I loved every day of this challenge and participated in all of them.
In this closing article about this series, I'll give you my five reasons for loving these coding challenges. And hopefully, even spark you to try them out!
1. Learn by doing
The cool part about coding challenges is you don't have to think about what you will be programming. Someone spent a lot of time thinking of a problem you will have to solve.
This is an excellent way since the correct answer (output) is already defined. It's up to you to learn by doing things until it works.
When you contribute to open-ended challenges, you might even get the chance to compare how you solved the challenge to how other people have done it.
This is a great way to learn about new concepts that I might not know of. Or specific methods that are better or faster.
2. You are not alone
As briefly mentioned in point one, you are not doing this alone.
Multiple people are trying to solve the challenge, and sometimes you might get stuck, or the challenge might be wrong.
This is a great way to learn, meet and interact with other developers trying to solve the challenge.
I've met some fantastic new people through the DevAdventCalendar challenge, which is a real win.
3. Certain things you might not think of
When you work as a dev, there might be things you will never touch but are cool to know.
For instance, when we used the Linked List for the coding challenge, I've personally never used them, so it's a great way to experience something new in a fun way.
And to get back to points one and two, I got fantastic feedback on the article I wrote on how I could even improve my code even more.
And you might get feedback from the creator or by looking at how other people have solved a particular issue.
This might give you ideas on how to solve it differently. You can take some of these learnings and look at your existing code at work or your products.
4. Try out new things
Another reason to love these challenges is that you can pick one that is not your primary language.
It could be a great experience to try out a Python coding challenge.
It's a fun and great way to learn this new language by solving puzzles in a specific language.
As like mentioned, you might receive feedback on how to do certain things differently in the future.
5. You might even win
Don't tell everyone, but you might even win in some of these challenges.
For example, the DevAdventCalendar had excellent prices (yes, I also contributed one). But also keep an eye out for other ones.
It could be a great way to explore a coding puzzle while winning some great swag, money, or courses.
Besides this, some companies also use coding challenges to evaluate new people they might hire. So you might even be super prepared for your next interview, which makes it win you a job!
Coding challenges are a fantastic, fun, and great experience in the development ecosystem.
I suggest you try one out and see how you feel about it.
Let me know if you have already participated in one and your experience.