Google APAC or as it is called now, Kickstart is something that coders all over
the world look out for. It is more than just a Code Jam competition. And it
takes more than programming skills to succeed in Kickstart. Performing well in
Kickstart comes with a lot of perks including interview calls from Google either
for a full time job or for internships. Programmers who are looking to move
ahead in their career by enhancing their programming skills also find taking
multiple rounds in Kickstart beneficial.

Understanding the challenges:

Before actually taking the challenges you could practice by taking up past
challenges. This would prepare you for the actual Code Jam challenges as well as
help you work on your overall coding skills even if you do not plan to take up
Kickstart. Each problem would come with a detailed description of what exactly
has to be solved and the restrictions to be followed including any time limits
given. This would help you solve the problem so as to obtain the desired output
format with the given sample inputs.

Preparing for Google APAC:

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  • Expand your programming skills - You would have to write more than just
    code. A majority of the rounds would consist of algorithmic puzzles that would
    require knowledge about data structures and various algorithms.
  • A working knowledge of Data Structures is indispensable in helping you
    come up with efficient solutions to such problems. Here is a complete list of
    the data structures and algorithms that you would have to familiarise yourself
    if you are serious about Kickstart.
  • There are numerous online practice materials available for those aspiring to
    succeed in Google APAC. Check out the practice page on Code Jam portal for
    previous rounds, especially if you are attempting Kickstart for the first time.
    And when you know you are ready, check out the schedule for your region and join
    the next round.

ACM-ICPC for Google and more:

As one of the most anticipated programming contests, the Association for
Computing Machinery - International Collegiate Programming Contest, has been
popular among programmers for 13 years. It started small and has now expanded to
a multi-tiered contest attracting participants from all over the world.

This comes as a team contest and again involves algorithmic challenges like
Kickstart. The awards that the top teams get themselves are great and as an
additional advantage the winning teams also get noticed by several IT giants
including Google. That’s why this remains on the top of the chart for those
striving to land a job in Google.

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The challenges:

To begin with, all the teams that apply for would be taking up online
challenges. The best teams would then be shortlisted and called for the actual
regional challenges. There might be slight variations in the number of rounds
actually held and to make it more challenging when there are competitive teams
there might be bonus rounds added as well. Teams that perform well in regionals
would then move on to compete at the world level finals.

How to prepare for ACM-ICPC?

Each challenge given to the team would come along with time and memory limits to
be adhered to besides the actual constraints. Incorporating all these, the teams
would have to come up with a solution that would help resolve the given problem.
The input to be tested would be given along with the exact format of output
expected.

There are online archives to find the best resources on tackling ACM-ICPC.
Besides basic arithmetic skills the programmer teams would also require thorough
understanding of algorithms, data structures and more.

One of the most effective ways to prepare yourself for Google APAC, ACM-ICPC and
other such programming contests is to take coding courses like the Competitive
Coding Bootcamp.