Holiday Challenges Series - Ep 1 - Advent of Code
Since some of the information you are about to hear is time specific, I want to let you know that I am recording this near the end of November in 2023.
Whichever holidays you celebrate this time of year, life generally gets busy and stressful.
It could be shopping
or school activities
or buying, assembling, wrapping, and delivering gifts
or planning time with family
or dealing with visiting family
or scheduling time off from work
or managing extra work while others have scheduled time off
or a whole plethora of other things.
This time of year can be stressful.
A few years ago, I discovered a fun activity, which challenged my mind and helped me focus and detach from the stress for a little while each day, through the month of December. It helped me manage the stress in an enjoyable way.
Since then, I have found and tried several other similar activities, so I wanted to share a little about them with you for the next few episodes so you can see what might work for you.
The first I would like to share is called the Advent of Code Challenge (https://adventofcode.com/). In HPR episodes 2973 (https://hackerpublicradio.org/eps/hpr2973/index.html) and 3744 (https://hackerpublicradio.org/eps/hpr3744/index.html), Daniel Perrson shared some great details about this challenge. I encourage you to go review his episodes.
But the TLDR (Or maybe the TLDL -- Too Long Didn't Listen?) for Advent of Code is that it is a 25 day challenge which begins on December 1. Once you register at adventofcode.com, Each day, you will be presented with a problem to solve and some sample data to use for verification that your program works. You can choose to use any programming language or application you desire produce the answer. Last year, I used this to brush up on my Python skills. Others use Visual Basic, C (and all its variants), Rust, Go, etc. I have seen people use Cobol, Fortran, and Pascal, or even Microsoft Excel. It is really up to you. You are then presented a dataset which is unique to your login, and against which you run your code. When complete, you submit the answer came up with on the adventofcode.com web site and they will tell you if you are correct or not.
If you are competitive (And REALLY GOOD) there is a Global Leaderboard. If you want to compete with a group of friends, you can build your own leaderboard and invite others to take part with you.
So, if you are looking for a way to challenge your mind and detach from holiday stress, Advent of Code may be something you might try.
If this is not your cup of tea, I will be sharing several other options for holiday challenges in future episodes.