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I am a student currently studying an undergraduate CS course at a crappy university in a third world country.

I do however have a continuous desire to improve myself. My Objective is to bring myself up to the standards of programmers in United States. To further that goal i program continuously(4-5 hours daily).

But here comes my predicament. I am already considered better than most of my peers in university competitions but due to the really low quality of education the comparison is essentially useless.

I have searched the internet for website that rank programmers based on challenges but haven't been able to find any. So the question is. Is there any way i can compare my programming skills with the rest of the world ?

And finally while i do understand the SE prefers questions that can be answered and not questions that solicit debate, i would still ask for suggestions of the community. In my country mostly nobody cares about self improvement while this is a very big deal to me.

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marked as duplicate by GlenH7, MichaelT, World Engineer Aug 21 '13 at 19:25

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

I'd just like to point out that "standards of programmers in (the) United States" is mildly hilarious given the complete lack of standards that the overwhelming majority of US programmers have. –  Telastyn Aug 21 '13 at 18:48
Where are you from? –  Clawdidr Aug 21 '13 at 19:15
@Clawdidr a poor country in asia. –  Win Coder Aug 21 '13 at 19:20

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Although I can't offer you a site that allows you "challenge" other programmers, I can offer up some resources.

  1. Programmer Competency Matrix (http://sijinjoseph.com/programmer-competency-matrix/). This is a great resource for figuring out where you are versus where you should be. It's not perfect, and I disagree with some things (like writing blog posts to prove that you're knowledgeable).
  2. Signs that you're a bad programmer (https://sites.google.com/site/yacoset/Home/signs-that-you-re-a-bad-programmer). If you find yourself exhibiting these behaviors, there is an immediate sign that you need to learn/change. Also follow the link to the signs of a good programmer. If you exhibit those behaviors, that's a really good sign.
  3. Project Euler (http://projecteuler.net/). It's a math-based programming challenge that is sure to keep you going. If you can complete all these challenges, you're not a terrible programmer.

Most of all, I'd say that you should try and reinvent the wheel to see if you can do it. For instance, I wanted a better SQL parser than regular expressions could provide. I'd never done any sort of parsing work before, but I dove in. I struggled at first, but now I'm making significant headway. There's no better way to prove you're a good and competent programmer than to go out and do it.

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Upvote for the programmer competency matrix. I forgot about that. While it's controversial it does have some good general things to learn about. –  Wayne Koorts Aug 21 '13 at 18:49

Where do my programming skills stand in relation to other programmers?

Secret is : Don't stop learning and applying clean, good practices in your code!

You will stand high, as far as you continue to improve your skills, learn and study. However, for a global recognition, you would need to be involved in open-source projects or known programmers competitions.

Google (Google Code Jam), ProjectEuler, Microsoft and others have challenging competitions for smart programmers to attract talented programmers, just check them out on the web.

However, to become a great programmer you would also need some social(soft skills) and organizational skills beside of the technical ones. Thus, look at the following good posts for references:

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First of all, don't short-change yourself just because you live in a developing country. You are using the same internet and writing code with the same programming languages as everyone else.

Secondly, don't assume that programmers in the USA, or any other region, are all great or even that the "worst" programmer in those places is better than the average or "best" programmer in your region. In every region and in every industry you will find people who are working in the industry but don't really have the aptitude for it. You will find people who are working in an industry without a degree at all and are excelling. Over time you will find that as you develop your own working style and skills you will see people doing things you agree with and that make sense to you, and you will see the opposite.

If you want to become a better programmer the first thing I would advise is to stop worrying about where you rank in comparison to others. The next two things you need to do are:

  • Write code.
  • Read code written by others.

You have internet access and the drive and ambition to improve. With these things you will succeed in this industry, so start worrying less and start writing and enjoying your craft more :-)

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