Advent of Code 2018 Introduction

A brief overview of Advent of Code and why I’m writing about it.

Since 2015, Eric Wastl has produced the excellent Advent of Code, described as:

Advent calendar of small programming puzzles for a variety of skill sets and skill levels that can be solved in any programming language you like. People use them as a speed contest, interview prep, company training, university coursework, practice problems, or to challenge each other

I have completed each year so far and it is an absolute highlight of the advent season! Advent of Code provides an excellent opportunity to learn, practice, challenge yourself and, most importantly, have fun programming and solving problems. Furthermore, there is a great community surrounding the event at /r/adventofcode of newbies and experienced programmers alike.

I am aware that ,at the time of writing, it is March 2019 and that March 2019 != December 2018. I did complete the challenge as expected during December (though it is available all year) and put my solutions up on GitHub. However, I wanted to show my thought process, promote Advent of Code and hopefully (🤞) help others learn. To this end, I shall be posting a breakdown of my solutions to all of the Advent of Code 2018 puzzles over the course of some indeterminate period of time 😄.

I encourage everyone to give Advent of Code a try - there’s plenty of time to practice on the previous events before 2019!

If you do want to try it in Python, I’d love for you to check out a small side project of mine: aocpy - a CLI tool to fetch input, submit answers and generate boilerplate code files for solving Advent of Code. It’s fully open source, so issues and pull requests are welcomed!

Finally, a huge thank you to Eric for all of the time and effort he puts in to make Advent of Code - if you enjoy it please consider supporting him by purchasing AoC++.

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