# The Philippines in Top Coders

A visitor posted something on the shoutbox that caught my attention. It’s a statistics on country rankings for developers by TopCoders. In that list, the Philippines was ranked last at number 35 with a rating of only 880 for 12 developers. A lot of other 3rd-world Asian countries are ahead of us — Veitnam (Rank: 19, Developers: 29, Rating: 1600), Bangladesh (Rank: 25, Developers: 23, Rating: 1,422), Pakistan (Rank: 34 Developers: 19, Rating: 941) and Indonesia (Rank: 20, Developers: 33, Rating: 1,587).

I check their formula to see how they were able to come up with the ratings system:

Country rankings are based on an aggregation of the TopCoder members within a particular country that have competed within the last 180 days, in other words, those that are “active”.

The formula below has the property that if all the coders from a particular country have the same rating, then that country’s rating would be the same as the individual ratings. When coder ratings differ, the country rating is based mostly on the top rated coders. The intent is to provide a better way to rank countries than a simple average.

When generating the country rankings we take the individual ratings for active coders from a particular country, sorted in decreasing order. These ratings are given by rating1 … ratingM, where M is the total number of active coders from a country.

Where:

• M is the number of active coders from a particular country
• i is a 1 based index of active coders from a particular country when sorted by rating in descending order, in other words, their
• rank within their country
• ratingi is the rating of the coder with index i
• R is a constant that will dictate the weighting of the different ranks
• R = .87, this means that the top 10 coders contribute about 75% of a country’s rating.

Although the sample size of Top Coders isn’t really representative of the population size of the respective countries, we cannot infer that the ratings/ranking is conclusive.

However, assuming all other factors are equal, it’s not a good sign for us Filipino developers to be at the last of the line.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

### 35 Responses

1. darksparrow says:

abe, sali ka kaya magaling ka pala sa alogarithm eh kikita kana sisikat ka pa baka madaig mo pa si petr ng russia..

2. mr nice ash says:

still somethin to be proud of. that pinoy still exist.

3. Jon Limjap says:

Baka naman kasi we’re much busier coding than taking up their challenges. :p

4. hoop says:

whoa!, considering that a Filipino bagged 3rd place in their contest last 2004???

http://news.inq7.net/infotech/index.php?index=1&story_id=18536

5. Fleeb says:

Back in 2001, I got a schoolmate who came out top (I think it was held in New York?), although it was not purely coding, yet he come on top of other countries — US, UK, Singapore, etc. On the Asian regionals, he came head to head with, if I can recall, Vietnam. Of course, he was a “very rare” talent from our school whom you can pick up from the extreme end of a normal curve.

Based on the statistics, I cannot directly infer that the number presented is indeed a representative of the population, but what I can make out is that, Filipinos are less active in this field… or it could be some coders from those countries are actually Filipinos? Hehehe wishful thinking. I am optimistic since we got India as our Rival in terms of ICT.

6. Fleeb says:

There is also this one

http://acm.uva.es/cgi-bin/OnlineJudge?CountriesRanklist

Browsing their problem set, I can see that my undergrad course seemed to be insufficient…

7. Kates says:

Baka iba ang hilig ng pinoy. Aren’t we known for our graphic designs?

Panahon na para i step up ang pagtuturo ng programming sa mga computer school. Hindi yung hangang printf(“%s,%d\n”, “String ito”, 5); nalang ang natuturo. At sana huwag hayaang magturo ng subjects ang mga instructors na hindi nila alam.

Meron akong kilalang instructor na nagtuturo ng Java, pero hindi alam kung paano i run yung program niya na wala sa command prompt at i doubleclick lang (win 98 at j2se v1.3 palang nun).

8. mr nice ash says:

Kates is right. Wayback in college, hindi ako natutong mag program from the instructors. I learnd mostly from craps and samples in the net. Tapos nag freelance ako ng konting panahon para masanay ako. Ayun…

9. darksparrow says:

ang yaman na pala ni kintanar (a.k.a ShindouHikaru) ano na kaya balita sa kanya ngayon..

wala na tayo magagawa sa mga prof. na walang alam kung hindi hintayin magretire ang mga yan..

kaya siguro pinost ni minor yung link ay para makita ng mga magagaling na developer d2 pinas ang nakakahabag na rank natin sa topcoder..

