Introducing Watrophy

Written on 2018-01-29

For almost as long as I can remember, I've frequented sprawling online communities of programmers in order to learn more about the craft of writing code. This has given me the opportunity to meet many folks of many backgrounds, with the common thread that we (usually!) like to create software.

I've been particularly grateful for the fact that some of these individuals found me to be helpful in their pursuit to learn programming languages and the techniques they often come with. Around 10 years ago, I frequently mentored on Scheme and Standard ML, focusing on techniques from functional programming and meta-programming. Almost always, the techniques are more valuable than the languages themselves, since they pay dividends. One way to learn is through practice, and so I frequently posed small exercises to teach a concept.

With the help of @qu1j0t3, I've managed to unearth some of the exercises I wrote dating back almost a decade, which have been remastered and posted here.

This website is a log of challenges—old and new—to strengthen your programming muscle. If you're a programmer by occupation, maybe you say wat a lot at your ordinary stock of languages, projects, frameworks, and tools. Or maybe you're just bored. If you're a hobbyist, maybe you don't find a lot of practical material on these subjects without getting lost in the depths of academia. Whatever the reason you program, I think these exercises may be sufficiently interesting, short, and insightful.

These exercises differ from a few other kinds of exercises.

  • They're a little more difficult than the average set of "koans".

  • They're a little more biased toward statically and dynamically typed functional programming.

  • They're not as mathematically oriented as Project Euler.

  • They're usually not optimized for competitive programming, like TopCoder or HackerRank.

  • They have nothing to do with code golf, unless you want them to.

While there is currently no implemented ranking system, it wouldn't matter anyway, since good solutions typically characterized by their aesthetic and technique, not run time or memory consumption.

I hope to update this at least once a week. Feel free to subscribe to any of the following feeds:

  • RSS and Atom feeds for any and all posts.

  • RSS and Atom feeds of challenges only.

Unless otherwise credited all material copyright © 2010–2018 by Robert Smith