Radewoosh's blog

By Radewoosh, history, 2 months ago, In English

I'm not very often replying to questions about how to practice, but as I'm getting enough of them (and I've just seen another blog about practicing) let me tell you about it.

Of course, every time when you ask someone good about how to practice, he/she will reply to you to "solve a lot of problems" and that's true, there's no other way. Anyway, I've thought about it and actually I'm able to tell a bit more. I know some people, I've seen many people practicing (including me) and I have an opinion.

Many people practice in some organized way. High schools organize IOI/OI training contests every Saturday, universities organize ICPC training contests once a week, people try by their own to solve three problems each day, websites host rounds and so on. Here's a secret: it's a sh*t. Yep, that's true. If you want to be really good and to make it happen you compete in a training once a week, you do it only to be able to make excuses "but I'm training so hard" when you see no progress.

Every really good person gave a part of their life to CP. And I don't mean giving up Saturday parties or having no friends, I kind of mean the part of their minds. You have to really want to get better and find real pleasure in practicing and watching your progress. It also means catching yourself thinking about various problems or seeing algorithmic interpretations in many aspects of real life.

You should practice every time when you have an idea "oh, I'd solve some problem", "oh, it'd be good to practice a bit now" or "oh, it'd be cool to solve every problem on this website, let's start". Here's a trick: if you really want to be good, you'll have a lot of such ideas. If you don't have them and you want to just practice weekly, then better go and reconsider if you really want to be better.

Do you think that you are bad at combinatorics? Good, you see your weaknesses, go solve some such problems.

Do you want to simply solve a few problems? Great, go and solve them as long as they are challenging for you. Or you want to solve every problem from some problemset (still can be a challenge for you). Or you want to upsolve a whole round (still can be a challenge for you). Or you want to have more problems solved on Codeforces than your friend (still can be a challenge for you). Or because of any other reason, but still, don't solve the easiest problems on Codeforces and expect to become good.

Do you want to participate in a virtual round? Sure, go and do this. Don't do this if you are sure that you'd solve them. Do this if you want to check if you'd win that round/be better than your friend/something. Challenges, remember? But don't get me wrong, for example, if you are already quite strong and you want to read (or even participate) the problems from div3, which is definitely below your level — it's ok if it's a sign that you are curious about problems and it's interesting for you.

Do you really want to get better and compete virtually in two 5-hour contests in a row? Great, go and practice.

Want to go and participate in a training organized by your university? Of course, great idea — rivalry, some stress, fun with other people. If you are really practicing and trying to get better, the weekly trainings with your schoolmates/university/teammates will become a nice event for you, but don't depend on them. Also, practicing with your ACM team is a way to create a better team — you have to know your weaknesses and strengths and learn how to cooperate. To make your team better at solving problems when you already know how to cooperate, you have to make yourself better at solving problems.

Do you want to skip a training organized by the university and meet your friends/read a book/play some games? Sure, if you don't feel like practicing, then don't force yourself. If you really want to practice and become strong, you'll for sure compete in this contest virtually or something, don't force yourself, just really feel a need to practice. You can't rush art, right?

One more time: you really have to have CP in your mind. After solving a problem, it doesn't mean that it's gone and you have to forget about it. Maybe you'll find yourself thinking about some interesting aspects of some task and you'll invent a harder one?

I don't know what's more to say. Don't give up? With the right attitude, if you can't solve a problem which is really interesting/important for you, you'll try for a few days — the pleasure and self-satisfaction after solving a problem for a few days with success is one of the best feelings.

Also, one last tip: I've noticed it observing all the top people on Codeforces/Atcoder. None of them uses the word "question" instead of "problem"/"task". So don't do it. You won't progress if you'll keep calling problems "questions".

So yeah, that's my opinion. Let CP get into your mind and find a true desire to practice. Don't try to force yourself to practice in an organized way.

I know that this blog may discourage some people, but they wouldn't go far with such an attitude. I also think that it can help people with real potential to become somebody really strong and that's why I wrote it.

If any other top-rated coder wants to share his/her way or just point the differences — that's great.

 
 
 
 
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2 months ago, # |
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I've noticed it observing all the top people on Codeforces/Atcoder. None of them uses the word "question" instead of "problem"/"task". So don't do it. You won't progress if you'll keep calling problems "questions".

My favourite one :)

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    Why? Just because he's LGM, does it give him free pass to be partly racist and make fun of Indians?? Or he should stop being ignorant and understand that if most of the Indians write the word "question" instead of "problem", it means that that's what they have been taught in school? 99.9% of Indian students aren't introduced to cp before age 18.

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      Relax dude. Being an Indian, I don't find it offending. It's not our native language, and we speak much better English than they could ever speak Hindi. At the same time, its not completely right to refer Codeforces problems/tasks as "questions". An example of a question would be "Why tf you find it offending?", ....and not "Print the maximum possible value", because it's a problem not a question.

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        2 months ago, # ^ |
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        "Problem" and "Question" has multiple meaning. Problem is not only used for cp or related problems. If someone says he's facing some problems in his life doesn't implies codeforces problems. It can have multiple meaning and both can be correct aswell.

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        2 months ago, # ^ |
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        "Print the maximum possible value" is a problem. But "What is the maximum possible value?" is a question. One can call it whatever they please, neither is wrong.

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      problem vs ques

      cxc

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      Dude what are you trying to say? lmao

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    But this doesn't make sense!...xD.....

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Everything you say is correct.

I want to add one thing. Stop obsessing over the number of hours spent or problems solved. These numbers don't mean shit because the variance is so high and it is very easy to spend a lot of time and solve a lot of problems without learning anything. I've seen too many greys and greens recommending each other to solve a very high number of problems or to practice some obscene amount of time per week. And I noticed that I have never practiced with the intensity they recommend.

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    +1

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    Thanks Sir for your valuable advice it will be helpful for people like me.

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    Stop obsessing over the number of hours spent or problems solved

    What matters the most then according to you ? You are telling what not to do , could you please also tell what should be done ?

    Replying to -is-this-fft- :

    -is-this-fft- I was asking in terms of improving.

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      What matters the most then according to you ?

      contribution

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      he wants to say that in order to improve you should focus on solving the quality of problems rather than quantity. he is telling from his experience that he used to do 6 years back... if he had solved only 100-200 quality problems like @y1s1 @EricHuang2003 @boboniu @fivedemands etc did then he would have become LGM by now. but sadly back then there was no -is-this-fft- to guide him.

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    7 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    So how do you practise?

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2 months ago, # |
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I think we need another blog from grays teaching us how to regain that part of our life that we red coders lost.

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    As i am grey, for red coders it is very easy to regain that part just don't solve a single problem in upcoming div1 and div2 to round you will regain that greyish colour.

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    orz

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    Just try to solve div 2 A without thinking deeply and submit the answer as quickly as possible in the hope that you will get a rank under 1K(for a newbie it's a dream:D). Boom you will get WA on TC 2 Now go and watch your friends in standings :D (As always everyone might have got AC on a first try)

    Edit: How can I forget school !!

    ->Join a school that has 85%+ attendance criteria.

    ->Tell your teachers to take even more extra classes after school ends.

    ->Spend 8+ hours a day in school listening to the most precious information which you can learn just in an hour using Youtube:D

    I think these strategies will give you enough time to practice and study new topics in CP :D and will help you to become a newbie

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    Upon reading the replies to this comment, it seems like Grays never had that part of life to begin with.

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    Every day is like

    wake up -> breakfast -> trying to solve problems -> lunch -> trying to solve problems -> dinner -> trying to solve problems -> sleep

    for my entire high school life

    but it's quite fun for me XDD

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Me on my way to solve every single problem on codeforces

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I have a doubt. When a person's implementation skills reach a certain good level(for his division), is it a good idea to just work out the logic of the problem and move on if its correct?
I sometimes look at top rated guys and theyre online frequently, so I thought this is what they do... Correct me if I'm wrong?

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    I think a lot of people have cf open on a different window sometimes, after just doing a daily check-in.

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Really Motivational. Thank you Radewoosh sir.

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Also, one last tip: I've noticed it observing all the top people on Codeforces/Atcoder. None of them uses the word "question" instead of "problem"/"task". So don't do it. You won't progress if you'll keep calling problems "questions".

Hey Radewoosh, congrats on getting to the 2nd rank on CF, but it's getting pretty tiring seeing your constant comments about "question" and the Indian members of our community.

Some context, for those who may not be familiar:

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    Yeah, I feel really ashamed and guilty due to such Indian idiots, but also kinda don't like Radewoosh for his constant comments about it. I'm an Indian and I never use the word questions instead of problems. Well if he thinks about Indians like that, who am I to change someone's mind.

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      I'm American, and I say "problems".

      However, it's my impression that "questions" is a common term in much of the Indian competitive programming community, and I don't think it's right for a high-rated, influential member of our community to use their platform to constantly point it out and make fun of it.

      Indian English is different from American English or British English, but it's just that -- different, not wrong.

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        2 months ago, # ^ |
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        Yeah, however, I am curious if someone is being very pedantic, is there actually a difference between the word choice? However, I totally feel that those comments sorta sideline the indian community.

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          2 months ago, # ^ |
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          I don't think there's any practical difference in the context of competitive programming, whichever term you use it's perfectly clear what you're referring to.

          To me, "problem" feels a bit more natural, but I won't attack people for using a term that's equally understandable and feels more natural to them.

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        2 months ago, # ^ |
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        Instead of posting this you could better motivate Indians to become LGM and prove him wrong.

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          2 months ago, # ^ |
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          Instead of posting this you could have thought for a second, like you do while solving competitive programming problems.

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          2 months ago, # ^ |
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          Another roast(My apologies in advance)-Imagine a life revolving around proving a stranger, living thousands of miles from you, just because the stranger has high points on one of the billion sites available on a global computer network.

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          2 months ago, # ^ |
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          Instead of posting this you should go back to grinding problems and come back and talk when you're LGM yourself

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          2 months ago, # ^ |
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          There are 192 countries and only 30-40 Lgm. Also why u feel that its cool to be lgm.There was no cp culture in India in past,it still in growing phase and for most of Indian cpeers,they either know about cp in college or do it for placement,but Almost all lgm has started cp from young age or atleast doing it for long time,but In India max cp life of any guy is 4 year(i.e from first year to final year of college).Also being good at something,u dont have right to disrespect other,if u have dare come fight in math contest with us,In the end we all know cp is hobby thing and it doesnt give any productive value in life so stop fantasizeing on Internet point

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            2 months ago, # ^ |
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            if u have dare come fight in math contest with us

            lmfao, you embarrased yourself and your whole country there. China has the most gold medals in IMO, moreover, you know most US participants are Chinese in IMO.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_medal_count_at_International_Mathematical_Olympiad

            https://www.imo-official.org/results_country.aspx?column=awards&order=desc

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              2 months ago, # ^ |
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              sucks that our country doesn't force us into competitive studies since the age of 5 or less, but yeah that OP was being ignorant too I'm not gonna defend his baseless claim

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              2 months ago, # ^ |
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              but bro I said to radewoosh not chinese one,And I am not like other people who dont know to appreciate people,chinese people are definitely talented and are in top in almost all field,Except politics they are good in nature but can radewoosh compete with chinese or Indian or US math student,,or lets take another field other than cp,U cant be good at everything,There are very few countries where cp have been started since early age.My main point was not to brag about Indian math knowledge

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                2 months ago, # ^ |
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                Chinese people are also good at making viruses and spread them across the world.

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              2 months ago, # ^ |
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              Chinese people are nice, fuck Russians, fuck Polish. USA is cool because they are rich and can buy any talent on this planet.

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          2 months ago, # ^ |
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          Instead of posting this you could better motivate Chinese for another virus.

          oh sorry they don't need any motivation they are already working on it

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        2 months ago, # ^ |
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        Because ,there is a term called problemset in codeforces but no such thing like questionset.

        btw ,Does anybody address "competitive programming" as "Battle of programmers". just qurious :3

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          2 months ago, # ^ |
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          so there is no taskset,you have to understand just like russsian people main language is russian nd they face trouble in English,we do so.Many of us know one or two variant of some word and really dont understand where to use which one,so its common that non-English native speaker can do mistake and I guess it doesnt affect every other by any means.

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          7 weeks ago, # ^ |
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          Now tere is no problemsets on codeforces, there are bugaboosets

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        2 months ago, # ^ |
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        Yes you are right sir, making same comment every time just for a particular community is totally nonsense . I have seen Geothermal submissions he also writes question at the end.

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        2 months ago, # ^ |
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        another point of view:

        now is mainstream to make short statements

        short problem's statement literally looks like a question

        so many new coders (including indians) comes to cp and...

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        2 months ago, # ^ |
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        your are right

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        2 months ago, # ^ |
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        .............. .............. .............. .......... ..................... ............... ..............

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      Yeah, I feel really ashamed and guilty due to such Polish idiots, but also kinda don't like AnandOza for his constant effort to educate our beloved Radewoosh. I'm a Polish and we would never care if someone used the word questions instead of problems if the context is clear as we are very open-minded about it. Well if he thinks about all Polish like that (that we are really crybaby princesses), who am I to change someone's mind but I would like to say we Polish are really decent and very open-minded peoples and doesn’t take any responsibilities for some human piece of garbage (read as uneducated spoiled teenager Radewoosh). Przepraszam !!

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    What is the fundamental difference between a question and a problem?

    imo: A question implies that there is a singular right or wrong answer. A problem, on the other hand, is to be solved, with creative and perhaps different methods. In other words, a question puts focus on the ends, whereas a problem emphasizes the means. That's why cp is "problem-solving". Problems are open to be solved in different ways as long as they produce the expected result. So by calling a problem a "question", one is adapting a very binary mindset. Perhaps, this mindset inspires cheating, because it focuses on the answer(the end) rather than the means.

    I agree with anand about the indian stereotype though. I understand how you feel seeing the concrete evidence and what has happened. However, there are simply too many causes(e.g, how english is taught in their country) behind the outcome that we may not be aware of. Therefore, it is not wise to immediately form a strong opinion on it.

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      As an Indian Master whose native language isn't English and who have just learnt it enough that he can talk with people in English.

      I don't really know the difference between them. I have only learnt that I should stop calling CP problems as questions because that what most high rated people do.

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        2 months ago, # ^ |
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        Then in that case feel free to call problems "questions" :). The distinction between the two is subtle. For someone who doesn't have english as their first language, this is perfectly understandable.

        I was speaking about them more from a philosophical level.

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      You can just as easily say "problem" has a connotation of something bad, and "question" (e.g. "life's big questions") has the connotation of open-ended academic pursuit of knowledge and understanding for its own sake, rather than for a practical application or to accomplish a task.

      All these words have many meanings, but the important usage of them on Codeforces is as a term for "those things on contests", and it's completely clear in context what you're referring to whether you use "question", "problem", or "task".

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        2 months ago, # ^ |
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        Interesting perspective! Adding to what you said, there's really no point in arguing over language anyways because it's all based on interpretation.

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          2 months ago, # ^ |
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          For me, Also questions and problems seems identical but can anyone link a valid source on the internet claiming that they are different words completely?(Dont post some link codeforces blogs please). Also I can give you the link of various red coders on the youtube using the two term interchangeably. I personally don't know why the word problem is given so much respect in cp-community. Btw if you google for the synonyms for the word "Problem", you will find the Pain in the ass there.

