithms. At any level this should not be done at the cost of your job assignment.

Saeed Khan · January 19, 2019 at 6:51 pm

what are some best websites for competitive programming

shubham gandhi · January 22, 2019 at 4:19 pm

Bhaiya,pls suggeat some imp data structures and algorithm for competitive programming so that i can solve questions at beginner level.

Ashwath p · January 25, 2019 at 3:06 pm

Hello sir

Tuan Vu Anh · January 28, 2019 at 3:21 pm

Can i add you on fb?

Akai Shuichi · February 2, 2019 at 9:15 am

Hey, i have completed your playlist programming for begginers (it was great !!). Now which playlist of yours should i start with next ?!

Rishik Varma · February 3, 2019 at 4:17 am

I use python for cp but I could not find equivalent of #indef ONLINE_JUDGE in python as without this the code shows error in codechef but in sublime it runs.

Paramvir Singh · February 5, 2019 at 9:25 am

Any tips for speaking as fluently as you do ?

ROMIT SONI · February 6, 2019 at 5:15 pm

hi gaurav!! how to think like a programmer ..

Manas Rastogi · February 8, 2019 at 5:00 pm

Sir u want to directly contact to you , i have a great/huge love with programming in java and i think a good knowledge of algorithms of my level (11th isc) sir i want to talk to you , if you get through this message pls reply…

Abhishek Kumar · February 10, 2019 at 3:10 pm

bhai yr teri English or bolne ka tarif…. bha gya mujhe

CODERS NEVER QUIT · March 12, 2019 at 6:17 pm

Is javacript is good choice for competitive programming?

Mrityunjay · March 28, 2019 at 11:45 am

Because I am bad at quantitative problems. :v

Indu Sharma · March 28, 2019 at 3:00 pm

I wanna become like you in coding

Khalil Ben Gamra · March 28, 2019 at 10:12 pm

Best trailer for a channel in YouTube . Subscribe

s shiv · March 29, 2019 at 1:03 am


Sumit Singh · March 30, 2019 at 4:20 am

Why should we do competitive programing?
Please explain this too…

Devansh Tyagi · April 10, 2019 at 7:37 pm

god damn i always hear competive instead of competetive. tbh i dont even know what he's pronouncing xD

TheCoffeeAddict · April 12, 2019 at 9:56 pm

Too high strung. Programming is a happy place for me. A relief. It is like drawing, painting and listening to all my favorite songs.

Linklik nirala · April 16, 2019 at 2:09 pm

What programming you gonna use?

mayur kalsekar · April 18, 2019 at 4:40 pm

At first i thought he was watching porn😂😂

Nitish Ralhan · May 6, 2019 at 7:22 am

Can u recommend all sources that I can use ? I am new to programming

Tameshwar sahu · May 8, 2019 at 5:31 pm

Sir aap hindi me bhi vedio upload kijiye

Snowy · May 16, 2019 at 3:35 pm

Thanks brother

Suparno Banerjee · June 5, 2019 at 2:51 pm

can a student from different branch in a tier2 eng college pratice comp. coding and get a decent package say 8lpa+ after 4years?

kJ kanishk · June 11, 2019 at 12:19 pm

bro u r GOD…. your way to teaching is truely awesome …keep it up !!!

Web Dude · June 17, 2019 at 11:23 am

Thanks a lot Gaurav for your good work , I am a third semester computer science student and haven't studied "data structures and algorithms" yet so can I start competitive programming or I should go with in-depth studying of data structures and algos?

Spooferish · June 17, 2019 at 2:50 pm

Q) Why you want to start competitive programming?

Me: YouTube algorithm throw me this suggestion, and I thought it would be interesting.

MAHAK THADWANI · July 2, 2019 at 4:05 pm

hey are you too on codechef

Ravindranath Jha · July 13, 2019 at 4:49 am

I don't know I was scared when you shut your MacBook like that…

Shekhar Bhatt · August 3, 2019 at 3:12 pm

Is macbook pro 2012 ratina (i5 with 128gb ssd) is worth in 2019 for computer science engineering student

Stefan van Kranen · August 19, 2019 at 12:47 pm

Hey Gaurav, thanx for your great YT Channel 🙂 I've started programming in the age of 8 (I'm 37 now!). I had a "programmer's break" the last 10 years, where I worked only on a few smaller projects. Your channel helped me to get in touch again with this "old love" and catch up this long phase of continious learning. To become a good programmer, you need much more than just knowing the language. You're doing a great job in explaining complex things in an easy way. Please continue! Thx

ankush singh · August 23, 2019 at 3:12 pm

sir in india is it ok if i do competitive programming in python? everyone is doing in c or c++.

Pravin Kumar · September 2, 2019 at 10:22 am

Hey Gaurav, thanks for great information I perceive through your channel.

venkatesh prasad · September 10, 2019 at 5:17 pm

yo Gaurav , thanks for your vidoes bro. i am final year computer science now. i started competitive programming exactly after this video. now i got a job through a hackathon and the package is pretty good for a fresher. Once again thanks bro 😁🙏

Sabyasachi Sahoo · September 11, 2019 at 8:17 am

which ide r using for programming

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *