Skip to main content

Coding Challenges as a way to Level Up

 In my pre-course work for General Assembly's Data Science Immersive program, we were introduced to the website CodeWars


The first few times I practiced my coding, I was frustrated but engaged. The way the website is set up allows you to level up as you continuously progress - like a way to see where you rank among others. 

Here's what I love about it: 

  • You can get extra practice by choosing your level of difficulty for each challenge. If you want to practice, stick with challenges at your current level. If you are looking to level up, choose something at a level above your current one. There are options for either path!
  • CodeWars felt like a fun way to push me out of my comfort zone with coding. There is no risk at all to trying something that is just beyond my current level. 
  • There are so many programming languages available! Want to dabble in Haskell? Ruby? SQL? They've got you covered. (From what I counted, there are 29 core languages and 26 beta languages currently supported!) 
  • Every challenge is community-created. When folks spot errors in a challenge, they report them, and the challenges get updated - sometimes with something simple, like clarification on directions. (None of us are perfect!) 
  • Once you've submitted your working code, you can see other solutions as well - sometimes (as a beginner still - often) much shorter and more clever than my own code. It is an additional learning tool to see how others solve the same problem. 
  • A pro for me - sometimes the problem is more of a math problem than a coding problem. I love keeping those math skills flexible! 
(Here's one that is super easy once you see the mathematical pattern!) 





One drawback is that it's not easy for those just beginning. I had some knowledge of Python going into these challenges, which helped in my enjoyment. Consider CodeWars as a way to level up if you have some base knowledge but are looking for a fun (and free!) way to continue to gain coding skills. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

From the Classroom to Data Science

Ever since I was in 10th grade, I’ve wanted to teach high school math. I was one of the lucky few who knew exactly what my major would be upon entering college. And it was exactly the right path for me. After college, I taught for five years in a public school in the county where I grew up. Then, wanting to leave Michigan and begin life in a new place, I scored a job at a private school in Colorado. Seven years later and my family (created in Colorado) signed up for a new adventure teaching and living at a boarding school in rural New York. Little did I know that last school year in New York would be the hardest of my career.  As I struggled with the decision of whether to stay or leave and completely change my career, there were so many “what ifs” that ran through my mind.  Would this decision be on my mind if I hadn’t struggled through a year of teaching during a pandemic?  Would I want so desperately to move back to Colorado if I had formed a community or felt fully welcomed into th

Using NLP with Classification Models

Problem Statement: Meredith's National Media Group reaches more than 180 million unduplicated American consumers every month, including over 80 percent of U.S. millennial women. Meredith is the No. 1 magazine operator in the U.S., and owner of the largest premium content digital network for American consumers. They are interested in marketing to parents, especially given that Parents Magazine is one of their most popular publications. It is believed that differentiating between pregnant people and those beyond pregnancy will help the marketing team to develop future campaigns that can be more directed. My work aims to come up with a way to distinguish between these two groups and the types of things that people in those groups post about to give information to the Marketing team at Meredith’s Corporation. I will develop multiple classification models, including a RandomForest, KNearestNeighbors, and LogisticRegression, and I will try ensembling as well to attempt to improve my mod

Allocation of Funds for Addiction in the United States

Overview :  The number of Americans suffering from addiction is steadily increasing and many agencies and departments throughout the federal government work to distribute funds across the nation to assist those Americans who are addicted as well as to prevent others from becoming addicts. SAMHSA is one of these agencies, housed under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service, whose mission is "to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities" [ source ]. That said, like every government agency, there are limited resources and time that SAMHSA has and we aim to assist in SAMHSA making the greatest impact in the shortest time possible. Last year, SAMHSA distributed its' grant funding based on the percent of the US population that resides in a particular state; however, our analysis found that this metric does not line up with states that have high crude rates (deaths per 100,000) indiciating that this vital funding is not reachin