This Tuesday we once again had a Python User Group meetup in Graz and I tried to come up really hard (perhaps a bit too hard, actually) with a short lightning talk that might still show something new to my fellow local Pythonistas. Whenever I don’t really want to code on anything in particular I just open CheckIO and work on one of the puzzles there. So perhaps that might be interesting to someone else too, I thought.
Eventually, I ended up talking a couple of minutes about these sites:
I enjoy all of them but they are quite different from one another. CheckIO wraps each puzzles in a nice story and also tries to explain how a certain technique might be useful in the world outside of the game. Exercism, on the other hand, tries to improve your coding style and teach you community best practices by making reviewing other people’s submissions a focus point. You also write your code offline in whatever environment you prefer and just use a CLI tool for making your submission! I’m not yet really sure where CodeWars fits in here but it’s quite enjoyable nonetheless 😊
All three have a couple of core aspects in common, though:
- You solve basic problems with just a couple of lines of code.
- You only use the standard library of whatever language the puzzle is targeted at. This is a great way to get to know a language and its std-lib better without wasting time looking around for some random library. This helps to keep you focused!
- After solving a puzzle you can get and give feedback. Nothing fancy but esp. in Exercism’s case this helps improve your future submissions as most people will focus on community best-practices.
Exercism is also great if you want to learn a new language as at least the first couple of challenges are the same in most of the available ones.
One thing that I absolutely love about all three is that they are completely non-competitive and non-commercial. There are other offerings out there that combine these kinds of challenges with recruitment processes of large companies. Nice idea, but definitely now what I’m looking for when I just want to relax and work on a puzzle.
So here are a few more sites I found and want to eventually give a try:
But not before I improve my score on CheckIO and my honour on CodeWars 😉
For completeness' sake here also other sites I came across and listed during my talk: