Lately I've been doing Advent of Code challenges. Somebody suggested it to me recently and I thought why not, many people use this as a measure of proficiency. It's entirely possible that I've been using frameworks / other people's code so much that I got a little rusty at solving problems with just the standard library. I've done some Leetcode and HackerRank before so I expecting something exactly like those platforms. I was wrong. Those other sites are platforms with a network and the most common interview questions. Advent of Code is different.

Advent of Code is not nearly as sophisticated - you code locally on your machine and submit the answer in a text form. What it lacks for in front end tech it makes up for in originality: each problem is posed as some fictional event occurring on a submarine that is delving into the unknown depths to retrieve the keys to Santa's sleigh. Or something. The problems are released annually each day in December. There is a leaderboard - top scorers are determined by how quickly they can submit the correct answer. There are a number of unique inputs / outputs to minimize cheating. Each problem has two parts - the first being relatively easier and the second usually adds another layer of complexity or demands a scalable solution. It is noted that all problems can be computed in 15 seconds or less on old hardware. If you don't have a good solution it could take your code hours or days to finish!

I think my two favorite things about these challenges are the novelty of the problems and the simplicity of the platform. I don't need to write code in the browser and I prefer running code locally so I can debug if needed. I'm posting my solutions on GitHub. I definitely will look forward to next year's problems and may even experiment with using different languages and benchmarking my answers.