The Advent of Code

In early December, I ran across a post from Jeremiah Peschka on practicing your coding skills. Apart from the points made about practicing skills, he referenced a site called the Advent of Code. It’s a site that uses a Christmas theme and a little gaming to get people to solve programming problems. I mentioned it on my blog, and across a few weeks, a few people in the SQL Server community started working on the problems in SQL.

Probably like most people that started this, I didn’t finish in December. In fact, I didn’t work on problems most days because life got in the way. However I haven’t given up. Around vacations and other events, I’ve continued to work on solving the problems in multiple ways, using different languages. I’ve tackled problems in Python, PowerShell, and T-SQL.

I’d urge you to give some sort of programming challenge a try, mostly just to gain some practice in building algorithms and investigating the ways in which you can solve problems with software. If nothing else, the exercises challenge your brain and exercise your mind.

I’m considering working on something like this for SQLServerCentral next year, with a series of complex problems that you can work on to practice your T-SQL and SQL Server skills. I don’t think I’ll make it an Advent of T-SQL for Christmas, but I do think having a series of challenging problems is a good way to drive your learning.

If you’ve got suggestions for other programming exercises, feel free to pass them along.

Steve Jones

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