I heard of PAG for the first time in my first year and came to know that it was a group for competitive programming and algorithms enthusiasts, but had no idea about either. I had no prior coding experience but still gave the recruitment test and was not able to make it through. In my first year i had acquired basic knowledge of C++, and some experience in web development. It was in the summer vacations of 2016 that I decided to have a go at competitive coding. I started out first with the PAG Questions of the Week compilation (QOTW). I read from the editorials given in the same and then tried to solve the questions given. Slowly I developed interest in competitive coding.
I participated in the Codechef Snackdown, June and July challenge, all of which helped me in learning more. I continued reading write ups on the internet about algorithms (graph theory, dynamic programming, game theory etc). Other than codechef, I also practiced on other online judges like SPOJ, CodeForces, Project Euler and Erdos.
The second year started with PAG organising 2 contests- Numberphile and Codeblitz. I came third in Numberphile (second among the second yearites) and was given a direct entry into the final round interview for PAG. Questions in Numberphile were maths based and required mainly logic to solve them. I also gave the written exam in which the questions were divided into three parts- aptitude, programming and logic. In the interview round, I was asked 6-7 questions on both mathematics and algorithms. I thought I did not perform very well in the intervew, but to my surprise I did get selected and was very happy to see my name listed in the recruitment results.
This blog post is the first of a series of blog posts of pag members sharing their experience.