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      Just looked up both in the Oxford dictionary in the context of CP

      Question "A task or request for information that is intended to test your knowledge or understanding, for example in an exam or a competition Example: Question 3 was very difficult."

      Problem "A question that can be answered by using logical thought or mathematics Example: I have five problems to do for homework."

      My interpretation in a CP context is that 'problem' is used often in conjunction with something complex that can be 'solved', while 'question' often concerns straightforward concepts / facts. As in, "Revert a binary tree" vs "Does 2999999999 fit in int?".

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        2 months ago, # ^ |
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        I understood your point that in your place 'question' and 'problem' are relatively different terms and have different meaning. Where I live, they have been used in place of each other and without any issue. Maybe that is why you see a lot of people from some community using question in place of problem. It doesn't mean they are trying to disrespect or anything or they don't have proper vocab. It just means these words are similar to them. Anyways, we should just see the blog as a whole which is really great and ignore the controversial part

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          2 months ago, # ^ |
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          Completely agree, I couldn't care less as long as the message comes through in communication. I can't really tell whether OP is trolling or seriously lacks social skills, it is my first time hearing about his ongoing sassing about one single word.

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            2 months ago, # ^ |
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            My statements were never directed at anybody, and as said before it is your choice to use one or the other. Besides your opinion and mine do not contradict?

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        2 months ago, # ^ |
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        Honestly, I find it funny how many people (not just you) are linking an English dictionary as if it's the authoritative source on how people use English words in the specific context of competitive programming.

        Try looking up "editorial" (or even "upsolve" or "tree") in an English dictionary. I won't say a dictionary is completely irrelevant, but it's pretty irrelevant here honestly.

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          2 months ago, # ^ |
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          Not everything has to be about CP, "What is the fundamental difference between a question and a problem?" was an interesting linguistic question that arose from this thread.

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            2 months ago, # ^ |
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            You said

            Just looked up both in the Oxford dictionary in the context of CP

            So I thought you were using the dictionary to interpret the words in the context of CP.

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              2 months ago, # ^ |
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              Yes, not everything has to be about CP, hence we are having a linguistic discussion using the context of CP. It is like discussing education in the context of math on a math forum.

              Not everybody wanna get involved with the trolling/flaming/worshipping in this thread, I found the linguistics bit particularly interesting, hence wanna talk/learn more about it.

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          2 months ago, # ^ |
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          Speaking of "technical correctness". Calling problems as "question" can make sense, but the word "upsolve" is complete nonsense. Not sure why nobody is annoyed about it.

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            2 months ago, # ^ |
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            Yeah, "upsolve" has no meaning in common English, but it's a pretty useful term in CP, so I'm okay with it too. (I can't think of an alternative using common English that's not too wordy, e.g., "upsolved E" => "solved E, which I couldn't solve in-contest").

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    I think he didn't mean to stereotype a particular community. He just meant that the attitude that one takes while doing competitive programming, should be taken as extremely important.

    My personal interpretation — when someone says "questions", it implies that he is not generally interested in the task, more like "questions" on a test. However, if you say that you are completing a challenge, it sounds like you show interest in it.

    Kinda like this article says, but in a more general sense — https://www.huffpost.com/entry/problems-vs-challenges-th_b_10465200.

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      when someone says "questions", it implies that he is not generally interested in the task

      that what whole blogpost is talking about

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
      Vote: I like it -21 Vote: I do not like it

    Bruh, he is one of the best competitive programmers the world ever had,and no LGM spare there time to give advice, if he is sharing something then be grateful, rather than getting upset over a some terms, and moreover saying 'problems' makes a lot of sense than 'question', I have never seen any OJ to refer them as question. It's just wrong to say that, you cannot justify it by saying that English is different, English may differ but meaning is same.

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
      Vote: I like it +134 Vote: I do not like it

    Sorry if it looks rude. After writing such a long monologue, I've thought that it'd be good to write a funny and non-serious part. People could read it and say something like "oh, it's still our old Radewoosh". You know, to lower the tension, I actually care about this whole stuff a lot less than I write about it, just triggering people a bit.

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
        Vote: I like it -87 Vote: I do not like it

      oh, it's still our old Radewoosh

      Being know for racism is cool these days huh

      Sorry if it looks rude.

      just triggering people a bit.

      LOGIK 100

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        2 months ago, # ^ |
          Vote: I like it +88 Vote: I do not like it

        I'm slowly getting tired of that. You wanted me to slow down, and I slowed down a long time ago.

        But man, this blog contains the following information: "question" is an incorrect word to describe an algorithmic problem.

        What's so racist in this sentence? I just unable to see it. I've heard about grammar-nazi, but you are seeing problems where there are none.

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          2 months ago, # ^ |
            Vote: I like it -92 Vote: I do not like it

          I don't want you to do anything(that I want) I couldn't care less what you do.

          What's so racist

          The context

          And I already showed hypocrisy in the previous comment,

          I just found it funny hence I pointed it out. I've no issues with you just to be clear nor was I offended by you saying this, I was just mildy annoyed when I saw the frequency of that.

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          2 months ago, # ^ |
            Vote: I like it +8 Vote: I do not like it

          Surely you are not 100% correct when not a single individual but a certain part of the community is taking offense. Not that hard to understand. Leetcode is an American company and it use phrases like "Top Google interview questions", "Top Amazon interview questions" for the algorithmic problems on their website. So, using "question" is not incorrect either.

          Read point 2 and explain why I shouldn't use the word "question" for codeforces "problems". I'm just curious.

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          2 months ago, # ^ |
            Vote: I like it +75 Vote: I do not like it

          I'm slowly getting tired of that. You wanted me to slow down, and I slowed down a long time ago.

          I actually don't understand what you're saying here. Are you saying you shouldn't be criticized for doing something offensive, because you used to do it more often in the past? Let me know if I've misread this.

          But man, this blog contains the following information: "question" is an incorrect word to describe an algorithmic problem.

          Eh, not really. See my other comments on this page.

          What's so racist in this sentence? I just unable to see it. I've heard about grammar-nazi, but you are seeing problems where there are none.

          There's a pretty clear pattern in your comments (e.g., the ones I linked above), I'm surprised you claim you're unable to see it if ... (1) you said you're intentionally triggering people with your actions (2) you "slowed down" (what did you slow down then?)

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            2 months ago, # ^ |
              Vote: I like it +2 Vote: I do not like it

            I meant something different. You posted five examples (we can include above blog, whatever) of me making fun of people calling problems "questions".

            In the first one I made an assumption about the relation between the sets {people calling problems "questions"} and {people from India}, I confess. And because of this assumption I made a bold assumption about the "Merkurev" guy, I confess to that. Was it funny because it was the only time or was it already rude? It's not a thing to talk about now.

            In the rest of them the whole discussion started because somebody assumed that I made some assumptions about this relation and because of these people more users attacked me.

            What's the motivation of these people? I don't know. Just assuming that I'm doing something because it happened in the past? Looks bad, but sometimes the reality is harsh. Feeling offended just because (by an accident) they are calling problems "questions" and are from India, so they assume that I'm making jokes of the second ones instead of the first ones? Maybe.

            In the last one I meant real accident, a random person from the intersection of these two sets, I'm not attacking anyone. Of course, none of these sets is a subset of another, we all know it.

            The bad thing is that because of these people more and more users start to think that I'm still attacking Indians and assuming anything.

            (1) I'm triggering people who use "question" instead of "problem". (2) By slowing down I meant not making assumptions about the relations of the mentioned sets.

