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General Published on: Fri Feb 10 2023

Competitive Programming vs Software Development

Competitive Programming is like a game where many programmers compete to solve a problem that has clearly defined constraints and statements. Here programmers tend to solve a problem as quickly as possible because it decides ranks for every programmer playing this game. Software Development is a process where several programmers coordinate with each other to solve a problem that has no clear constraints and statements. Here, programmers collaborate to create, design and deploy the software. During the development process, things keep on changing and evolving.

Now, let’s discuss some important differences between Competitive Programming and Software Development : 

1.       Winning or Losing

      In Competitive Programming, Programmers are “competing” against each other to solve a problem within the given period and as quickly as possible, which decides their ranks.

      In Software Development, Programmers are trying to create the most value for the customer by collaborating in teams. There is no “winning” or “losing” other than pleasing the customers or clients.

   2. Statement and Constraints

      In Competitive Programming, statement and constraints are well defined and don’t change over time. Competitive Programmers can only use definite functions and expressions under a particular Programming Language.

      In Software Development, statements and constraints can be well defined but could be changed in the near future when clients demand changes. Software Developers may use different Frameworks and Libraries as per the requirements.

   3. Domain Knowledge

     In Competitive Programming, Programmers need to have knowledge of only the Programming Language that they use to write code.

      In Software Development, Every Programmer within a team has specific knowledge of different domains like Networking, Graphics, Databases, Distributed Systems, Operating Systems, Programming Languages, Compilers, Securities, etc.

   4. Documentations 

      In Competitive Programming, there is no need to maintain a well-defined document as one programmer already knows what they are writing. 

      In Software Development, Software Developers maintain well-written documents called documentation that require organizing their thoughts, examining them critically, and expressing them clearly. Bad or disorganized code will still fly; bad documentation won’t.

   5. Way of Writing Codes

     Competitive Programmers work on the already defined Core Algorithms by making some little changes to the original Algorithm. To write the code in the shortest possible time, they don’t care about the complexity of code and variable declaration, whether variables or codes are readable or not.

     Software Developers write “Production-Ready” code that is well readable, maintained, commented on, and contains long and meaningful variables and methods’ names. They mainly work on distributed systems or the interface for the product rather than working on Core Algorithms.

Despite having many differences between Software Development and Competitive Programming, it will not be wrong to say that “A good software developer has been a good competitive programmer.” 

The very first step to being a good Software Developer is to do Competitive Programming and solve as many problems as possible because it trains the mind to think of many possible solutions for one problem and to write optimized code, which is very necessary while writing “Production Ready” code concerning time and space. This is why almost all organizations have one coding round in their selection process.

“Being a Software Developer is like being a part of an army waging war, unlike playing a chess game as a Competitive Programmer.”

Conclusion : 

  There is nothing like pros and cons for Software Development and Competitive Programming. The only thing that matters is the timing when to start what. Most successful Developers or Programmers suggest that first start with Competitive Programming and persist with it for some duration until you acquire skills of solving problems in an optimized way. As it will help build solutions for a given problem, and when you become comfortable with these skills, start with some open source projects, contribute and collaborate with teams as it will help you understand the workflow of the development process. Along with this, one will acquire many different skills that a good Software Developer needs.

If you are looking for custom software development services, you can reach out to Hexaview Technologies. Hexaview is a leading FinTech Software Development Company that caters to the top players in the worldwide technology industry. They are a renowned cloud computing consulting services provider that helps their clients in seamless cloud migration.