Python Competitive Coding Tricks Tutorial – Complete Guide

Welcome to this comprehensive guide on Python competitive coding tricks. Python is a versatile language, loved by many for its readability and versatility. With this tutorial, we delve into the powerful tricks that can help you get the edge in competitive coding with Python.

What is Competitive Coding?

Competitive coding is the practice of solving fun, challenging problems under time constraints. It’s prevalent in various international online platforms and often features in job interviews for top tech companies such as Google and Facebook.

Why Use Python for Competitive Coding?

Python is a popular choice for competitive coding due to its readability, a vast standard library, and powerful built-in functions. Its syntax is clean and easy, which makes coding faster – a big plus for competitive coding.

The Importance of Learning Python Competitive Coding Tricks

In competitive coding, every second matter. Being acquainted with Python tricks can save precious time, improve your code efficiency, and give you an advantage over your fellow coders. Whether you are a beginner starting your coding journey or an experienced coder wanting to improve your skills, mastering Python competitive coding tricks is both useful and exciting.

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Python Competitive Coding Trick 1: List Comprehensions

List Comprehensions provide an efficient way to create lists based on existing lists.

Consider the problem: “Create a list of all even numbers between 1 and 10”.

Using traditional for loop, the code would look like this:

even_numbers = []
for i in range(1, 11):
    if i % 2 == 0:

This can be done in one line using a list comprehension:

even_numbers = [i for i in range(1, 11) if i % 2 == 0]

Python Competitive Coding Trick 2: Using “`zip“` method

The “`zip“` function allows you to iterate over multiple lists at the same time.

names = ['Alice', 'Bob', 'Charlie']
ages = [25, 30, 35]

for name, age in zip(names, ages):
    print(f'{name} is {age} years old.')

Python Competitive Coding Trick 3: Use of Inline if-else Statement

Instead of multiple lines of if-else conditions, you can write them in one single line.

x = 5
print('Even') if x % 2 == 0 else print('Odd')

Python Competitive Coding Trick 4: Using “`map“` and “`reduce“` functions

“`map“` and “`reduce“` can manipulate lists in a single line. “`map“` applies functions pairwise to elements, and “`reduce“` performs computation on a list and return the result.

from functools import reduce

# Using map function to square all numbers in a list
numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
squared = list(map(lambda x: x**2, numbers))

# Using reduce function to find the product of all numbers in a list
product = reduce(lambda x, y: x * y, numbers)

We hope these tricks help you in your journey of competitive coding. Remember, becoming proficient takes practice. Happy coding!

Python Competitive Coding Trick 5: Using “`enumerate“` function

The Python “`enumerate“` function adds a counter to an iterable and returns an enumerated object. This can be used to add the index position to your output.

names = ['Alice', 'Bob', 'Charlie']
for i, name in enumerate(names):
    print(f'{name} is at position {i+1}.')

Python Competitive Coding Trick 6: Lambda Functions

Lambda functions are small, anonymous functions which can be defined on a single line in Python. This can be particularly useful in competitive coding.

# Using lambda to square a number
square = lambda x: x ** 2
print(square(5))  # Output: 25

Python Competitive Coding Trick 7: Using “`set“` for Unique Values

Python’s “`set“` datatype contains unique values. By quickly converting a list to a set, you can remove all duplicates.

numbers = [1, 2, 2, 3, 4, 4, 5]
numbers = list(set(numbers))
print(numbers)  # Output: [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

Python Competitive Coding Trick 8: Using Dictionary Comprehensions

Like list comprehensions, Python also supports dictionary comprehensions, which provide an efficient way to create dictionaries.

# Creating a dictionary of squares for numbers from 1 to 5
squares = {i: i**2 for i in range(1, 6)}
print(squares)  # Output: {1: 1, 2: 4, 3: 9, 4: 16, 5: 25}

Python Competitive Coding Trick 9: Using “`any“` and “`all“` Functions

Python’s “`any“` and “`all“` functions return True if any or all (respectively) elements in an iterable are true.

numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

print(any(x > 3 for x in numbers))  # Output: True
print(all(x > 3 for x in numbers))  # Output: False

These tricks can vastly improve your speed and efficiency at competitive coding. Practice them regularly to become a better coder. Remember, at Zenva, we’re always here to guide you on your learning journey. Happy coding!

Where to Go Next with Your Python Journey

Fantastic! Now that you’ve gained a deeper understanding of Python’s capabilities for competitive coding, it’s time to think about your next steps. For those eager to venture deeper into Python, we recommend our comprehensive Python Mini-Degree.

The Python Mini-Degree offered by us at Zenva Academy is a complete series of courses that delve into different aspects of Python programming. It enables you to learn Python in-depth: starting from coding basics and algorithms, onto object-oriented programming, and eventually game development and app development. You’ll learn by building games, developing your own algorithms, and creating practical real-world applications. This tangible, project-based approach helps solidify your knowledge and aids you to build a strong portfolio.

Our instructors are experienced programmers certified by Unity Technologies and CompTIA, and the courses are designed to cater to both beginners and experienced coders. Large chunks of contents are broken down into manageable, interactive lessons, quizzes, and live coding lessons using real-world examples. You’ll have the flexibility to learn at your own pace, skip ahead to relevant lessons, and access the material anytime, on any device.

You may also be interested in browsing through our broad collection of Python courses, which includes a variety of specialized topics to help you develop a deeper understanding of this versatile language and its wide-ranging capabilities. Check out our Python Course Catalogue here.


So there you have it – a rundown of essential Python tricks for competitive coding to sharpen your skills. As we’ve demonstrated, Python is not only robust but also capable of simplifying complex problems, making it a popular choice for competitions. Every piece of knowledge you gain and every line of code you write propels you further on your coding journey.

At Zenva, we strive to assist you at each step of this journey. Whether you are a novice just starting out or a seasoned programmer aiming to master new techniques, we have resources tailored to your needs. If you’re eager to dive deeper into Python and its many applications, consider taking our Python Mini-Degree designed to equip you with the skills to tackle real-world Python projects confidently. Happy coding!

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