Hello everyone!, we are currently very busy with the release of the first beta version of OpenSupports, but we are also dedicating time to another important aspect of our team: competitive programming. As many of you know, some of our team members are very into programming contests, so much that two of us are attending to the ACM ICPC 2017 World Finals in Rapid City, SD. We love programming competitions and we would like to share with you how we started to participate and how it helped us to develop our team.

It all began during high school, I (Ivan) started to compete in math competitions while I was learning programming. I met a lot of people during that period. At the national competition of mathematics, I found a guy that told me to compete in the Argentinian Programming Olympiad (OIA). OIA was my starting point in competitive programming, I even won a bronze medal in the national competition.

When I finished school, a teacher told me if I could give classes to some students that were interested, so I did. One of the guys I trained made it to two IOI (International Olympics in Informatics) and now he’s on my ICPC team and he’s also part of OpenSupports team (Maximiliano). Guillermo is also a competitive programmer I trained. He is currently participating in OIA and he is part of OpenSupports too.

Our university (University of Rosario) became the Latin American Champion in 2016 with another team. We started to participate in 2015 and finally made it to the world finals. So we’re competing this year at the world finals in Rapid City, South Dakota. It was a long trip but we’re finally here, there’s a lot of good teams and we will try to make our best.

The OpenSupports team we have today wouldn’t have been possible without the networking we accomplished in these contests. There are lots of smart people in competitive programming, so it’s a great place to meet potential partners for a project. Also, ICPC demands a lot of teamwork because you only have 5 hours to perfectly solve (without bugs) at most 13 problems.

But competitive programming also brings a lot of the problem solving skills that help us to overcome any technical obstacle we encounter. Having a good understanding of computational complexity, graph theory, math and dynamic programming is really helpful to have and programming competitions are a fantastic way to improve those skills and apply them to solve multiple problems under time pressure without bugs.

We value competitive programming a lot, we believe it help us to improve a lot our coding skills and organize better as a team.

If you’re interesting in improving these skills, which I totally recommend to every developer, you can start with an account in CodeForces. Also, there’s a very helpful practice problems database for learning the fundamental subjects if you don’t know much about data structures and algorithms.

Thanks for supporting us, we will do our best,
Ivan.

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