If you like computer coding puzzles then you’ll enjoy the upcoming annual Advent of Code (AoC) contest. AoC is a fun 25 day online coding contest that begins on December 1. Each day participants are given a new coding challenge for the 25 days leading up to Christmas day. The challenges are presented in the format of an online story with each challenges consisting of 2 parts. The challenges get progressively harder and call on your math and computer science knowledge of number theory, graph theory, statistics, search and many other skills.
AoC began in 2015 and is the brain child of Eric Westal. I’ve participated in the previous 3 contests and plan to continue this year. Confession, I’ve never completed all 25 days of the contest. Usually something comes up that interrupts my participation such as running errands to purchase Christmas presents or attend a party or two. My best year was 2016 where I completed 20 days and then stopped to celebrate my wedding anniversary.
Why you should participate in the AoC? For starters, it will sharpen your algorithm and implementation skills. If you’re very competitive it will help with your coding efficiency and scope management. For me, I sometimes will solve a challenge using different coding languages and tools that I need to sharpen up on. Overall it’s a great way to engage other coders such as coworkers and friends and improve your problem solving software skills.
Much of this year I’ve been actively using and helping test upcoming versions of CodeMix for Eclipse. So I plan to use CodeMix as my programming tool along with TypeScript, Python and Java for coding most of my solutions. My Python coding skills need some refreshing. So I’m really looking forward to using it and some hands-on with the CodeMix Python debugger.
Lastly, if you can’t wait until December 1 for the AoC check out Project Uler for a ton of interesting coding challenges and engaging community.