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Mon 07 December 2020

Advent of Code: programming puzzle challenges

It's that happy time of the year again! And we are not only talking about hearing All I Want For Christmas Is You every time you go to the supermarket. We are talking about Advent of Code.

For those who are not familiar with the coding challenge, Advent of Code is an independent initiative of Eric Wastl. Advent of Code is a programming puzzle game which consists in solving fifty programming puzzles from the 1st to the 25th of December. At midnight EST (5 am UK time), everyone signed up will receive a new puzzle, and when you've completed that first puzzle, a second will unlock as a continuation or extension of the first.

Many of our engineers have already joined the past editions of Advent of Code. The programming puzzles are a fun time to practice some algorithmic-problem-solving that you don't always get the chance to work on in your day-to-day projects. Also, it is a great opportunity to practice problems, prepare you for an interview, or learn new programming languages.

It’s important to take each puzzle in turn, but be warned that the second part you’ll receive each day usually challenges assumptions or simplifications you may have made in order to solve part one. Keep your wits about you and you’ll be fine.

What’s that you say? You don't have a computer science background? Don't worry! You just need some understanding of programming and some problem-solving skills. This project will be enjoyable for a variety of skill sets and levels, such as students, software engineers, or project managers. Still worried? Why not watch Eric and Ted Ed’s series on how to think like a coder video to get you started.

Participating in Advent of Code is completely free. Still, individuals and companies sponsor the event to make it possible year after year. The users that have donated to the event will have a (AoC++) flair next to their name. Also, Codethink has sponsored this year’s event, so if you see (Sponsor) flair after the name of a user, it could be one of our employees!

There's no prize in Advent of Code, everyone participates as a way to improve themselves, resolve new programming problems and, especially, enjoy coding. If you fancy doing Advent Of Code, you can still sign up at Advent of Code. We look forward to seeing you around!

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