is solving real software development problems better than coding (lets say) Linked List Optimization

i looked around CodeChef, and mostly saw coding examples which have very little to do with real life software development, so the question would be, should i focus on getting better at solving problems with data structures, or algorithms, or i will get better at (coding) by solving real life software development problems , and i give you few examples here:

  1. How can we do performance analysis of a REST based Web Service
  2. Design a WebService which will provide a calculator as service
  3. How can we improve performance of JavaScript by Local Caching
  4. Or even Simpler… How can we test Exceptions

So the question is if we become good in coding, are we better software developer’s as well ?
and how do we if the code is better, or best ? Do we do a Big ( O ) Analysis on every Algorithm, but not every code HAS an algorithm, so what if its optimal, but not maintainable. then ? how do we rate it ?
By Coding any (MOST) abstract problems can be solved, but is that understandable, extensible, maintainable, simple, elegant, etc etc etc

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http://stackoverflow.com/questions/146494/have-you-found-competitive-programming-to-be-useful

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