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Advent of Code 2021

This is post no. 48 for Kev Quirk's #100DaysToOffload challenge. The point is to write many things, not to write good ones. Please adjust quality expectations accordingly :)

the logo of Advent of Code (an ASCII art Chistmas hat)

In case you didn't hear about it yet: this is a coding competition / series of challenges, happening every December (it's been going on for a few years now). I started doing it last year, with some coworkers; especially given the lockdown, it was one of the most fun parts of the year.

As of me writing this now, most of 2021's challenges aren't out yet; you can check out last year's here. The first few are super easy, but they do get fairly involved later during the month.

The neatest thing about it is that the solution is always just a short string (typically a numeric one). As such, you can use any programming language to solve the puzzles. Some people do it in Excel. Or... Minecraft I guess? But... it's really great to either learn a language on these, or to get exposed to features new to you in one.

But then... it's also a tradeoff: solving things quickly, right after they come out, is also a fun part. You can compete against friends on private leaderboards you join, which... is a lot nicer than concluding that you're probably not as good as the top 100. (The top 100 are impressively good.)

So... go try it out! The first challenge this year is really not that hard. You might learn something in the process!

... comments welcome, either in email or on the (eventual) Mastodon post on Fosstodon.