Challenge yourself with a Coding Challenge

Posted 4 years ago
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As a mentor via I'm currently working my way through the 21 Days of Code coding challenge by Lighthouse Labs with my mentees. I thought to share our findings and resolutions here, as well as offer some perspective on these events.

Firstly, I kind of like this iteration (we've previously did a similar coding challenge side by side). We're following a storyline involving the Mayor of Codeville and face different kinds of challenges. It's nice to have some context and not simply solving problems. I think this is a really engaging way of keeping interest and motivation.

The challenges ramp up nicely, they start out with simple problems, but they get more complex per day. Fortunately, in the online code editor (which can be a real nightmare) they've done a good job in emulating an development environment. You can output console statements and repeatedly test your code, where error handling is helpful.

What I also like is the encouragement of Test Driven Development. When you run your code, you also get the output of the unit test assertions. This helps beginners in pinpointing where the code might be faulty and the practice of coding against tests.

So how do we work together? Basically, everybody tries to solve the challenges on their own, with the help of the entire internet (Google, Stack Overflow, the discussion forum). I share my resolutions to the daily challenges and try to explain which steps I took to come to this resolution (this helps me in writing more readable code as well). If someone is stuck, I try to help break down the problem or we work together in a Codepen on the broken code and I explain what went wrong.

I am offering off-the-shelf resolutions for the daily challenges on a github repository I've created. The point is having fun, so if you feel like you're stuck, you can just copy & paste a resolution. There's not really something to win or earn, except internet points, so you can only fool yourself with copy & pasting all resolutions.

We're a over the halfway point of the challenge now, so if you're interested and haven't joined, there's still time! And if you want to catch up, feel free to take a look at the resolutions.

BTW I'm in no way affiliated to Lighthouse Labs. My mentee happened to stumble upon this and we thought it was an excellent practice.

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