The 4th edition of Advent Of Code just started! In this short blog post, I would like to share with you some of my thoughts about it and why I participate in this event for the second time in the row.

Advent Of Code 2017

The last edition of Advent Of Code was the first one I took part in. It was quite a challenging and exciting experience - I have found it as an excellent alternative to everyday programming tasks I do as a software engineer. It was so addictive at some point that I decided to wake up before 6:00 AM to crush the new puzzle right after it got published.

aoc2017

Advent Of Code 2018

Yesterday the 4th edition of Advent Of Code has started. I have to say I was waiting for this day impatiently. This year, however, I took a different strategy - I use this year’s edition as an opportunity to sharpen my functional programming skills with Haskell. Last year I did it differently. I’ve focused only on solving the puzzles with the language I use on my daily basis - Java. It still gave me a lot of fun, and I could experiment with the algorithms I usually don’t have a chance to implement in the projects I work on. But it felt like I lost an excellent opportunity to play around with other programming languages. This year I’ve decided to take Haskell and apply the concepts I’ve learned while working with "Programming in Haskell, 2nd edition" book.

Conclusion

I want to encourage you to give the Advent Of Code 2018 a chance if you haven’t already. It’s fun to solve those non-trivial puzzles, and it does not require allocating a huge amount of your time. You can start anytime you want - it’s not about competing with others, it’s a great learning experience instead. Pick your strategy (learning a new programming language or sharpening the one you already know) and have fun!

Szymon Stepniak

Groovista, Upwork's Top Rated freelancer, Toruń Java User Group founder, open source contributor, Stack Overflow addict, bedroom guitar player. I walk through e.printStackTrace() so you don't have to.