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              2 months ago, # ^ |
                Vote: I like it +29 Vote: I do not like it

              Don't bother about all these people.. People now a days get offended too easily.. I am an Indian, i say questions, and i took it lightly, as it should be taken because obviously it's a joke...

              What i cant understand is half of these people, at one point would have searched for : How to become a red coder, how to be good at CP, how did xyz become a LGM/GM, and messaged red coders how should i practice and all that stuff, but when someone who is great at CP, gave them some really good advice, they are debating over an insignificant topic and finding racism in this..WOW

              SO ANYWAYS, THANKS FOR THIS BLOG ! :)

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              7 weeks ago, # ^ |
                Vote: I like it -21 Vote: I do not like it

              I am an Indian. Now I clearly see Indians can't take a joke. Thank you for proving it. Also making fun of people using "questions" instead of "problems" is different from making fun of indians. If there are too many people from India relating to it, well LOL. You can either remain uneducated blaming the country's education system and say people are not introduced to CP and they do it in college and all the bullshit or you can take pointers from LGMs when you have the chance instead of giving the person a hard time. Grow up. Stop using your citizenship to embarass an entire country. sucks_at_cp your name explains quite a lot of the frustration at an LGM but learn to take a joke. You are just lame.

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
        Vote: I like it +53 Vote: I do not like it

      just triggering people a bit

      Honestly, this is some "edgy teenager" behavior. And it sounds like you're saying it's intentional, so "Sorry if it looks rude" doesn't feel very sincere.

      It would have been better to include a light-hearted joke that isn't at other people's expense.

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        7 weeks ago, # ^ |
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        getting upvotes doesn't make you right. shut up already.

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    Spoiler
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2 months ago, # |
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This made me laugh.

Also, one last tip: I've noticed it observing all the top people on Codeforces/Atcoder. None of them uses the word "question" instead of "problem"/"task". So don't do it. You won't progress if you'll keep calling problems "questions".

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2 months ago, # |
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Hi, thanks for this blog. I really wanted to ask one thing about this from some top rated user but I wasn't sure. But I wanna ask it now cuz this is too good an opportunity to let go. But I can't ask it from my main account fearing judgement from my "friends".

I am a master here, and I think I have the potential to become a top rated coder in the near future. But, I like a few other things too much: like singing and listening to music, and having a good time with friends and cracking so many jokes and talking to girls. Somewhere I find myself thinking about these things when I am thinking of a problem. I have seen Gennady in streams, and a lot of other videos, and I feel that he and other top rated coders really have that "part of brain devoted to CP". And I have felt that if I change my personality a bit, and become a bit more straight faced guy, not thinking of jokes all the time, not singing all the time, I can solve harder problems better. I even tried it for a day or two, but I went back to normal cuz FOMO.

But I realllyyyyy wanna be very high rated and very good at CP. So should I change my personality to better fit CP? Or is it just stupid and there is no such thing like personality for CP? But I have observed it first hand: thinking in background about CP problems automatically changes my personality. And that person isn't as FUN in the social sense. But I really felt at home with such an outlook.

Really sorry for this potentially stupid question. But I really wanted to ask this.

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
      Vote: I like it +14 Vote: I do not like it

    if you think you can't crack jokes and have "part of brain devoted to CP", you clearly haven't met my ICPC team. constant shitposting is vital to our success.

    in all seriousness, i don't think intentionally "changing your personality" is the way to go. i also don't think that constantly thinking about CP is disjoint from being a socially fun person. at least for me, it didn't feel like i was actively trading something off to get better at CP; i kinda just started thinking of CP more and more because i enjoyed it. i think the point of this post is less "make yourself think this way to get good at CP" and more "people at the top are devoted to CP". the better you get, the less external motivations like wanting to get into a good school/job will be enough to drive you. thus, it's somewhat pointless to ask all these techniques on how to become a red coder when you don't love competitive problem solving.

    assuming your post is true, i'm pretty surprised that you've gotten to master and don't already constantly think about CP in the background. life is short. sure, maybe you do have the potential to be a top rated coder, but why waste your time doing that if that's not what you actually want to do? why spend hours and hours of training to be good at CP, only to regret not spending time on the things you enjoy?

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      My motivation to become good at CP is not job related: its just that I absolutely love solving hard problems.

      But I love singing and listening to music too. I wanna give up these things cuz they seem to come in between my thoughts when thinking about problems. I randomly start singing while doing CP. and people around me say that I have a great voice. And also, all the time, I am also thinking about some meme or something, or how that stupid thing I read today is so funny.

      I think I think about CP in background around 20%-30% of my free-time. If I don't think about these things, I can get it up to 80% I guess. And thinking about CP all the time makes me happy. Really, truly happy. But then there's my death-like addiction to music.

      And by strong I don't mean I wanna become red. I wanna become LGM strong. That's an extremely hard and big challenge and I think some personality optimisations are required to reach that level.

      PS: Sorry for my immature posts.... But I really wanted to ask this.

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    1) Nice nickname :D Maybe you should fully switch to this account.
    2) It's ok to give up CP if you don't enjoy it. That's not the case for you.
    3) If you don't care about becoming the best the IMHO there is no reason to switch from e.g. singing to practicing CP more.
    4) You don't need to switch your personality, just habits. When you spend time with friends, don't think about problems. That's unhealthy. Unless it's time with your cp friends and you all want to talk about that.

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      i thought i would never comment again thinking about people who might judge me.... but hey... i think i don't care and I will just write this once and for all and never log in:

      I wanna sing all the time, have fun all the time, make memes all the time, dream of making a YouTube song video ft. myself, play many many sports, party with friends all the time.

      BUT I also love CP too much. nothing gives me more happiness. I just wanna do this shit for the rest of my life. If I enjoy CP, and I wanna become the absolute best, is it ok to forgo of all the "other" stuffs. Like everyday I wake up, I think, today I will be like Gennady in his streams. His demeanor seems like he is made for CP: so calm, and looks like his mind is running CP problems in background. I on the other hand blast music out of my speakers when I get accepted on a hard problem, and go to my terrace and listen to music every 2 hours or so. I don't think such hyperactivity is good for CP. So I think I have to change. yeah I wanna be really really good in CP (your kind of good), not for jobs ofc, for that master is already enuff I think. But becoz I wanna make it my life. So i am at crossroads: do I leave these things, since they interfere so much.

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        2 months ago, # ^ |
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        How old are you?

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        2 months ago, # ^ |
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        You're asking strangers to tell you how important this CP dream is to you. Talk with your friends and family about it. They know you better.

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      +1 to the username, I liked it too. :)

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2 months ago, # |
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thank you so much for this blog!

I registered on this platform a few months ago, after giving a few virtual contests and not being able to solve even the first and second problems of a DIV2 contest I gave up. But, earlier this week I realized it was a great opportunity for me to learn so many algorithms and data structures and improve a lot.

Now, I'm committed to solving about 50 problems of each difficulty (from 800-2000) and regularly give contests and upsolve the problems.

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How to gitgud epic tutorial (LGMS DON'T WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT THIS SECRET TECHNIQUE!) [NOT CLICKBAIT] [GONE WRONG] [FREE V-BUCKS]

Step 1: join the AC Discord server & identify.

Step 2: go to the channel #gitgud.

Step 3: Type: ;gitgud +300

Step 4: Solve the problem you have been suggested by the bot.

Step 5: Go back to Step 3 & repeat until you've gitten-gud.

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2 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +865 Vote: I do not like it

My opinion on how to watch anime

I'm not very often replying to questions about how to watch anime, but as I'm getting enough of them (and I've just seen another blog about anime) let me tell you about it.

Of course, every time when you ask someone good about how to become a weeb, he/she will reply to you to "watch a lot of anime" and that's true, there's no other way. Anyway, I've thought about it and actually I'm able to tell a bit more. I know some people, I've seen many people watching anime (including me) and I have an opinion.

Many people watch anime in some organized way. High schools organize anime/manga watching clubs every Saturday, universities organize anime movie screenings once a week, people try by their own to watch three episodes each day, websites host shows and so on. Here's a secret: it's a sh*t. Yep, that's true. If you want to be really good and to make it happen you watch anime in a club once a week, you do it only to be able to make excuses "but I'm training so hard" when you see no progress.

Every really good person gave a part of their life to anime. And I don't mean giving up Saturday parties or having no friends, I kind of mean the part of their minds. You have to really want to get better and find real pleasure in anime and watching your progress. It also means catching yourself thinking about various anime or seeing anime interpretations in many aspects of real life.

You should watch anime every time when you have an idea "oh, I'd watch some anime", "oh, it'd be good to watch anime a bit now" or "oh, it'd be cool to watch every anime on this website, let's start". Here's a trick: if you really want to be good, you'll have a lot of such ideas. If you don't have them and you want to just watch anime weekly, then better go and reconsider if you really want to be better.

Do you think that you are bad at slice of life? Good, you see your weaknesses, go watch some such anime.

Do you want to simply watch a few episodes? Great, go and watch them as long as they are interesting for you. Or you want to watch every anime from some season (still can be a challenge for you). Or you want to watch a whole show (still can be a challenge for you). Or you want to have more anime watched on MAL than your friend (still can be a challenge for you). Or because of any other reason, but still, don't watch the easiest anime on MAL and expect to become good.

Do you want to participate in a virtual watchalong? Sure, go and do this. Don't do this if you are sure that you'd like them. Do this if you want to check if you'd like that anime/be better than your friend/something. Challenges, remember? But don't get me wrong, for example, if you are already quite cultured and you want to read (or even watch) the episodes from naruto, which is definitely below your level — it's ok if it's a sign that you are curious about anime and it's interesting for you.

Do you really want to get better and binge two 5-hour anime in a row? Great, go and watch.

Want to go and participate in a screening organized by your university? Of course, great idea — rivalry, some stress, fun with other people. If you are really watching anime and trying to get better, the weekly screenings with your schoolmates/university/anime club will become a nice event for you, but don't depend on them. Also, watching anime with your anime friends is a way to create a better team — you have to know your weaknesses and strengths and learn how to cooperate. To make your team better at watching anime when you already know how to cooperate, you have to make yourself better at watching anime.

Do you want to skip a screening organized by the university and meet your friends/read a book/play some games? Sure, if you don't feel like waatching anime, then don't force yourself. If you really want to watch anime and become strong, you'll for sure watch this anime later or something, don't force yourself, just really feel a need to watch anime. You can't rush art, right?

One more time: you really have to have anime in your mind. After watching an episode, it doesn't mean that it's gone and you have to forget about it. Maybe you'll find yourself thinking about some interesting aspects of some scene and you'll imagine a better one?

I don't know what's more to say. Don't give up? With the right attitude, if you can't watch an anime which is really interesting/important for you, you'll try for a few days — the pleasure and self-satisfaction after watching an anime for a few days with success is one of the best feelings.

Also, one last tip: I've noticed it observing all the top people on MAL/AniList. None of them uses the word "cartoon" instead of "anime". So don't do it. You won't progress if you'll keep calling anime "cartoons".

So yeah, that's my opinion. Let anime get into your mind and find a true desire to watch. Don't try to force yourself to watch anime in an organized way.

I know that this comment may discourage some people, but they wouldn't go far with such an attitude. I also think that it can help people with real potential to become somebody really strong and that's why I wrote it.

If any other top-rated weeb wants to share his/her way or just point the differences — that's great.

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    nice!

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    As a top-rated weeb, I would like to point out that it is possible to become a weeb without watching a lot of anime. For instance, I prefer speedrunning manga instead. Of course, you still must update your MAL every 6 hours to remain competitive in the manga speedrunning community.

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
      Vote: I like it +130 Vote: I do not like it

    Ari gato

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      Hey, I understand that you want to make a point, but don't you think tagging is unnecessary? I believe noone likes to be tagged just to see themselves being used for a pun.

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        2 months ago, # ^ |
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        Hey, I understand that you want to make a point, but don't you think replying is unnecessary? I believe noone likes to get notifications just to see themselves being used for a pun.

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        2 months ago, # ^ |
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        I don't know what you thought but I didn't want to use him for a pun.

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    Best thing I saw today. Ari orz!

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There's no relation between being good/bad at CP and using the word question instead of problem/task. It's just Radewoosh making fun of Indian Community whenever he gets a chance(Indians are to be blamed for this), and he gets away with it, because of his rating. I admire him for his skills too, but being an LGM and making fun of a community... fine.

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Radewoosh's attempt : Help community about how to be good in cp.

People in whole comments section : Why is this guy so much obsessed with "problems vs questions" thing.

Come on guys, thats just a thing to say. He wrote a such a nice blog and all you guys are discussing are last 2 line from this blog.

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    People are saying because

    1) Most of the things mentioned are normal, if you want a daily reminder about basic things, you can set an alarm on phone

    2)He always says this, and it is not a running gag, it's just become annoying, and racially discriminative, because he's always targeting them as wrong, nuisance and also called them retarded which ofcourse means he's ableist.

    Thats just a thing to say.

    What does this even mean?

    I'm not saying Radewoosh is a terrible human being, but there's definitely things he should think about, especially because he's pretty influential in CP community and influences a lot of people in the community.

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While this blog should be useful to orange/red users, I wonder if it's of any help to lower ratings. Well, it's still an interesting read for sure.

The big thing I disagree with Radewoosh about is actually something he didn't mention in the blog. He thinks that a competitive programmer should be well-rounded and should practice their weak points. I think that specializing (e.g. I know dp & geometry & combinatorics) is fine and it's more efficient if you want to reach the top (well, not the very top). And it's great for ICPC.

And I don't mean giving up Saturday parties or having no friends, I kind of mean the part of their minds.

I agree. I used to solve or invent problems whenever I had time: in a bus, during lectures, while eating or falling asleep, and so on. If you're really into it, it becomes the main thing you think about. It's like being obsessed with a cool video game but it lasts years.

Do you really want to get better and compete virtually in two 5-hour contests in a row? Great, go and practice.

Only if you have time and a will to upsolve later. Generally, this advice might be good only for the very best people in the world.

You won't progress if you'll keep calling problems "questions".

xd, sure

Questions and problems mean the same thing so whatever. Actually, "interview questions" is commonly used in the West too. What really grinds my gears is the phrase "I gave a contest". It sounds illogical. Organizers gave you the contest, you just participated / took part. But again, it must be a difference between versions of English.

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    I actually saw your yt vid ICPC Swiss Subregional with radewoosh and he was struggling to speak a complete sentence in English. Embarrassing from him if that's how we are going to judge. I am not sure whether I should make fun of him or not.

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    If "I know dp & geometry & combinatorics" described you anywhere near accurately, you wouldn't be nutella. I can tell you that 100%.

    It's great only for ICPC. For individual contests that don't limit themselves to specific topics, you have to be well-rounded and only with that, you can specialise in the sense that you excel at some problem types. Just consider constructionforces: if you get bent over the knee and paddled by a medium construction problem each and every round, then improve at construction problems! It should give you way more payoff per effort than trying to bridge the gap by solving hard non-construction problems. If you're good at everything, you can more easily get to the point where you only have really hard problems to solve, and then it's finally about whether those hard problems fit your specialties.

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    I think the phrase "I gave a contest" originates due to fundamentals of English and general phrases taught around the country. Being an Indian, everybody uses phrases like "I gave an exam" etc. So I feel like this should not be a thing that one needs to be concerned about as there is no ill intent behind the statement. Most of us are grateful for wonderful people who put in their time and effort to create problems and editorials.

