TL;DR This site is starting to become really bad and unprofessional for no reason.
-An open letter to Codechef administration, and all Codechef users-
I joined Codechef almost two years ago. Since I’m a student, two years mean a lot, and I have gone a long way since 2011. Codechef really helped. I did my first programming problems here, did 1-2 problems in Codechef Long contests and now I am able to do 6 with no effort. That’s a nice progress, and I’m really grateful.
But what’s bothering me is the Codechef today. I think that things were different back in the days but I might be wrong. I just don’t remember this site to be this unorganized and unprofessional. I don’t mean to be rude, but as one of the biggest Codechef fans, always putting it on the top of my coding websites list and being in love with it for two years, I felt the need to say something about the state of it these days.
The long contests (aka challenges) are the main codechef “attraction”, and yet they are so poorly written nowadays. I’m not talking about bad test cases, or incorrect constrains. That happens everywhere. I’m talking about editorials that are poorly written, and late 3 days. I’m talking about problem statements written in a language that barely resembles English. I’m talking about challenge problem grading that is ridiculous. Codechef is the only place where rating updates last for 5 days along with challenge problem regrading. This site, famous as it is, should be no place for these kinds of mistakes.
For example: Look at the task regarding ciphers in this month’s challenge. What is that?! That statement is ridiculous! Too many ambiguities and errors. That task made me write this, it was the last drop in the ocean. How can you call that mess a problem statement? It took me few hours to get it right, and I’m sure I could’ve spent no more than 15 minutes on that problem if it was nicely written. It’s trivial.
One might say: Well, ok, we need a faster server. I don’t think that’s the problem. I just feel there is no devotion. Your job every month regarding the challenge is to prepare 10 tasks, write them properly, write the solutions, and make test cases. I strongly believe that three people (two programmers and a translator) can do it in a few days, set aside whole month.
Just look at other coding sites and the old Codechef. Challenge problem grading has to be done earlier so the results and ratings can be available few hours after the contest ends. Editorials should also be written on time. I think that I, not a professional programmer, can write a decent problem + solution + test cases in a day or so. People behind Codechef are bigger in numbers, and also professionals. How can they fail to deliver everything properly on time?
Also, the problem balance. It’s a trivial matter compared to other problems, but I think the problems in long contest are really unbalanced.
I’m not insulting, I will repeat again how much I love Codechef. I’m just seeking an explanation because I am very confused. This site is getting more and more unprofessional with each month, with ridiculous problem statements and regrade times. Why is that happening and why is it so hard to try a little more and take care of it all, like 2 years ago?
I am aware of the fact that I will receive indirect and generic responses. I am just trying to snap all Codechef users back to reality and make them realize how bad things are.