Jumping into the Julia Community via Advent Of Code

Learning a new language is a lot of fun when it comes with reindeer and peer support! Every December, thousands of developers take part in Advent of Code (AoC), a free, elf-themed series of 25 daily programming puzzles. These challenges ramp up in difficulty over the month, making it a great opportunity to try out Julia. The most valuable resource for learning and for developing confidence is the Julia AoC community on Twitter and Zulip, a welcoming space to explore the richness of the language.

Advent of Code (AoC) is a free, annual online programming event featuring daily puzzles every December 1st-25th. These two-part puzzles start with basic programming concepts, and ramp up in difficulty over the course of the month. Although there is a competitive aspect to solving each puzzle before the other 100,000 participants, people from all sorts of backgrounds join for all sorts of reasons.

I wrote my first lines of Julia code to solve Day 1 of Advent of Code 2020. I shared my solutions on Twitter, and discovered the Julia community is quick to provide encouragement, and happy to give constructive feedback appropriate to your level of familiarity with the language! As the event continued, my favorite part of the day quickly became checking in to see how others in the Julia community solved that day's problem. On some days, I learned something new and was able to improve on my own approach. On other days, I discovered I'd tackled the challenge the same way as experienced Julia users, instilling me with confidence in my new-found abilities.