This site is mainly about [code golf](https://wikipedia.com/wiki/Code_golf). However, other forms of competitive programming are welcome too.
Two main types of posts are allowed here. One can post competitions or ask for tips.
Most competition types are one of the following:
* **Code golf:** competing for shortest code (usually counted in bytes)
* **Least operations:** competing for smallest number of *operations* (operator applications or steps in a proof)
* **Speed challenge:** competing for fastest execution or lowest algorithmic complexity (absolute or relative)
Other types of challenges are possible too, but they require very careful specification, and are not recommended for novice challenge writers. In addition, unless otherwise stated, all competitions and competition answers must abide our rules, as linked to below.
**Tips** are requests for help to become more competitive in one of the on-topic competition types. It can either be for improving a specific piece of code, or for general advice regarding a specific language or language family.
General coding problems and requests for explanations of code or programming language behaviour are off-topic. However, answers are encouraged to include an explanation of the code, and you can always comment on an answer to ask the author for explanation or further clarification.
## Participating in competitions
Most competitions involve code golf, creating the shortest possible code to solve a given task. To ensure this site's consistency, and remember to include important information, consider using [a standard answer format](https://topanswers.xyz/codegolf?q=738). Always make sure you don't exploit any [prohibited loopholes](https://topanswers.xyz/codegolf?q=732), that you [state your code length correctly](https://topanswers.xyz/codegolf?q=734), and that you use [valid input and output formats](https://topanswers.xyz/codegolf?q=733). If in doubt, just ask!
## Posting competitions
Note that it is almost always considerably more difficult to write up a good competition than it is to participate in a well-specified competition, as there are many [pitfalls to avoid](https://topanswers.xyz/codegolf?q=736) and [aspects to have in mind](https://topanswers.xyz/codegolf?q=737). It is highly advisable to answer at least a few existing competitions before venturing into creating ones own. Using [a template](https://topanswers.xyz/codegolf?q=735) ensures that you remember all the important bits.