How competitive programming can help the society?

FOSS (open source) software developers contribute to different projects and help the society with better products that can be used with ease.

How competitive programming can help the society and make world a better place? Is there a chance of improvement to competitive programming so that it can contribute directly to the society?

I know competitive programming also helps the society with better engineers but here I am talking about a direct contribution.

PS-I love to do competitive programming.


Well, since nobody seems to be answering it, I will just state my view on this matter. It seems like a good question that needs more discussion :slight_smile:

I having difficulty in understanding what you mean by “Direct Contribution”. Like you mentioned, CP helps society with better engineers, how is that not direct?

Anyways, lets compare CP to something we think contributes to society. Lets say for example, school. How does school contribute to society?

School teaches students various subjects, making them knowledgeable. Knowledgeable youth means better future. CP does the same. It teaches us various algorithm, data structure and problem solving skills.

In school kids get to make friends. It makes them social. Same for CP. We go to universities or school where we find other people doing CP. We become friends. We also have virtual friends.

School teaches us moral ethics. CP teaches that too. Most of us don’t copy codes, even though it is very easy to do it. We are so ethical :slight_smile:

School prepares us for the upcoming challenge in life. When competing with friends for marks, or extra curricular activities, we are learning how to survive this harsh world. Isn’t that same for CP? Constant competition strengthening our willpower.

Okey, basically CP is not really any different than a school. It is contributing in it’s own way. Think about how a football match contributes to society? It entertains us.

Finally, I believe CP is directly contributing to society by teaching people how to solve problems, think in different ways and keeping them busy with something meaningful. It may not have any financial impact on society, but not everything can be measured with money :slight_smile:


I agree with most of the things that you said. But here I was talking about contribution to society while learning new things.

Let me explain it in more detailed way - FOSS developers contribute to society while becoming a better engineer. They contribute to various upstream software/projects and learn new things and become better engineers.

With CP we can also become better engineers but while solving a question but we are not contributing to society or world with that question, we are just combing our abilities.

What I think

Like long, short, cook-offs there should be an algorithmic competition where the problems that don’t have an optimal solution should be asked. Maybe in a little easier way.

Maybe someday we will be able to get an optimal solution.

In that case, the challenge problem in the long contest fits the category right? There isn’t any optimal answer. Whoever does better gets more point. Also, I think Topcoder Marathon contest is of this category.

Okey, back to contributing. When we invent new algorithms, that counts as contribution right? Like algorithm for faster and better google search. But in order to be able to come up with an algorithm, one must know the algorithms that already exist. That’s what CP does I guess. Provide a platform to learn what is already present, so we can come up with new algorithms.

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