When I attended my first leetcode weekly contest in Fuburary, I couldn’t even complete two questions out of four. However, till now, I’ve completed 600+ questions and got contest rating 1976, which ranks top 3% of all global participants.
Although being busier since the start of the school year, I would continue to hone my coding skills and further improve my understanding of algorithms and data structures.
In the Beginning
Starting from foundemental data structures and algorithms like linked list, binary search, two pointers, stack&queue, and dfs&bfs, I’ve gradually moved on to more advanced topics like dynamic programming, greedy algorithm, monotonic stack&queue, union find, bit manipulation, trie, and segment tree.
While at the beginning, I always tried serveral hours on those difficult problems only getting TLE (time limit exceeded) or WA (wrong answer) in the end, I learned from discussion board and solution session and incorporate advanced concepts and ideas into my code.
Understanding the Joy of Coding and AC
To be honest, I was pretty frustrated at that time, but I continued with persistence. Gradually, I got the hang of it and started to enjoy the process of solving problems.
To be specific, it’s a joy to see my code passed all test cases and got AC (accepted) after a rigorous thinking and delicate construction. Moreover, after my version of solution get passed, I would continue to optimize it and compare it with other solutions to learn more about the problem and the algorithm - this is really where I gain constant improvement.
Sharing My Own Solution on Discussion Board
In addition to learning from others, when my personal algorithm came out to be efficient and elegant, I would also share it on discussion board to help others. This is a great way to consolidate my understanding of the problem and the algorithm. I’ve posted 10+ solutions on discussion board and got 1000+ views.
Like this is one of my posted solutions on discussion board:
About the Weekly Contest
While having participated 36 weekly contests, starting from only solving 2/4 questions, I’ve gradually improved to solving 3/4 questions and even 4/4 questions.
Although every time participating the contest makes me feel nervous, I still enjoy the process of solving problems and the joy of getting AC - this is really a great way to hone my coding skills in a short period of time.
This is my first time getting 4/4 AC at weekly contest 296 (2021-06-04):
Anyway, this is absolutely not the end of my competitive coding journey, I aim at getting a 2000+ rank and achieve guardian status (top 1% globally) in the near future, and hope that I can realize this goal in the near future with my persistence and hard work.