Home » CodeDrills AlgoQueen 2023 Contestant Interview: Gayatri Taneja

CodeDrills AlgoQueen 2023 Contestant Interview: Gayatri Taneja

Delve into the world of CodeDrills AlgoQueen 2023 with an exclusive team interview. Get ready to be inspired by the champions of coding excellence.

Team/Participant Name: Gayatri Taneja

ICPC AlgoQueen 2023 Rank: 10th Rank- School Level

Q) Could you share your Coding Journey? When did you first start, and how did you develop your skills?                                   

I first started back in class 7, we were taught BASIC as a part of our school curriculum, but that was simply coding on paper. Eventually, in class 10, I realised the importance of programming in almost all fields and decided to self-learn Python. I started from a book I found online, using youtube videos and resources to clear doubts and practice. Later in the year, I found out about CS50’s new course, which taught Python. I solved its problem sets and also learnt a lot through them.

Q) Tell us about your most memorable programming contest experience, whether from AlgoQueen or any other competition. What made it special, and how did it contribute to your growth as a competitive programmer?                                 

 AlgoQueen was my first programming contest; thus, it holds a special place in my heart. It was terrific to see so many girls worldwide coming forward to showcase their programming skills and entering this field with comparatively fewer women representation. This inspired me to learn more and enhance my skills in the field of computer science.

Q) How did you prepare specifically for the AlgoQueen competition? Did you follow specific strategies or focus on particular algorithms or problem-solving techniques? 

Since this was my first time participating in a competitive programming contest, I started by looking at the problems in the previous year’s contest, tried to solve them, identified the weak areas, and practised more problems.

Q) what are some of your favourite hobbies or activities in your free time besides coding? How do you balance your coding passion and these other interests? 

Besides coding, I am also a climate activist. I spend a lot of my time reading about various climate issues, current solutions to them, opportunities for further action, etc. and often try to educate others about them through an organisation I volunteer with. I think I’ve been able to balance both by allocating some time in my calendar daily to each of the things. It doesn’t always work out, but I’m mostly able to spend 30-40 mins learning something new in the computer science field every day. 

Q) As one of the top participants in the AlgoQueen competition, what factors do you believe contributed to your success? How did your team work together to tackle the challenging problems?

Being new to the realm of competitive programming, I found most of the problems moderate/hard to solve. I think perseverance and trying to solve them till the end led me to partially solve many of them. If I would’ve stopped, I probably couldn’t have done more than 1 problem.

Q) Reflecting on your journey through the AlgoQueen competition, what are your most significant breakthrough moments? How did it impact your confidence and approach to future coding challenges?

AlgoQueen made me experience the joy of problem-solving and enjoy learning more instead of being a burden. Through the quantum challenge, I also realised that there’s so much more to explore in the ever-expanding field of computer science, and it inspired me to take this journey forward. It enhanced my confidence and motivated me to look at programming contests from the perspective of learning something new from each of them instead of not trying at all from the fear of losing.

Q) What do you appreciate the most about CodeDrills and the AlgoQueen competition? Is there any aspect of the platform or competition format that sets it apart? Additionally, if there’s anything you’d like to see improved or added, what would it be?

AlgoQueen is one of the only programming contests promoting girls’ involvement in competitive programming and tech, which I like! The quantum contest was also fantastic for learning more about exciting quantum computing.
Codedrills, as a platform, has a very user-friendly UI, is easy to navigate, and is significantly less intimidating than most other programming platforms I’ve used.

Thanks to Gayatri Taneja for sharing their remarkable journey in the CodeDrills AlgoQueen 2023 competition. Get inspired and stay tuned for more incredible stories!

Meanwhile, you can connect to like-minded coders at the CodeDrills discuss forum.

To read more about CodeDrills AlgoQueen 2023, check out our other blog here.

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