An interview with Um_nik

Read about our TCO17 Finalists.
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How did you get into programming?

I was good at mathematics and I had a friend who was good at competitive programming. He send me the link to and suggested to solve some problems.

Which IDE do you use and why?

Vim (which is not IDE, I think). I don't use debug and many other features of modern IDEs. Frankly speaking, I use Vim as notepad with syntax highlighting and a button to compile&run.

If you could go head to head with another algorithm or marathon competitor, who would you want to compete against and why?

Mikhail Ipatov (lhic), because I think it would be interesting. I'm not good enough to compete against tourist/Petr/rng58 and such a competition will be boring. Mikhail is rising star of competitive programming, we are roughly the same age and close in level in CP. So it makes sense to compare us and each would have a chance to win (but I'll still bet on him).

Tell us about an achievement that you are most proud of.

Streak of 9 CF rounds in which I was in top-10. You can win one competition by chance, even if it is most important competition, but to be persistently good truly shows your level.

Best music album to code to?

I don't measure music by albums, I think there is no album such that I've listened to all the songs from it. If I want to code with music I simply listen to songs I like.

What books do you recommend?

"What Is the Name of This Book?" by Raymond Smullian if we are speaking about math books and "Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality" by Eliezer Yudkowsky if not.

Tabs or spaces?


We asked the Finalists to use emojis in response to the following questions.

How do you feel about the TCO17 Finals?


How do you feel when you win a Topcoder challenge?

😇 because it has never happened

What is your spirit animal?


What's the weather like at your house right now?

What are your hobbies?



Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC)
Booz | Allen | Hamilton
Meituan Dianping

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