Computer Science is in the trend and thus there are a huge number of great programmers. So, to come out of the crowd and establish a unique and high-level profile a programmer should take part in workshops, certifications, training and especially coding competitions and hackathons. Regular participation and activeness in hackathons and similar events easily attract companies towards you and they may hire you directly after seeing your performances and ranks in those events.
Here is a list of top 5 competitions which you should start preparing and participating from your initial year of college.
Google Code Jam
Google Code Jam is the most renowned coding competition in this industry which is organized by Google every year. The primary agenda of the series of tests in Code Jam is to test your conceptual and logical thinking skills. The first and initial round of Code Jam is organized locally near you, but the last major rounds in which only the top 25 rankers can participate always take place in Google offices around the world. The winner gets a $15000 reward and many of the finalists get a direct offer from mega-companies after the test completion.
ACM ICPC is the world’s best competitive coding championship. It is distributed on multiple levels. The regional level is hosted in the country’s huge universities from where world finalist competes in the international centres and thus no doubt it is aka Olympic of Programming. ACM ICPC touches the most detailed and depth of Algorithms and conceptual thinking.
GSoC is not considered directly as a coding competition, but it is the most beautiful opportunity any Computer Science student can get. Google Summer of Code is 3 months program organized by Google in which students who are willing to work with companies can work on open-source projects of major MNCs from their homes. The applied student is examined by Google on their interviews and coding skills and then the shortlisted students can select companies and work with them. Many companies direct offer jobs after at the end of 3rd month if your work impresses them.
Microsoft Imagine Cup comes under those hackathons which aim at solving a real-world problem with the help of high technical skills. There are three rounds of Imagine cup which are Project submission, National level competitions, and World finals. You have to create a unique as well as efficient idea to solve the given real-world problem. You can work in a team to create the software or application by which the problem can be cured. Imagine Cup comes under those competitions which give the highest rewards in the Computer Science industry, amount of $100,000 for the winning team.
Code Chef/ HackerRank/ Kaggle
The above-mentioned competitions happen once a year but there are other online platforms like Code Chef, HackerRank and Kaggle where you can solve and participate in monthly, weekly as well as daily challenges to enhance your problem-solving skills. Companies give a higher priority to those whose profile clearly reflects activeness in competitions and daily work on these websites. You can even start practising language basics on these sites.