If you want to get better at something, you should do it every day. At least that’s what the internet tells me. Coincidentally, this is why I still put on clothes and leave the house – just so I don’t forget how.
So, how do we get better at something new? By doing that new thing over and over again. If you’re learning a new language, you could try to find an open source project to contribute to, but that requires a lot of bravery. Who wants to put their code out in the open for people to look at? Gross.
If you want to learn a new tech, or just polish up your skills on an existing technology, head on over to adventofcode.com and start plugging away. You’ll want to authenticate with some kind of “account” so that the government can track you. But, otherwise, it’s really easy to get started.
How Does Advent of Code Work?
A new exercise is released every day. Each exercise has two parts. You can’t see the second part until you’ve finished the first part. These are classic word problems and sound an awful lot like business requirements e.g. an elf got drunk and keeps giving Santa bad directions, track Santa.
You can solve the problems with any programming language you want. You just need to try. There’s even a sub-Reddit to help you out with hints or even to compare your solution to other solutions. Just don’t cheat.
Doesn’t that sound like fun? I thought so. I thought it was so much fun, that I put my solutions online so we can all play along!
Check it out: http://github.com/peschkaj/adventofcode