The endgame is finally here.
Seeing the heroes train themselves, evolve personalities, grow closer (or farther), and eventually reach where they are after 11 years and 21 movies has been nothing less than inspiring.
As a developer, there are plenty of things that we can learn from their stories. Each hero has a unique skill that makes them an invaluable part of the team.
But in the universe of competitive programming, where Thanos is not the only one you fight, you cannot form or rely on a team to support you.
You need to have the powers of all the heroes and let the hero inside awaken.
But what are the superpowers that you, as a competitive programming hero, require to not just reach the top, but be one of the most sought after?
Here are 6 heroes who can be your biggest inspiration to be the last standing Avenger.
Real Name: Tony Stark
Powers: “Genius, Billionaire, Playboy, Philanthropist” | Tech Genius
I guess this one is obvious.
To be the best at competitive programming, you need to fine-tune your programming skills.
Tony, being one of the brightest minds on the planet is always looking to improve his armor, add more features, build new technologies, and be a stronger Iron Man.
In the world of competitive programming, where your armor is your code, practicing more and eventually improving your coding abilities is something that is of utmost importance.
Communities like StackOverflow and Codechef, online course providers such as Udemy and Coursera, and learning/practicing platforms like HackerEarth are some ways to perfect your skills and get your first infinity stone.
Real Name: Steve Rogers
Powers: Strength, Stamina, Agility, Durability | Super Soldier
Captain America is a superhuman with heightened stamina, agility, and durability.
He also has a strong focus and superior planning skills, making him an effective fighter.
Likewise, when a developer is exposed to a competitive programming challenge that can last from an hour to even a month, you got to put the Cap hat on (pun intended!).
What I mean is, you should have the ability to understand the challenge (focus), create a plan (superior planning skills), and develop code as fast as possible (agility).
Once you have developed your tech skills, you can start with any of the following short-term challenges to take the journey forward.
- HackerEarth – HackerEarth Monthly Challenges like Easy and Circuits
- CodeChef – Programming challenges like Cook-off and Lunchtime
Real Name: Clint Barton
Powers: Tactician and Combat expert – “Turn any object into a weapon”
Barton is arguably the strongest avenger on the team.
I know you don’t believe me, but hear me out.
He is the only Avenger with a family and has no actual superpowers.
But with his amazing skill-set of using almost anything as a weapon (especially his signature bow and arrow), he does not look out of place when he stands with chemically-created superhumans and gods.
Being highly motivated, not afraid of failing, and being proud of what you do are things that can add that extra edge to take your journey as a developer to the next level.
By understanding all the available tools and bringing them into practice by participating in various competitive challenges can help you define your tactics and hone your skills further.
Real Name: Natalia Alianovna Romanova
Powers: Master fighter, Agile, Weapon-expert, Master Hacker
Natasha Romanoff operates at peak human capabilities due to biotechnological enhancements in the Red Room.
With extensive physical and mental training, Nat is an expert martial artist, athlete, gymnast, and resistant to aging and diseases, while also possessing enhanced healing.
Nat is an expert tactician, an effective strategist, and an overall kickass.
And what is a competitive programming challenge, if not a game of skill, strategy, tactics, durability, agility, and the perfect execution of plans?
Participating in many short term coding challenges can help you understand your skill-set, hone it further, and also build durability and flexibility in your thinking styles to conquer any problem that comes your way.
HackerEarth’s Code Arena is one of the best platforms to compete in real-time 1v1 battles against other coders and experts around the world.
Real Name: Bruce Banner
Powers: Intelligence, Superhuman strength, Durability, “Hulk Smash!”
Banner is one of the greatest scientific minds on the planet, with expertise in biology, chemistry, engineering, medicine, physiology, and nuclear physics.
His alter ego, Hulk, is a giant with superhuman strength, the ability to withstand immense force and injury while regenerating at a speed much quicker than a normal human.
In a competitive programming challenge, there are moments when all seems lost – the code might have bugs, there are other compilation errors, or you just need a break and let it all go.
In such cases, when your strategy fails, your durability has reached its limits, and your tactics aren’t working anymore, you want to just Hulk Smash!
Instead, I would suggest, let Banner win that battle, and use that genius mind to get through the situation and be the best coder out there.
Real Name: Thor Odinson
Powers: Strength, Flight, Controlling the power of thunder | God of Thunder
With all the aforementioned skills acquired, it would now be the best time to bring out Thor and be the god you are meant to be.
Thor, the mightiest Avenger, the God of Thunder can control the environment around him and strike bolts of lightning of enormous power and destructive capabilities.
Coming from a royal divine background, he has strong core values, a strong sense of loyalty, and incomparable strength.
In a competitive programming challenge, having a strong mindset, determination, and energy focused on developing the code will take your idea to the next level.
After all, a god has to be on a higher level.
Now use all your skills – agility, durability, practicality, flexibility, strategic thinking – and add them to the expert tech skills that you have built to be the best competitive programmer out there.
Test yourself and see where you stand, or if you’re confident, conquer the biggest challenges out there. Here are some that you might be interested in.
- International Collgeiate Programming Contest – the oldest, largest, and most prestigious programming contest in the world.
- IEEEXtreme – an annual 24-hour long competition hosted by IEEE.
- Google Code Jam – Google’s longest running global coding competition.
- Facebook Hacker Cup – an annual global programming competition sponsored by Facebook.
- ICFP Programming Contest – an annual 3-day competition held by the International Conference on Functional Programming.
- Halite Challenge – an AI programming challenge, supported by organizations like Two Sigma, Cornell Tech, and Google.
- Microsoft Imagine Cup – Microsoft’s annual global competition.
Additionally, there are aggregator platforms like HackerEarth and TopCoder where you can find a list of several coding challenges happening around the world in various themes.
“Heroes are made by the path they choose, not the powers they are graced with.”
– Iron Man
Time to test your skills