Sharpen your coding skills: a guide to Advent of Code 2023

As the days grow shorter and the temperatures drop, Netflix is filling up with holiday romcoms and Christmas cheer is in the air. With less than 60 days until Christmas, it’s also time for another beloved event: Advent of Code. Join me in embracing the festive spirit, while sharpening your coding skills with the Advent of Code 2023 challenges.


What is Advent of Code?

In December 2015, Eric Wastl first launched Advent of Code. This is an event running from December 1st to Christmas day. Wastl takes four to five months each year to design 25 unique coding challenges, which he then releases one by one in December. Since 2015, Advent of Code has seen an immense growth, expanding from about 52.000 users back in 2015 to over one million users in 2022.

Each countdown-to-Christmas-challenge consists of two parts, each earning you one star. Collect all fifty available stars and you have solved Advent of Code. Al though one puzzle is released every day in December, there is no rush. All challenges from previous years are still available on the Advent of Code website.

Benefits of Advent of Code

Whether you’re just starting your coding journey, learning a new programming language or a seasoned veteran: Advent of Code offers a challenge for all. These fun puzzles are an exciting way to learn more about your newly learned language or to enhance your skills while tackling coding challenges.

Advent of Code will get your to explore functionalities that you might otherwise not encounter. Personally, I found myself diving into PowerShell to solve challenges, discovering new concepts that proved valuable in every-day work or even fun personal projects. The best part about Advcent of Code it the fact that any programming language you’re most comfortable with can be used to solve the challenges.

This year, I’ve decided to document my solutions to the coding challenges and publish them on my GitHub page. Not only will this be a valuable resource for future job hunting, showcasing my proficiency with PowerShell, but it will enhance my portfolio. And there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of solving a seemingly impossible puzzle. There is no better feeling of accomplishment.

Advent of Code 2023: Overview and preparation

The excitement of Advent of Code 2023 is just around the corner. Starting on December 1st at midnight EST (UTC-5), the coding challenges will unlock daily. If you’re in Europe, make sure you’re ready for the first puzzle in the early morning of December 1st, with one new puzzle being released every day.

While the content of this year’s challenges remains a mystery until the first puzzle unlocks, you can expect a mix of themes involving Santa Claus, elves and perhaps even the odd reindeer.

Ready to embark on this festive coding adventure? Here are some tips to help you prepare:

  • Check with your colleagues or tech-savvy friends. Sharing challenges, solutions and accomplishments make for more fun throughout the month.
  • Each puzzle comes with an example solution to validate your answer.
  • Connect with this subreddit for support, motivation and hints.
  • Don’t hesitate to use the internet to explore new concepts. However,…
  • …resist the temptation to use AI, such as ChatGPT to find quick fixes or full solutions. The real fun is in the learning process.
  • Most importantly: remember to have fun and enjoy the coding journey!

Embrace the challenge, embrace the fun

Now that you have an understanding of Advent of Code, know its start date, and read preparation tips for Advent of Code 2023, are you ready to go on this coding adventure with me? Join me as we tackle the daily challenges, improve our coding skills and have a lot of fun along the way. I’ll be sharing regular updates on my X-account, so stay tuned and let’s dive into the world of coding puzzles!

Share your thoughts