I really like Medium’s weekly digest. It keeps providing me with great articles. A few weeks back there was one with advice from a young girl developer, and (among other pretty solid advice) there was a mention of a certain CodeWars. First time I heard of it. This was Thursday evening.

On Sunday I had 50 or so kata behind me and I was challenging an 1kyu one. It’s really addictive, because I just keep pushing the “next kata” button and can’t rest until I’ve dealt with it. However, this approach doesn’t work if I wanted to solve 5 kata a day as advised, because the algo keeps giving me harder and harder challenges, and even “easier” ones end up taking a few hours.

Needless to say, after a full workday and going to the gym, if I spent 8 more hours honing my skills at CodeWars, I’d end up with no sleep whatsoever. And that’s really not good.

There’s the manual way though, where I can just filter 6-8kyu katas, which I usually can solve pretty quickly. This way has the big advantage that I can check the kata’s description before actually challenging it, while the automatic way throws me in the deep water without warning.

It’s a big advantage because 5kyu and below, more and more problems are less about using the language I’m training in, than knowing occasionally pretty obscure maths. Impression is that some CS students are just copying exercises out of their textbooks (I’m not joking, a certain kata-maker’s problems are almost all out of a certain textbook) – without context, and of course without the whole chapter of explanation preceding it in the book. It can take lots of googling to find the pieces of the puzzle.

I was under the impression that CodeWars was about practising programming languages, so it feels wrong that “difficult” problems’ only difficulty lies in finding the one-line maths formula to solve it, instead of practical difficulty in implementing something in a given language. Some problems I cleared by translating solutions in other programming languages I found online. I’ll post my own solutions to problems I found particularly difficult – maybe it’ll help others.