How have you been preparing for the competition?
M: At first, my mentor, Ágnes Erdősné Németh (who’s still my IT teacher) was running clubs at school, where besides learning simpler algorithms and the basics of the programming language, I also got to know the most important forms of self-education, websites that hold online competitions from time to time [CodeForces, Codechef, Usaco, …]. I’ve taken part in these to this day, furthermore, I consult with my teacher about my progress weekly. I often go several days in a row without programming, but there are days when I code for 5-6 hours.
When did you start dealing with informatics more seriously?
M: I’ve been attending Mrs. Erdős’ clubs since I was in sixth grade (for over 3 years), but only started competition programming seriously in the seventh grade. Since then, I’ve had the chance to take part in central and preparatory clubs held in Budapest. I chalked up my first more serious achievement in the eight grade.
Which achievement of yours are you most proud of?
M: I won the Nemes Tihamér National Programming Competition for the first time this year, which is the most important Hungarian competition of my age group, yet I’m most proud of the bronze medal that I won last year in the European Junior Olympiad in Informatics, held in Slovenia.
What do you like doing in your spare time?
M: Previously, my leisure activities were solely maths and computer-related skill development and relaxation, but this spring I had the chance to take part in an online bridge card game course and lots of live events in the summer. Besides the bridge being the best card game, it also gives plenty of room for development, offers a lot of opportunities, and the community is also really constructive, so even as a hobby, I’d like to continue playing it.
What are your plans with informatics? What would you like to do as an adult?
M: Any serious company will welcome more experienced computer specialists, so while achieving good results at competitions takes a lot of work and effort, unlike in the case of other sciences, it’s easy for less talented programmers to find a position that provides them with a decent quality of life and work experience. With that being said, I will hopefully have the chance to work for such a company, but I don’t have concrete plans yet.