Developers or anyone interested in improving their coding skills can participate in the Advent of Code challenge. (Image Credit: Advent of Code)
It's that time of year again! I almost forgot about it. Last year’s was interesting.
Developers can participate in the yearly Advent of Code, where each day represents a new coding challenge that needs to be solved. Interested participants don't need a computer science background but require problem-solving skills. "Every problem has a solution that completes in at most 15 seconds on ten-year-old hardware," Eric Wastly wrote on the website.
The Advent of Code began in 2015, allowing entrants to try and collect stars, two of which are available each day. To unlock puzzles, users need to complete the first one. Overall, 50 stars are available in December. Each puzzle comes with text explaining a challenge, which can be solved by breaking it down into simpler steps if the solution isn't obvious.
Additionally, the stats page shows the daily completion stats. A gold star indicates that the participant completed both puzzle parts, while a silver star indicates only one part was complete.
The Advent of Code creator said, "making puzzles is hard," and beta testers helped determine the overall difficulty of a puzzle. However, this score isn't very reliable. "Even things like average leaderboard times aren't a good measure," he said. "That just tells you how long the fastest super-competitive people took (and thus suffers very severely from survivorship bias)."
Even then, participants should note that the difficulty level increases as they progress. If a user feels a bit unsure or stuck on a problem, they can check out the Advent of Code community for tips.
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