Finding a problem in some task [closed]

Posted by nagisa on Programmers See other posts from Programmers or by nagisa
Published on 2012-03-26T13:37:06Z Indexed on 2012/03/26 17:39 UTC
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Recently I competed in nation wide programming contest finals. Not unexpectedly all problems were algorithmic. I lost (40 points out of 600. Winner got ~300). I know why I lost very well - I don't know how to find actual problem in those obfuscated tasks which are life-blood of every competition. I think that being self-taught and not well versed in algorithms got me too.

As side effect of learning things myself I know how to search for information, however all I could find are couple questions about learning algorithms. For now I put Python Algorithms: Mastering Basic Algorithms in the Python Language and Analysis of Algorithms which I found in those questions to my "to read" list.

That leaves my first problem of not knowing how to find a problem unsolved. Will that ability come with learning algorithms? Or does it need some special attention? Any suggestions are welcomed.

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