I have done many problems on Project Euler but I’ve never participated in competitive programming. The other day I got curious, what does the competitive programming landscape look like?

I started my quest by watching a great interview with a competitive programmer. Then I did some searching. Below are my results.

There are 16 major programming competitions

The first one started in 1970. A few of the newer ones are online only.

Most of them started or are hosted in the USA


The List

Here is my list. You can contribute to it on GitHub.

name started firstHostCountry type
IMO 1959 Romania Mathematics
ICPC 1970 USA Programming
ACSL 1978 USA Programming
IOI 1989 Bulgaria Programming
ICFPProgrammingContest 1998 USA Programming
TopCoder 2001 USA Programming
TopCoderOpen 2001 USA Programming
GoogleCodeJam 2003 USA Programming
IEEEExtreme 2006 Online Programming
CodeChef 2009 India Programming
CodeForces 2010 Russia Programming
AtCoder 2010 Japan Programming
Kaggle 2010 USA DataScience
FacebookHackerCup 2011 USA Programming
HackerEarth 2012 USA Programming
HackerRank 2012 USA Programming

Gennady Korotkevich

I came across one interesting stat in my research. Gennady Korotkevich is a programmer who is currently the highest rated programmer on all 5 of the major competitive programming sites!

Future work

It would be interesting to see trends in the number of participants and prize amounts in these competitions over time. I’m curious if eSports with prizes in the millions, will sap people away from programming competitions.