10. vern says:

I don’t really think this is representative of real world numbers. These are numbers based on members of TopCoder, and really nothing more.

11. darksparrow says:

kung babasahin ninyo story ni Petr (topcoder member) dito natin malalaman na hindi lang sa skul matutunan ang isang bagay, tulad ni mr nice ash na nasanay at natutong magprogram galing kung saan saan resources, saludo ako syo mr. nice ash..

12. mr nice ash says:

@darksparrow, whoooa… aba aba aba… e maraming salamat kung ganun. :)

13. yuga says:

Whether or not it is representative of anything significant or conclusive, just like what the visitor originally intended, I am posting this as a challenge to all of us Pinoy developers. :)

14. mr nice ash says:

I just registered on TopCoders yesterday to challenge myself. But i cannot reach their server when i was to join the competition. :(

15. Fleeb says:

Kung iisipin ang pangit na rin talaga ang estado ng computer-related courses dito sa Pilipinas. Natuto lang ng HTML, programming na O_o??

Noong inatasan akong tumulong sa pag organize ng programming contest, gumawa ako ng mga napakasimpleng problems. Halos walang nakakuha ng tamang sagot, at and daming di gumaganang program sa mga sumali, eh napakasimple nga lang ng problem set na binigay ko.

@Kates, walang problema kung basic na mga command statements ang ituturo, in fact kahit di mo nga turuan ng mga ganyan and isang tao. Ang importante and logic and algo na magagawa, yung efficiency at optimization nito. Yung syntax kasi di mo kailangan i memorize, pag nagproprogram ka naman eh parati kang may language reference na katabi ;-)

16. darksparrow says:

hindi kaya si kintanar si minor?

17. mr nice ash says:

tumpaktly! :)

there are really a lot of resources to read and to guide you while programming. i myself can never have a good code without references and samples. and of course, the program should work and meet the requirements. consider also the quality of it. means, lesser bugs or better yet, none at all.

18. Kates says:

Kaya nga. Dapat i-focus yung pagtuturo sa problem solving. Maraming magagaling sa atin. Ang problema hindi tayo creative. Tignan mo nalang ang mga thesis proposals. Santambak na “video rental – pos” type na program. Wala sa galing ng pagmemorize ng syntax at keywords ang lakas kundi sa efficiency ng algorithm na ini-implement.

At sana gamitin natin ang mga FOSS tools sa pagtuturo hindi yung puro nalang visual basic ang pinaka deadly weapon natin.

Give up na ako sa programming.

@Fleeb:
Kahit HTML na nga lang mali mali pa. :)

Pero, talaga, maraming magaling sa atin. Problema sa mga kilala kong magagaling, walang trabaho. Di matanggap tangap sa trabaho. Di nakapagtapos eh. Biruin mo bang mas magaling ka pa sa nagtuturo sayo. Ayun ininsulto ang instructor.

19. Diong says:

I totally agree with the comments being said here.

As for me with this type of programming contest, I’m gonna suck badly, I’m just not fast and quick to solve programming problems on the spot.

It is true Pinoy ranking could use a little bump up in TopCoders contest… but I think the best way for Pinoy to be on developers map is to be more involved in open source where there is a tangible software that people could actually use. There are already some but still not enough…

Another good challenge for Pinoys in terms of web design… last time I check there still no Philippine flag in the official css Zen Garden :-)

20. hoop says:

I think kulang lang sa plugging ang topcoder sa Philippines kaya konti lang mga Pilipino ang sumasali.

Schools should encourage students to join. Heck, schools should field in contestants… given that may school ranking don.

And there’s nothing like coding problems to help sharpen your programming skills.

21. darksparrow says:

eh kayo mga developer, ano po ba ang requirement para masabi nyong isang developer ang isang tao? like po ng sinabi ni fleeb natuto lang ng HTML eh matatawag na po ba nating developer? kasi kung ganun po developer na pamangkin ko kasi 13 na sya marunong na ng HTML..

and one more thing what if kung Visual Basic lang ang alam pero matinik sya parang kaya nyang gumawa ng software bridge using vb6 to lunch nuclear warhead hahaha :)(sample lang po) what i mean is kahit hindi ganun ka wide ang knowledge nya pero capable syang gumawa ng software na mamemeet naman ang requirement.. can we call that a developer?

