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I tried out TopCoder today. While I liked the problem, the Java editor didn't work for me. The remote compiling time and the lack of unit tests also made it difficult to complete the task.

I ended up coding the solution in Eclipse and the pasting it into the TopCoder window. I tried out EclipseCoder, but it didn't suit my needs either.

What tools do you use and how do you hook up your development environment with TopCoder? How does TopCoder handle submissions, and is there any way to speed up the time it takes to process them?

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closed as not constructive by gnat, ChrisF Jun 30 '12 at 16:37

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Other programmers might take longer to code in Java than in C++. I don't think you can really take that into account. It's up to you to pick the one you're best at. –  R. Martinho Fernandes Jul 12 '11 at 14:29
Java has a much larger standard lib than C++. I don't think a direct comparison is fair. –  Nils Jul 12 '11 at 14:32
Look at the top languages in the recent Google Codejam competition. C++ is the top one. –  Michael K Jul 12 '11 at 14:48
... by large margin. –  R. Martinho Fernandes Jul 12 '11 at 14:50
Back when I used to compete in TopCoder regularly, I must admit that I stuck to the tried and tested method of copy/paste :-) –  mikera Jul 12 '11 at 18:26

2 Answers 2

Have you looked at the arena plug-ins? It's been a while but I've used some plug-ins with Visual Studio (in C++) and it worked well for me.

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I would be happy with a command line program which let's you compile and test your program on tc's servers. –  Nils Jul 15 '11 at 11:52
@Nils: The plug-in I've used lets you do a lot from inside the IDE. Take a closer look. They also generate test code from the problem statement so you can test locally. It's been a while so I'm not sure what their current state is both worth a look. –  Guy Sirton Jul 16 '11 at 1:44
If you prefer Java, then have a look at one of Petr's screencasts petr-mitrichev.blogspot.com.au You will see how a plugin automatically sets up the boilerplate: class name, method signature, so all you have to do is code. It also extracts the example test cases from the problem — this is robust, as TopCoder offers an API that can be queried to get these structured data. So it takes another press of a button to run all the test cases. Then probably another three clicks to compile remotely (i.e. on TC's servers) and submit. –  Evgeni Sergeev Jan 12 at 9:21

I write the program in Visual Studio then I paste it in the box when ready.

I create a test project and quickly create tests according to the sample data and output given.

Then I create a class and make it pass all tests.

Just keep in mind, they run more exhaustive tests, some of which have huge inputs, designed to see if your implementation is optimal.

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Ok, but it would be cool if you could fetch the provided unit tests automatically. By doing so manually it takes more time to solve the problems. –  Nils Jul 15 '11 at 11:52
Do you want to solve them faster or correctly? –  Boris Yankov Jul 15 '11 at 12:28
correctness comes first of course –  Nils Jul 15 '11 at 18:49
This is overkill :) The problem requires a fast submission ofcourse –  Desolator Oct 25 '12 at 10:53
You get no points for being wrong. :) –  Boris Yankov Oct 25 '12 at 17:20

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