Ok, it’s too late now, but say it’s Christmas: vacations are looming, plenty of time to focus on your project, but what if you don’t have one?
Eric Wastl must have felt this pain: he’s the mind behind the Advent of Code competition, a friendly and geeky website where each day of the advent a new computing problem is unlocked.
The puzzles are bound together with a backstory: maybe you are rescuing Santa and saving Christmas or – like this year – trying to make it to your resort for a vacation.
It doesn’t matter: whatever the backstory could be, you will end up facing new zany situations every day, the solution of which will require (you guessed!) computing and logical skills.
The puzzles have two parts: the first one is usually straightforward, while the second part can be tricky: it may require some specific optimization techniques, some math, or just intuition.
Each problem/day solved, a new part of the ASCII-art calendar is also unveiled: a thing of irresistible geekish and childish beauty!
The narrative is witty and fun, and the problems are engaging (most of the time). Old calendars remain open, so you can still solve all the old challenges.
Even if it’s not the advent anymore, you can still wake up, read a problem, and set yourself the goal of finishing it within the day, maybe competing among friends on a private board (the site has those).
It’s a great project: I’m impressed about how much care has been put into the narrative (even if it’s absurd…) and the details, so whether you are bored or are looking for some new kata to practice a new language, make sure to check it out!