I am a newbie and not set up to be a serious contester--software, etc.
However, I like working contests for several reasons. First, MOST operators
in contests are very good and it is a pleasure to hear them go at it (and
work the ones I want to). Second, you can pick up some mighty interesting
locales by careful listening. Third, it's fun to pick out weaker signals
among the strong and try to raise those stations. Fourth, by the closing
hours of the contest, you can be welcomed with open arms.
What I don't like about some contesters is their splatter on SSB aggravated
by shouting into their mikes. How this leads to higher scores, I do not
knoww, and I abvoid these foplks.