Why every developer should participate in Coding Contests
Have you ever thought about joining a coding contest but then decided against it? If yes, this post will encourage you to take the challenge next time. At a coding contest or competition you are faced one big or various smaller problems (depending on the contest) which you have to solve within a given time. At most competitions you can register alone or in a team. I can highly recommend joining in a team as it's just way more fun. In the following lines I'll give you some good reasons for participating in coding contests, no matter how much experience you have as a developer.
1. It's fun
First of all, participating in coding contests is just fun. You can grab some snacks, a few beers, meet with your friends and just do something you all like: solve some interesting coding challenges. Most of the times (at least when COVID-19 is not controlling your life) you also get to meet some nice people from other teams and your evening doesn't have to end with the contest.
2. You can learn a lot from your teammates
One great thing about pair or team programming is that you can learn a lot from your teammates. Probably all of you have (at least slightly) different backgrounds and tend to think differently. That's a great thing. On one hand it helps you viewing the given problem from mulitple perspectives and on the other hand you can watch how your friends or colleagues are thinking and maybe learn a few things from them.
3. You can improve your problem solving skills
In coding contests the given tasks can be quite complex and time is limited. Therefore you have to find and implement a solution rather fast. After participating in a few contests, you will notice that finding a solution will become much easier for you. This may help you in job interviews, if companies ask you to solve some problems on the spot.
4. Companies may recognize you
If you perform nicely at a coding contest some companies may recognize and approach you. Lots of competitions are even organized by companies to find some good developers.
At coding contests you will meet lots of like-minded people, which is great. No matter if you want to meet new friends or if you are trying to enlarge your professional network, coding competitions are a great place to do so. As stated in the point above, also some companies may be present at some contests.
6. You can't loose anything
Last but not least, you cannot loose anything at a coding contest. If you have a bad resulst nobody will ever search for it or recognize it, but if you perform well some doors may open for you.