I could still remember the smell of air-conditioned room as I register our team’s username in PC2 software. Imagine yourself being stuck amidst of a disastrous blizzard. We’re that cold with a touch of anxiety. Then the competition began.
“First, solve the problem. Then, write the code.” — John Johnson
Our team consists of 3 persons. I was doing java since my 3rd year on the university; that’s why I’m tasked to be the programmer of the group. Leaving the 2 others which are good at algorithms and debugging.
The programming competition consists of 8 problems about mathematics, algorithm and String. We’re given a total of 4 hours to solve the given problems. I, along with my teammates tried to solve the easiest problem first so that we’ll have more time on a harder problem.
Believe it or not… We stumbled on a specific problem because of a title. Yes, a PROBLEM TITLE. That title was: Optimus Prime. If you come to think of it, you’ll say that it was all about prime numbers. If you haven’t thought of that well, we did. Out of 4 hours we solved that problem for like 3 hours though there are some given problems easier than that.
Working in a team for the first time…
“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to meet uncommon results.” — Andrew Carnegie
I’ve done my projects alone ever since I started coding. That’s why I find working in a team very hard. It’s like having 3 another brain in one body the won’t get along with each other. It was a total disaster yet confusing.
What happened to Optimus Prime…
Actually we gave up the problem. Giving us an hour to at least solve a problem to secure our place on the competition. Luckily, we solved one. But, seeing another problem we could solve but with a 15 minutes remaining it was a total heartbreak. We hurried like a psychopath is running right after as. We did our best to solve at least 2 problems on the competition with the remaining time. We failed.
What I learned
Handle directions with care
“Computers are good at following instructions, but not at reading your mind.” — Donald Knuth
Read carefully as if you’re reading your crush’s love letter. Like in real life, know and assess the situation first before planning the solution. You’ll never know the solution when you don’t know what the problem is all about in the first place. You may come up with a solution but it won’t be as good as you think.
Trust your teammates
“Remember, teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.” — Patrick Lencioni
They aren’t there as a teammates but rather as a friends. Trust them. Hear each other’s opinion and craft the solution together.
Never stop learning
“Never stop learning because life never stops teaching.” — Anonymous
Never stop coding is too technical. Let’s try to deliver it this way, day-by-day our world faces something new. New people, new technology name it. It’s too many. Material things could be taken away from you but what you learned? It’s something that worth everything. Learn today and who knows what you can do tomorrow?
In a team: it’s not about building a career but rather a bond
“Friends are the siblings God never gave us.” — Mencius
Stop the competition. Don’t live your life to defeat others. There is someone who’s always better thank you, stronger than you and guess what? There’s always someone who’s intelligent than you. But let’s keep in our deepest mind. It’s the satisfaction on what we did before we sleep at night is the will that lets us want to wake up the day after.
“There is no such thing as a bad run. If things aren’t going exactly how you’d like them to go when you’re out on your run, it usually means that you have an opportunity to learn something new.” — Danny Dreyer
Don’t ever stop thinking on how you can change the world. Don’t ever stop pitching your unique idea. Don’t ever stop practicing your passion. Don’t ever stop. Don’t ever. Don’t.