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    "Giving a contest" sounds illogical to me too. But there is another expression that always sounds/reads strange, and seems to be more prevalent outside of competitive programming: "Writing a code".

    I always thought the correct sentence was just "Writing code". Is this also a difference between Indian English, and American English? I am not trying to make fun of anyone here, quite the contrary, I am genuinely interested in the explanation.

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    I do think there's a difference between problem and question. I hear a lot of people refer to "homework questions," but I've heard significantly fewer people refer to "research questions" (more often, referred to as "research problem")...presumably because of the connotation difference between question and problem.

    I actually noticed this a while ago when I was typesetting some math notes. I kept switching between "problem ?" and "question ?"...and I noticed that mysteriously (generally, there were some outliers) I would refer to the harder problems/questions as problems and the easier problems/questions as questions.

    I think I remember something vaguely similar in Art of Craft of Problem Solving (at the beginning of the book, I think Zeitz talked about the important distinction between example, exercise, and problem or something like that).

    Whatever, point is — I do think there's a dif.

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Sir, can I at least give contests?

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    This must be the reason you're not red!

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      This must be the reason you're not red!

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        2 months ago, # ^ |
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        This cannot the be the reason in my case as I participate in contests, not give them

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I'm not Indian and I want to ask this them.

  1. "Bro, what's your age?"

  2. "Given a side of a square, find the area of it"

Do you call these two kinds of statements the same word in Hindi? I want to find out whether the "question" is really coming from India, because it is widely used outside.

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    We have always used the word "question" from our early age so we're used to saying "question". In fact, apart from cf, I have never said "problem" elsewhere. Also if you go to leetcode, they have so many sections like "Top interview quesions", "Top Amazon questions" etc. Are they wrong too? Neither are wrong, Say whatever you like.

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      You haven't answered me, first of all.

      Neither are wrong, Say whatever you like

      You can call it "shmroblem", if you want. And Leetcode may be influenced by Indians, who are not the right source of correct English words at all.

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        2 months ago, # ^ |
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        Of course, I meant it between "problem" and "question" you genius.

        And Leetcode is literally an American company.

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          2 months ago, # ^ |
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          you genius

          Can anyone find the answer to my question in his comment?

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            2 months ago, # ^ |
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            Pretty conveniently you decided to ignore the fact that a popular american company uses the word "question" for algorithmic problems. Have a nice day.

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              2 months ago, # ^ |
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              I don't know.

              Do you know who works in Leetcode and who chose those words? It is probably a company founded in USA by Indians.

              I also said something like "maybe", I was not sure about that.

              Finally, thanks for successfully wasting my time.

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                2 months ago, # ^ |
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                Thanks for successfully getting your time wasted.

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                2 months ago, # ^ |
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                Read point 2 and explain why I shouldn't use the word "question" for codeforces "problems".

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                  2 months ago, # ^ |
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                  I'm lazy to read this stuff.

                  I've never said "question" is incorrect.

                  I just asked a simple question initially, which u answered with an useless story instead of — yes or no.

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              2 months ago, # ^ |
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              When the last guy replied I got back to those comments and got that you actually didn't understand my comment.

              When I said "which is not the right place to find correct English words at all" I meant India and not Leetcode, of course.

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              2 months ago, # ^ |
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              Most things in leetcode are too easy to be called "problems"

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              2 months ago, # ^ |
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                2 months ago, # ^ |
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                Click on the link you gave and look at the right side of the page.

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                  2 months ago, # ^ |
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                  Just say what I need to see

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                  2 months ago, # ^ |
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                  They use phrases like "Top Google Questions" , "Top interview questions" for their algorithmic "problems". So, I don't see how it is wrong even though I admit "problem" suits more.

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                  2 months ago, # ^ |
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                  well, for me they use is not argument for correctness

                  obviously they use it because of many google search queries with pattern algorithmic questions

                  looks like an unsolvable loop :(

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                  2 months ago, # ^ |
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                  True haha.

                  I just gave that reference because that's an American company while Radewoosh is trying to make fun of or trigger a bunch of Indian teenagers by claiming "question" is incorrect. (He has done this too many times so ignoring it is not an option sadly)

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                  2 months ago, # ^ |
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                  ok, but why you point me to see this "question usage"?

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                  2 months ago, # ^ |
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                  Why did you reply with the link (leetcode.com/problemset/all) ?

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    These statements are referred to by different words in our languages. However, the word "problems" is not generally used for academic purposes in India (at least in most cases), so people referring to problems in cp as "questions" is just a habit. Also, "Indian" is not a language.

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      "Indian" is not a language

      Haha, yeah, I knew.

      Thanks for the concise answer.

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    I am from India and I would refer to both of these as "questions".

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      Enjoy question-solving then.

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        2 months ago, # ^ |
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        "Enjoy solving questions then".

        People also say to use problem/task instead of questions. Task-solving isn't appropriate either.

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2 months ago, # |
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I cannot believe the amount of people who don't know the difference between 'question' and 'problem'. Basically in a nutshell, 'question' is something which doesn't require 'logical thinking', and problem is something you 'solve' using logics etc. And since you 'solve' problems, hence you call it problems.. it's a problem because you've to solve it if that makes sense haha.

I know why a lot of Indians call it question though, because problems are not very widely used, question is. I remember in school where we had this 'word problems' in math, it was called problems because we solve it using logics and mathematics formula. And I'm sure everyone has used the word 'problem' before but 'question' is more used so people simply use it without thinking much about it, which is completely fine.

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    Read Point 2 and explain why I shouldn't use the word "question" for codeforces "problems". I'm just curious.

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      Listen, question isn't wrong, it's just that problem 'suits' more. The second point in the link says it tests your knowledge and so does CP but there are other ways of testing knowledge where the word question is more suitable, in a problem we are given a task which we solve using logics/formulas etc. Use either, doesn't matter.. as I said earlier.

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    I am not a grammer expert but I think question is a superset and problem is a part of it. You can say Question={Problem,inquiry,doubt etc}

    For example: "Bro, what's your age?" is an inquiry

    "Given a side of a square, find the area of it" is a problem

    "Will I succeed in life" is doubt (I guess)

    All of them fall into the category of question. This is just based on my experience of english language.

    I wrote this because someone in above comment asked two categorize the first two sentence as to weather they are problem or question. But I don't think this can really justify why question cannot be used in place of problem.

    See Atcoder uses the word task in their contest. So that means task and problem are equivalent??

    "Watering the plants" "Cooking the food" are also task but are they problem?

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      Yes! That's what I was thinking too. Very nice way of putting it.

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      Question may be a superset in some context but it still has different basic meaning.

      I can offer another analogy. The problem is usually described in some text. What if we I write: "I understand text B and will solve it quickly. I know that text D is about flows." Will you understand it? Sure. Will you like this? I guess no.

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2 months ago, # |
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GODS :)

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    The funny part is he never mentioned that book in the video :D

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      He has five fingers to show and the book is the sixth!! It should be a bonus I think :D

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That's why you can never be as good as the true legend tourist,because he must be practicing problems and he has no time for making fun of Indians over their vocabs.MARK MY WORDS -YOU CAN NEVER BE AS GOOD AS TOURIST.

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    I remember that about six years ago (when I was still in high school) Errichto told me the same. Many years later, when I scratched top1 for the first time, I reminded him about it.

    Who knows, maybe thanks to your motivation, one day I'll be?

    EDIT: Ofc. he only told me that I'd never be as good as Gennady, he skipped the vulgar part.

