Curious about TLE

So I’m curious about the time limits on problems. I read the FAQ and it said that some languages get twice the amount of time to run code. I’m assuming this is because Java has some overhead that languages like C/C++ don’t have.

For the last contest (March) I see a problem that had a time restriction of 2s and a Java solution that took 17s to run. How is that calculated? It seems unfair.

My biggest question … is the server load in general a factor in my submissions? In other words, if the Code Chef machines are processing thousands of entries every minute, does that mean my code will run faster at different times of day? What time of day will my code run the fastest?

I’ve implemented a working answer for a problem in Java, Lisp and Python but they all timeout. They all run very quickly locally and I’m pretty frustrated. The FAQ says code with run 2-3x slower, but given the new popularity of the site, I think that factor has gone up.

Update: Hooray, I got it working! I changed a few things in the Python code (added a reference to psyco and read data differently) and that seemed to do it. Mental note for further Python development I suppose.

These are the best answers u will get: