CodeChef is India's biggest and aggressive online programming battlefield. I came to know about CodeChef, a couple of days back only, and no doubt, i am impressed.
Designed in a very elegant manner, using jQuery to the max and with cool color blends, the site offers a nice look and feel. Definitely better than other sites in similar area.
My first Impression with CodeChef.
As i created my account, and logged into the site. There were a couple of things that attracted my attention. The thing that i really liked was live stats. The site gives you live stats of the coders trying to get into problem solving and their result. This creates an adrenaline rush, and you are tempted to do something.
Most of the top coders on this site are from premier Indian Institutes like IIT, IISc and others. You can see the real names of people instead of their hax0r names. This is somewhat non-traditional. Traditionally, programmers all over the world have been known by their IRC nicks only. So, if you see someone over coding arena with the nick 'pranny', you can very well assume that his IRC nick is 'pranny'.
The site offers a wide range of programming languages, from LISP to Java. However, if you watch closely the maximum number of entries come from C++, then comes Java. As per my observation, i have not seen a single entry in Python (my favorite). So, if you are a python enthusiastic, there is lot scope for you.
The April challenge
The April challenge is about to come. For more details log onto CodeChef and see for yourself.
Practise for TopCoder and Google Code Jam
In my opinion, the best place to practise for TopCoder and Google Code Jam is to start off with CodeChef. The easy level practise problems, should be completed accurately and well within time. The medium difficulty ones are good and the difficult ones do require brain.
If you are needing any help with Codechef, you can contact their help section at http://www.codechef.com/help/