Advent of Code: On December 1st the first puzzle door opens for developers

Every year … there is also this year the advent calendar with programming puzzles by Eric Wastl, the person behind Vanilla JS and PHP Sadness. In the “Advent of Code” since 2015, developers have been finding a small task every day from December 1st until Christmas, which becomes increasingly tricky as the month goes on and calls up a wide range of skills and abilities.

The Advent of Code can be approached in different ways: as a hackathon in a team or as an individual, more or less competitive, at speed and to test your own skills or without the stopwatch – as professional training, preparation for job interviews or as course material at universities . Last but not least, it is also about creativity and the joy of discovery: some participants have already discovered a new favorite programming language for themselves during the Advent season.

According to the organizer’s website, computer science skills are not absolutely necessary, a few basics in programming and a desire to solve problems can definitely take the participants a long way. Also, no fancy high-end hardware should be necessary, as there should be a solution behind the calendar door for every problem that can be implemented in less than 15 seconds on ten-year-old hardware.

If you get stuck, you don’t have to give up in frustration: The calendar contains examples that are suitable for checking your own solutions. According to Wastl, whoever hangs out should read the assignment carefully and calmly again, maybe ask friends. The level of difficulty varies from puzzle to puzzle, the challenge generally increases as the Advent season progresses.

Advent of Code uses OAuth to authenticate participant identity. When logging in, you do not need to enter any access data in the calendar, but only for the authentication service used. Those who care about privacy can see examples on Reddit and GitHub. The puzzle designer has a small downer at the end of the welcome page: Wastl and the beta testers are not accepting ideas from others for future puzzles for legal reasons.

The doors open at midnight (Eastern Standard Time) in the USA and early in the morning in Central Europe. That could make participation a little more complicated for developers in the local time zone who want to approach the whole thing competitively with a view to the working days. On the other hand, the puzzles in this country will probably cause fewer sleepless nights.

That The first door will open on December 1st, 2021 at 6 a.m. (CET). Anyone who has already become curious or is still skeptical can go until then browse through the archive to get in the moodwhich gathers the past editions.


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