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      Many years later, when I scratched top1 for the first time.HAHA it won't take you years to be like tourist,it would cost you centuries. LOLLL

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      you dont need to reply to him,

      Dont be judgy

      and this guy is just acting like dumb.Oh shit, his name itself include mahachutiya which simply means dumb.

      See I believe you can beat tourist in megaevents of cp, We human are noone to judge anyone and for same I replied above in one comment. And please dont troll my English,I know it is not perfect but still ok to express my view

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      Polish players are so toxic on Csgo too

      Can you please be humble like pashabiceps

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        2 months ago, # ^ |
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        it's not all their fault, actually, polish people were fucked by so many neighbouring countries in past that's why they become so toxic

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      Please ignore what they said, you are better than almost everyone here and you can definitely beat tourist, I wish all the luck to you,ignore the hate,I am sorry on their behalf.

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      Radewoosh is in 2nd place right now. I believe he can pass tourist now because of what you said

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        2 months ago, # ^ |
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        Can I ask in your profie pic what is white cat doing with the black cat that is making it happy af ?

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        2 months ago, # ^ |
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        BenQ is the new tourist now. he is getting older he will never able to surpass tourist or BenQ in his lifetime... keep dreaming Mateusz

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      Many years ago, DS007 said the same thing to me as well!

      Ofc, he only said the vulgar part, and skipped the part about Gennady.

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      7 weeks ago, # ^ |
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      lmfao radewoosh just passed tourist and is number 1. I remembered reading this comment weeks ago and have kept an eye on the standings since. Looks like someone was wrong...

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    Calm down lmao. How is being good at cp has any correlation with it? Does it mean that if tourist makes fun of Indians, you will let it slide because he's tourist??

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    Mate, are you an idiot? He is literally three places above tourist right now.

    Congatulations Radewoosh, keep up the good work, and yeah, hope this inspires you to finally dethrone tourist :P.

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      i think seeing just cf rating from 2 bad contest of tourist is not good measure he won hackercup code jam and many more global contest many time so stop comparing tourist with anyone he is still best 1-2 good contest can make him back to the top.

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2 months ago, # |
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Alright, this "gave a ...part of their mind" part seams real and legit. But what is "Saturday parties"? :)

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Finally, done reading all the comments xD

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E-Lafda xD

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Nobody:

Arbitrary national user: Hello Mr Radewoosh, may I ask u a problem?

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Necessary Meme
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2 months ago, # |
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I will use the word questions only and prove you wrong soon :angry puffing face:.

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2 months ago, # |
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Not until now did I know that I was supposed to call the programming questions as problems/tasks.

However, as an Indian English speaker, calling these questions as problems doesn't really change my perception towards them. It doesn't give me any extra urge to improve my programming skills. And I believe, changing the calling reference doesn't work out for most of us (Indians). We are used to calling them questions because that's what we have learnt in our schools since childhood (we get Computer programming "Question Papers" and we are supposed to answer them). I don't feel there is any fear or anxiety attached to the name.

There are many variations of English spoken in different parts and you should acknowledge the existence of "questions" in programming.

P.S.: I liked your blog and will definitely try to follow most of those feasible to me, but couldn't resist writing this after knowing your perspective towards the question thingy.

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Radewoosh right now..

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2 months ago, # |
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.

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2 months ago, # |
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Hot take: this comment section is cancer. Even if remove all problem/question/racism bullshit (yeah it's kinda racist, but 80% of "indian cp" is not a competitive programming, and unless this changes, the racism will continue).

Why do people thank Radewoosh for useful tips? There are none in this blog (except for calling problems problems). You either Want to be great and Enjoy problems, or you don't. Oh, the second useful tip: if you are not the type Radewoosh described, don't do cp. It will be just a waste of time.

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    Maybe that attitude he's talking about can be developed?

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    I kind of agree with your point about tips, I didn’t expect so many upvotes. The blog kind of aims at people who don’t understand why they see no progress. Also, I believe that there are people which are somewhere between and they wonder if they should force them to practice more or just enjoy the current state.

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Obligatory disclaimer: I'm not a native English speaker.

I guess an easy way to figure out if you should use "question" or "problem" is to figure out if you are looking for an answer or a solution: questions have answers and problems solutions. For example,

  • I was asked this interview question: how can you compute the median of a sorted array in $$$\mathcal{O}(\log n)$$$ time? I answered that you can just use binary search.

  • Then the interviewer asked me to implement a solution to the problem.

Another easy way to decide between a question and a problem is to see if there is a question mark at the end. For example:

  • You are given a sorted list of integers, and need to output their median, doing at most $$$\mathcal{O}(\log n)$$$ work. How to achieve this?

  • You are given a sorted list of integers. Implement a solution that outputs their median. Your algorithm should work in $$$\mathcal{O}(\log n)$$$ time.

The first is a question and the second a problem.

So, if you are asked to prove or implement something, it is a problem. Nobody ever says "I submitted my answer to the question, and got AC". In competitive programming you solve problems, you don't answer questions. Codeforces is not a trivia contest site.

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    I was asked this interview question: how can you compute the median of a sorted array in O(log n) time? I answered that you can just use binary search.

    Can't you do it in O(1) without binary search?

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      Well, yes, but actually what if they are building a median-based cryptography system, and a $$$\mathcal{O}(1)$$$ solution would leave them vulnerable to a timing attack?

      (Actually I just didn't think much while writing the examples, nice find)

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    Answer vs Solution coming up next

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    I wonder why nobody mentioned it. But let's take a look into the theoretical computer science. There are lots of problems there: knapsack problem, travelling salesman problem, longest common substring problem and so on. And I don't see any significant difference with the problems that we solve here in CP. And I'm sure that it's better to use a common terminology.

    Question-guys, how would you describe 1446A - Knapsack? I would say that it's a greedy knapsack problem.

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This comment section just proved that there are a "group" of people who

  1. For whatever reason, is using the word "question" instead of "problem"/"task".

  2. Does not become the top people at competitive programming.

  3. Is easily triggered and has bunch of free time to pollute the entire comment section.

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    1. For whatever reason, you hate Indian people.
    2. Nobody gives a fuck even if you are the best competitive programmer.
    3. Like you are not. XD
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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    If you are saying Indians are not at the top in competitive programming, There is a strong reason for that. People who are good at math are pushed into 2-year intensive coaching after completion of their school. You know the population issue of our country. There is high competition for good colleges in India. We have to prepare so hard to clear entrance examinations. And most of the people in India will get to know about CP in their first year of college and at the end of 3rd year, the placement process begins. So what we get is 3-3.5 years.

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      We have to do a job for a living.

      You have to do a job for a living everywhere. This is not relevant.

      The part about college entrance exams might be a factor, definitely (although I do remember someone saying that passing JEE was just a byproduct of math olympiad preparation for him).

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        2 months ago, # ^ |
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        We also need to learn advanced physics and chemistry for JEE.

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        2 months ago, # ^ |
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        whoever said that made you a chutiya. There is close to null intersection between Olympiad Math and JEE Math.

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    Pretty bold from someone whose country brought Coronavirus in this world. If we are playing this racist game, let's do it openly.

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We know that Indians use "question" instead of a "problem" for a problem but I don't think Radewoosh knew this fact but if he'll receive so many hate comments from India, naturally, he and others reading this blog will have a negative image of Indian People. These kinds of comments are better ignored because they don't reach any conclusion and even if Radewoosh meant this comment negatively, it's just in his mind and it cannot affect us.

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2 months ago, # |
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Task > Problem > Question

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2 months ago, # |
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Also, one last tip: I've noticed it observing all the top people on Codeforces/Atcoder. None of them uses the word "question" instead of "problem"/"task".

Challenge accepted

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Let me join this useless fight from another perspective :D.

