I first learnt to program when I was 11 years old. At a govt aided school in a small town. I mean, it was easily forced down my throat without me even having to be some “special kid who is into computers”. Now 19 years later, 6 of which spent exclusively learning computer science and another 7 spent practicing it, i’m starting out as a newbie in programming contests.
Why, why didn’t I participate in these contests all this while? Heck, at the very least, it would have made thousands of those boring hours interesting. And I would have been a better programmer now.
If you are reading this, please do yourself a favor and participate in the contests at topcoder, codeforces, codechef, interview street, codejam, acm icpc etc.