My Experience at Italian Olympiad in Informatics

This was a LIVE post, that means that it is structured in different real-time updates.

The International Olympiad in Informatics is a famous international programming competition. I don’t know about other countries, but in Italy we have the national version (the Italian Olympiad in Informatics - OII) from which the team for the International game is selected.

This is the second year I join this competition. It has two different selections: a school one and a regional one. Last year, because of a presentation error (dumb me) I didn’t pass the regional selection, while this year I will be joining the national challenge in Campobasso.

Wednesday, September 5 2018

During the entire month of August, I’ve been studying data structures and algorithms from the Competitive Programming 3 book. I haven’t managed to finish it, though, and I am panicking about it. Not only because I haven’t finished it, but also because graphs and I are not really good friends, and apparently they are a HUGE topic of OIIs.

I’ve been practicing on the UVa online judge website, which I suggest to everyone, not only to the people involved in programming competitions: there are tons of problems and they are all good programming exercises for developers.

Another good site for exercising is the official OII training platform, which I dumbly ignored for my studying session.

As you could imagine I’m not feeling a lot confident about the competition, but I know for sure I’ll do my best and I’ll find some time to keep studying and exercising before my journey to Campobasso.

Wednesday, September 12 2018

I have the train tomorrow in the early morning. This morning I packed. I’m trying to distract myself with some useless thing like learning Go. Not saying it’s a useless language, it’s just useless today… But I’ll spend the afternoon reviewing some graph algorithms.

Sunday, October 21 2018

It’s been a long while since my last update on this post. The reason is that I was quite pissed off by my results and I didn’t really want to finish this up. However, after having some other experiences (you will read more about that in an upcoming post), I managed to think more about this and now I’m happy for what I’ve done.

I’ve arrived 54th. Out of 90. Shitty result? Maybe. Clearly not what I hoped. But now I know I don’t have to be annoyed by that. Could have I done better? Probably. Even if I did my best, I could have studied more, I could have started exercising before and I could have had more self-esteem during the competition. I am a procrastinator and I waste time. I have to deal with it. This does not mean I will give up. I will continue solving exercises on the UVa and the OII platforms and I’ll do my best for the rest of my life. I will never give up on getting better.

I encourage all of you to try this experience, and remember not to be downhearted by your results, because they just indicate your current level, not your prospective.