If using the word "questions" instead of problem is so bad and we shouldn't use it, then we should consider stop calling whatever we do here competitive "programming". It is barely about programming anything good or useful. Someone who is better programmer might just tell you to stop calling what you do at CF/AtCoder "programming", because keep calling it programming will make you never make progress to be a better programmer.

Note1: I am not Indian nor a native speaker.

Note2: You guys cannot define the term "programming" because the non-CP programmers are the majority. You are the minority here.

Note3: I think that everything else in the original post is correct and I am willing to follow it.

Radewoosh orz

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    "It is barely about programming anything good or useful" — because programming defaults to having anything to do with usefulness, right? It is programming by the english definition of programming (and even more than that). It's not competitive software engineering, programming means writing programs, telling a computer what to do. Now that you want it to do something useless, that's something completely different, but you're still programming. That you're doing so for a different purpose and by different standards from the rest of the people that do programming, that's again a different story. It's not competitive problem solving, because once you've got the idea, you need to figure out every single detail and actually program (= provide (a computer or other machine) with coded instructions for the automatic performance of a task) it. So maybe there's a different reason to not refer to CP the way we do, but yours are logically invalid.

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      Looking from the number of downvotes, I guess many people agree with you and don't really get what I wanted to say here. People are so defensive and aggressive when it comes to invading their space, yet they don't care when other people's space are invaded...

      My explanation: I started sentence with 'If using the word "questions" instead of problem is so bad and we shouldn't use it, ...', right? So I am talking about the world where terminology are decided by the majority and the minority are not forgiven at all for using the different way the majority are using.

      Note 1: I don't have problem with the name "CP" nor want to debate on how useful it is. I just want to give people a different perspective.

      Note 2: Please think for one second. What can I gain from saying that CP is useless here? I am surrounded by CP-er here. Also if I think CP is totally useless or not enjoyable, why am I here?

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This is ratism

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2 months ago, # |
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and stop calling 'sir' every f person you come across.Its not courtesy its just annoying.

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    I wonder who call you sir.

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      and i wonder you really did not get what i said or you r just a kid of that kind who had hit puberty but never hit it very hard.

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        2 months ago, # ^ |
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        I mean, I wanted to ask that lol who calls you sir that you're so much annoyed by this thing. And yeah your anger isn't at all related to me hitting puberty or not lmao

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          2 months ago, # ^ |
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          just look at the comment section of youtube of some youtubers who are not even expert, Calling pupils / greys sir i dont thing okay. people calling them sir. and i did not claim that someone called me sir. U totally misinterpreted that. You may call sir people like 'petr' but peoples calling sir anybody they come across.Hope u got the point.

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          2 months ago, # ^ |
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          link0
          link1
          now you decide lol. [by no means i disrespect the creators of any platform. I appreciate your hardwork]

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            2 months ago, # ^ |
              Vote: I like it +12 Vote: I do not like it

            Oh if someone adds value to their life then it's their choice, and a manner to show respect. I don;t mean anything at all negative for English, but YOU to a professor is the same as YOU to a kid. Whereas in Hindi (India) we have AAP for elders (or to show respect) and TU or TUM (frank conversation).

            So this is in our habits, and when we speak in English our conscience automatically converts the respect part to the nearest respectable word it finds, in most cases it's sir/ma'am.

            So yeah if someone calls you sir/ma'am then you have full right to inform the other person about whatever you feel, but yeah you shouldn't do it if you aren't involved (i.e. the creator doesn't have a problem)

            Thank you

            Regards

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              2 months ago, # ^ |
              Rev. 2   Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

              Then why you people are arguing about Radewoosh's opinion. In respect to your comment he has a say on this topic.
              I belong to the same region like you do. And it’s a global platform. You can not act like you do at home.

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                2 months ago, # ^ |
                  Vote: I like it +5 Vote: I do not like it

                Thanks for your worthless opinion.

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                  2 months ago, # ^ |
                    Vote: I like it -7 Vote: I do not like it

                  where is your respect for everyone "sir"!

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                  2 months ago, # ^ |
                    Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

                  Wait who said everyone? I never did. I said IF YOU ADD SOME VALUE and you definitely don't

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                  2 months ago, # ^ |
                    Vote: I like it -10 Vote: I do not like it

                  opps! sir got angry lol.

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                  2 months ago, # ^ |
                    Vote: I like it +11 Vote: I do not like it

                  Lol no. Yo Best of luck for the contest

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2 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +9 Vote: I do not like it

Well, what about upsolve?

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2 months ago, # |
Rev. 3   Vote: I like it +7 Vote: I do not like it

How did you or other top coders handle both university and CP ?I don't even find enough time to do the contests. I am really interested in CP but when ever I try to practice a homework is assigned or some project is released so that I can't spend much time on CP.

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
    Rev. 3   Vote: I like it +1 Vote: I do not like it

    Wrong college then. Offline I had to study a few days before exam and Online I've had to study literally nothing. Assignments/Homeworks are ofc there but those are weekly at worst case. So here ppl can easily spend more time on cp or anything else

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
      Vote: I like it +21 Vote: I do not like it

    Maturity is when you realise........

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
      Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

    Usually, you will have even less time for cp after graduation

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2 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it -11 Vote: I do not like it

"You won't progress if you'll keep calling problems "questions"."

Well, as a matter of fact, I call them questions and I AM progressing, so yeah, please stop obsessing over what people call them.

Thanks for the otherwise nice blog though.

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2 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +84 Vote: I do not like it

Imagine how different the current timeline would be if Radewoosh decided to skip a single para from this blog

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2 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it -46 Vote: I do not like it

Using the word Question/Problem doesn't hamper the statement of the task. Not at all. But Red Coders will be fighting in comment section like kids to prove which one is right. This thing could have been ignored easily. And then they say Red Coders are very smart.

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2 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it -22 Vote: I do not like it

Yeah right, From now on I'll use "problems" instead of "questions", and in a month don't be surprised to see me above him. Does it even makes sense that someone cannot improve to be the best if he uses "questions"?

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2 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it -6 Vote: I do not like it

I think consistency is the only key to success. Up and downs will come, but we should never give up.

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2 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

I think in order to quickly improve your programming skills, you need a friend to compare progress and always have a competitive spirit.

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2 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it -23 Vote: I do not like it

Always remember, Every question is problem but not every problem is question

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2 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it -21 Vote: I do not like it

Let's vote on the matter.here

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2 months ago, # |
Rev. 3   Vote: I like it -34 Vote: I do not like it

Ever used Leetcode?

Top Interview Questions

Top 100 Liked Questions

Top Amazon, Google .. Questions

Why some people are so unacceptable to things they don't feel is right.

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2 months ago, # |
Rev. 2   Vote: I like it -37 Vote: I do not like it

Really a motivation Radewoosh

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2 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

Can we force BIA sell on round 16? I have 3k saved up in the bank and I don't know if he has his boost back yet...

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2 months ago, # |
Rev. 2   Vote: I like it +1 Vote: I do not like it

Lets have an onion on this matter, give your onion here

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2 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

man fuck problem solving competitive programming whatever the comment section of the blogs on this website are entertaining enough for me lmao

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7 weeks ago, # |
  Vote: I like it -13 Vote: I do not like it

If any other top-rated coder wants to share his/her way or just point the differences — that's great. This is pure racism.

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7 weeks ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +96 Vote: I do not like it

Blog didn't help — still a lot of private messages about how to practice ;_;

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    7 weeks ago, # ^ |
      Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

    Write a script to send all those people in your DM's copypasted text of this blog.

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7 weeks ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +6 Vote: I do not like it

Why would this blog discourage anyone? It's only the truth. If you truly love something, you would never need to make a schedule and force yourself to sit and solve. You will feel the urge to start on by yourself.

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7 weeks ago, # |
  Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it
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7 weeks ago, # |
  Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

OICU