TopCoder is a great platform with a huge set of programming problems ready to challenge you. However, if you look at a problem and you only validate it using the examples provided in the description you are not doing it right. In fact, when you compete, you get zero point even if a single test of TopCoder system tests fail. Yeah, it’s that brutal! Your algorithm is right or not, there are no shade of grays. For this reason, it is vital to run the system tests!
So the question is…
How do I run the system tests?
Run the arena, login, enter a practice room and submit one or more problems.
Click Practice Options and than click Run System Test.
The system tests run and a window will show the results. If your solution is not correct, you will see a set of tests with the input (args), the expected value and the actual value (received). In this way, you know exactly what is not working and you can rework your algorithm.
When all the tests are green, you can say your algorithm is correct!
Happy coding 🙂