Since it is a national level hackathon, there are generally two rounds before the actual on-site hackathon event which happens on their Pune campus.
In 2019, around
1,20,000 students participated from all over India.
The format for these online rounds is 3 questions and 3 hours. You can spend time on any question you like and you are allowed to switch between questions. The platform used for these competitions was Hackerrank but this can change (and have changed as far as I know).
Due to DMCA violation, I cannot share the exact questions here. Although I can share what types of questions I was asked and how was the difficulty level of these questions.
Question 1 was an array manipulation question, pretty straight forward, this could be a leetcode easy level.
Question 2 was a string manipulation question and bit of math (for optimization), this could be an leetcode medium level.
Question 3 was another string manipulation question, it was a tricky question to understand and lots of rules to abide for the algorithm. This could be a leetcode hard or leetcode medium-hard level.
To be honest, during the competition, I didn’t even get the time to get started with the third question. I was able to solve the first one with all the 14 test cases cleared.
I struggled on the second one a lot. I was able to come up with a brute force solution but I could only get 5-6 test cases from a total of 14.
After handling a few edge cases I was able to get a total of 8 test cases on the second question. However, these 8 questions were from Test cases 0 - 7.
Usually, the later test cases hold major points as they test the boundary values mentioned in the constraints of each question (for example, n can be up to 10^8).
So the eight cases that I was able to solve didn’t account many scores compared to those end test cases.
So I can conclude that I was able to solve less the 1.5 questions in round 1 of HackWithInfy 2019.
Well, some of you might be thinking that he was able to solve just 1 question completely and another one partially, so that is probably an end for him.
Nope, That’s not quite right. The result from Round 1 was that I was selected for Round 2 as well. This means from 1,20,000 students, I was among the top 7,500 students who were eligible for Round 2.
Why I am telling you this??
Because I want you to understand that if you are feeling that you are not cut for such a competition then stop that feeling right there. The goal is not to solve all three questions. You just have to make sure that you have scored better than the minimum required score (which in my case was 1.5).
One friend of mine was able to solve 1 question completely with all test cases and he got selected for Round 2.
So many times not even the number of questions is the only criterion but the difficulty level of the question which you have got in your set.
With this, I would like to conclude this post and wish everyone good luck who are appearing for the competition soon.
See you in the Round 2 experience blog 👋