Great overview of Marathon competitions!!!
I was about to write a forum post about 2017 TCO Marathon track, sharing few thoughts, so I will post it here.
First an obvious but important disclaimer, it is not official at all, just my personal opinion :-)
I already posted few comments about this in the past, but I never get tired to repeat, for those who never attended a TCO event: IT IS SIMPLY AMAZING!
jmpld40 and all TCO staff work extremely hard to take care of every single detail, so we can enjoy the event.
It is a great opportunity to meet awesome people from all over the world, and talk to the sponsors (major tech companies!).
For many finalists, these contacts with sponsors during TCO were a life changing opportunity to start/improve his/her career.
And, of course, we have a lot of cool competitions!
2017 TCO MARATHON TRACK
For those who didn't already see, this year we have a bit different qualification system, in which competitors need to get "TCO points".
Please check the official page.
In short: 3 online marathons. 1st place gets 100 points, 2nd 75, and so on, up to 30th, who gets 1 point.
Round 1: April 12-26
Round 2: May 10-24
Round 3: July 5-19
There will be Lightning Rounds (shorter matches together with Regional Events), to be defined, which will earn points for the top 10 places (from 20 points for the first, up to 1 for the 10th).
In the end, 12 competitors with more points advance to the (awesome) onsite final.
Top 50 will get a TCO T-shirt.
MARATHONS TAKE TOO MUCH TIME
It is much more about ideas than pure time.
So it is possible to spend few hours and still come with a decent solution.
And the schedule (usually two weeks) is very flexible.
Sometimes when I see my final submission after a while, I wonder how I came up with that.
But it's a natural and gradual process of improvement.
Usually I start with a basic solution, add something here, another thing there, whenever I feel like/can work on the problem.
The best ideas usually come when I am not sitting in front of the computer ;-)
MARATHONS ARE TOO HARD
Well, not as hard as it seems!
We do have some scary folks around :-)
So the competition level is not easy at all.
But I can tell from my personal experience, when I started competing I had this same vision: "It is too hard for me"...
With time though, I got experience and confidence, and both of them help (a lot) in this kind of competition!
Because of the longer schedule, competitors don't need to "know" in advance how to solve the problem.
There is time to research a bit, learn and try different things, and that is a large part of the fun.