Solving Puzzles with Code
The Advent of Code is upon us once again. Every year Eric Wastl weaves together a daily series of clever challenges into a delightful story. They can be solved in any language and method you want, including brute force, and I look forward to it every December.
Which is an odd thing to say maybe considering I’ve never made it further than a dozen days in. It just seems like every year the work project I’m on catches fire and needs my full attention and my drive to work on coding challenges for fun just fizzles out.
I’m fully expecting it to be true this year, too. I just started a new project this week, and the whole reason I’m here is they are short-staffed and under the gun to deliver a fully functional robot in three months, if not sooner. I’ve already accepted the fact that it’s going to ratchet up the pressure over the next few weeks and not loosen up for the holidays. I’m ok with that.
Still, I’m ready. I’ve been wanting to loosen my reliance on GitHub (same as I’m loosening my reliance on Twitter, Instagram, etc.) so this was the perfect time to try out Gitea. Programming is surprisingly social (especially coding challenges like AoC) so I spun up git.kestrelsnest.social and created a placeholder repo for my 2022 solutions. When the first puzzle lands at midnight, I’ll be ready to go.
And if I only make it three days, that’s ok.
Day full of good things
It was a day full of good things. Here they are, in chronological order:
- read two chapters of Dan Moren’s book “The Bayern Agenda” while drinking coffee in the hot tub before work
- the things that didn’t work in my new project yesterday started working
- attended my first standup with my new teammates
- ate a delicious chicken pot pie for lunch
- returned a library book that was six years overdue and wasn’t charged a fine
- voted in the senate runoff election
- got a delicious dirty spiced chai
- installed gitea at git.kestrelsnest.social and initialized a repo for Advent of Code
- made buffalo chicken legs for dinner
- took my youngest to their first rehearsal of a neighborhood brass band based on a poster I saw stapled to a telephone pole
- ate leftover pecan pumpkin pie
- watched several episodes of Taskmaster and had quite a few good laughs
A good day indeed.
Postscript: It occurred to me right after posting that this could have been titled “Is the ketamine working? Signs point to yes.” More on that later, no doubt.
First day on the job
As a software developer that gets loaned out to other companies, I tend to have quite a few “first day on the job” days. Today was one of them, joining a team working hard to get a new bio-lab robot on the market.
As is typical with joining a new project, I spent the entire first day trying to figure out why nearly nothing in the README actually worked.
Computers are the worst.