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Miráž Cup – An interview with Radek Rous, the winner

The fourth Miráž Cup, a programmers’ contest, took place in December 2018. Unicorn College students compared their programming skills when solving complicated programming assignments. What is the view of the fourth Miráž Cup by its winner, Radek Rous?
Radek, what did Miráž Cup give you?
Miráž Cup was a pleasant time spent with friends. As I am an ambitious person and programming is my hobby, events such as Miráž Cup represent a nice distraction for me in the academic year. It’s also fun and one can win very an attractive prize. The afternoon programming combines useful and pleasant aspects and also an opportunity to sit down with the others after the contest and discuss ways of solving the assignments.
What did you like about Miráž Cup? Did anything surprise you and did you learn anything new?
Programming is mainly about practice and cannot be gained only at lectures, while a contest like Miráž Cup represents an absolutely ideal opportunity. One does not work under any stress from making mistakes and can try out solving an assignment in practice and win a nice prize. When solving the assignments, I tried out using various algorithms which I’d only encountered in reading before that.
I liked the novelty of candy rewards during the contest for solving individual assignments.
How difficult was the event?
The assignments are always graded so that everyone can manage solving some of them even without several years of programming experience. However, even the more advanced programmers find the most difficult assignments as a challenge and can try out applying some algorithms, for example when solving diagrams.
Did you surprise yourself?
As I participated in previous years as well, I knew there would be many competitive people eager to win and that it would not be easy. The most important moment came several minutes before the end of the first round, when I came across the solution of the most complicated assignment. I managed to solve the assignment just before the time limit. That was when I surprised myself. I am glad that I won this time, competing even previous winners and other participants.
Anything you’d like to add?
I’d like to thank Pavel Bory for preparing the whole contest. I am happy that the school organizes this event. To all those who hesitate whether to take part or not – you should definitely come. It won’t cost you anything and you’ll gain great experience. I’m already looking forward to the next run.