I’ve been looking to work on my programming skills a bit and try some new languages. I’d like to grow my career in a few different ways, as well as investigate where some of the new languages and platforms might be useful for data analysis. As I’ve talked to some developers and been looking around, someone recommended Exercism.io.

Exercism.io is a site that allows you to practice coding exercises and get feedback from others. When you visit the site, it’s an interesting look, and invites you to log in through GitHub. If you’re not a member of GitHub, and you’re a developer, you probably are making some sort of mistake.

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Once you log in, you really need to download the command line client and execute it. Once you do, you can configure it to connect and download exercises. Each of these is placed in a folder, as shown:

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For each of these languages, you get an exercise that you need to complete in that language. I’ve been playing with Python, and I had a first exercise of hello-world. In the python folder, were my exercises (you can see I’ve moved on).

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The hello-world folder had a read me and a test file (it’s since gotten my program in there). The Readme has instructions and the test file is a set of tests that can be executed to check your program.

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When you pass the tests, you submit your solution from the command line client. The submissions appear on the website and people can comment on your code. I am in no way commenting on any else’s Python code at this point, but I did get a comment on my leap year calculation.

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I looked over the comment and then changed some code. I had to futz with the command line to get this to resubmit, but as you can see, I ended up getting a second iteration in there. No comments on that one, but we’ll see.

It’s an interesting idea to share code and get comments. I think mostly this is a way to formally practice some exercises and get comments from experienced users, but the volume means that potentially you won’t get comments on your solutions. I know many of the SQL users may, or may not, comment on solutions.

I think this is interesting, and I’m tempted to try to do something like this for SQLServerCentral. The hard part of putting together enough questions that others can practice in an organized fashion.

About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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