January 18th 2014 in Recreational Programming
Looking back, most of the code I wrote in 2013 was for Magento, or some other PHP project that in the end would be delivered to a client for their approval (.. or disapproval !) This year I intend to spend more time programming recreationally. Coding without a deadline often allows you to spend more time exploring concepts that are too risky for you to ordinarily explore. For example, I think that an understanding of C is such a crucial skill (especially if you do PHP) that it needs to be given the time of day even if you cannot find a commercial medium for it. The biggest problem with all of this is, well, what do I code? This is where Project Euler comes in.
Project Euler is a repository of mathematical based challenges that require the use of computers to solve. It is points based and there are achievements along the way to spur you on. You typically provide the answer in the form of a number derived from the solution you have implemented to solve the problem. The mathematical aspect may deter some people but don’t be too put off! The concepts on project euler are typically abstractions of very traditional problems that you can find help with all over the internet.
Although technically against the rules, I keep my solutions in a public github repository. This allows me to not lose my progress (as I have done before) when I move from laptop to laptop. If you have never heard of Project Euler before, it may be worth taking a look to give you a taste. However once you start, it’s better to try and solve the problem yourself – or else there’s just no fun in it.