I’m working on a project this year to build a competitive programming FAQ. This is one in a series of articles describing the research, writing, and tool creation process. To read the whole series, see my CPFAQ category page.
It’s no secret that the popularity of competitive programming depends partly on the popularity of the coding interview, the ubiquitous interview format in which interviewers present candidates with a problem and ask them to to solve it using code. Like candidates for software jobs, contestants in a programming contest also face tough coding puzzles. But programming contests and coding interviews are not the same thing. Even in a company-sponsored contest like Google Code Jam, doing well doesn’t get you a job offer, though it can get you invited for an interview.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about whether programmers should see competitive programming as a way to get a programming job. This week, I’ll go into some similarities and differences between programming contests and coding interviews.