22. Diong says:

Oo pwede rin tawagin pamangkin mo or the one who only knows VB na developer…

But naturally there are different levels of being a developer. The two above are not on the same level as with those developers with CS degree, or with years of development experience in different tools and platforms.

Let say na meet nga yung requirements, but what if next month naiba yung requirements, imbis na 1000 records ang pinaprocess, na increase to 1,000,000. Or desktop application, sabi nung boss gawing web based and we gonna drop M\$ as a provider. If a developer who only knows VB and nothing else, would he be able to handle the requirements change above?

Oh… I do not think the software that handle nuclear warheads run on Windows… (it just too dangerous when installing those updates) :-)

23. Fleeb says:

Yung HTML kasi markup lang, so pag plain HTML lang web designer lang yun di developer. Pag developer may kasamang scripting languages na yan (JavaScript, PHP etc.).

Hindi ko rin alam kung paano mo matawag na developer talaga eh. Natuto ako ng first PL ko yung PSION OPL 9 years old ako. Siyempre looping and conditional statements lang alam ko. DOS scripting 10 years old, C 12 years old, HTML 13 years old, Javascript/Flash noong 14, Pascal noong 15… so pag ganun lang e di developer na ako noon pa? Wala bang parameters? Tulad kunyari na nakagawa ka na ng isang full working app or something?

24. darksparrow says:

magpakitaan na lang kayo ng mga pamatay nyong project :)

25. Codebreaker says:

This sucks all i see are comments but no actual CODES WRITTEN

26. Codebreaker says:

VB LANG CGURO ANG ALAM NG MGA I2 D NA LUMAGPAS ANG KAKAYAHAN NILA SA VB kaya nga BASIC aeh PAMBATA BOYS PREFER THAT PERO WE PREFER VC++

27. Arpee Ong says:

Whatever! alarming yun, last tau? send some brigade to fix that, 2900 lng score nung poland right? 700 plus lang tau, the hell with that, why dont we stop talking bullshit here and join the fucking competition, its stupid to see we’re in the last.. ah.. time lang naman, most filipino programers aint got the time to fuck with those competitions, still i feel bad about the phil. on the last

28. Arpee Ong says:

..and another thing is, most of us dont even care about the rating. like “let it be, so what, i earn from programming and have a nice job, why do i need to join such?”

nah, vb or vc, who gives a fuck, all i know is vb, but if this guys knows a shit about what he’s talkin’ about, he would know that it is not so hard for a vb guy to migrate to c languages, or even “b” pa kung trip mo, c was just an implementation of b anyway, and those who laughed at this should be laughed at cuz they dont fuckin know histrory ” “the c manual of 1974” d.m. ritchi.. bye

29. Arpee Ong says:

i registered for the topcoders, and to be honest, when i tried out the practice rooms, i realized how insufficient i am, i was able to solve a 250 problem and failed twice on 500’s and 1x on a 1000. and then i became bothered myself.. just last night i digged my VB books and resolve things with my lackness, i realized that im such an insufficient freak,, but not for long, im not gonna let it stay that way, i’ll re-study and im adding the VC in my jargon and making it a part of my vernacular language, i think this is more of a challenge to us rather than just sit and let it be, no way! i learned DOS batching just last two years, and flash a week ago, all self-study, so is it how young you learned something or how fast you learn it..

30. demonhale says:

Ive taught 13 to 16 year old kids html and basic CSS, and JS can they be called developers? I hope we make up for our lack there on the TopCoder site (hope not one flip black hatter discovers this or they hack away the results LOL!)… Well anyways, lets make up for it…

31. Sean Segundo says:

@ Arpee

san ko po makikita yung practice room sa site nang topcoder?

tnx.

32. darklightercarl says:

hay, sayang kung nadevelop lang ng maayos yung pilipinas e di sana nasa top tayo ng coders. dati pumapangalawa tayo sa japan sa buong asia ngayon pinakababa na. and did you know na ang first virus ay nag-originate sa pilipinas?

33. Jay-r says:

guys, penge namn ako ng sample.. hehe.. ng vb prog, ung madali lang.. ty

34. blue angel says:

puwede po bang bigyan nyo po ako ng title sa research namin sa computer thesis mga java scrift o vb ang program tsaka html codes pls……….. tnx…