Codewars is a software development site where users can solve programming problems known as “katas.” Dave Thomas, co-author of “The Pragmatic Programmer,” one of the industry’s most well-known publications, coined the term in 1999. Programming katas, like martial arts katas, are designed to assist programmers to polish their skills via practice and repetition.
Kata practice does, of course, necessitate some free time and a rigorous approach, but it is also extremely gratifying and enjoyable.
Check out my list of reasons why I think you should give codewars a shot.
1. Get out of your comfort zone
Despite the fact that programming is one of the most mentally taxing jobs, and every problem we encounter is unique, we usually begin by applying the same tools and patterns to all of them.
That isn’t necessarily a negative thing for the firm you work for, as long as the job gets done, but it can be destructive to you.
Katas allows you to step outside of your programming comfort zone and attempt new things without fear of failing. Yes, go there and fail a few times; you’ll undoubtedly get a lot of knowledge!
2. Learn a new programming language
Doing katas backward is a fantastic approach to start learning a new language since it forces you to read the documentation and implement the solutions on your own. Reading is always preferable to doing!
You can begin with the easiest (8KYU) jobs and progress to more difficult ones. You can start developing little pet projects once you’ve gained enough confidence in the new language.
3. Refresh your high school maths
Some of the katas will necessitate some basic algebra or geometry. I needed to refresh my math abilities because it had been a long since I’d done one, but then I learned how much fun it is to engage your brain in a different way than you normally do in your day-to-day job.
4. Learn from other people (and teach them)
The cool thing about codewars is that completing the kata isn’t the end of the game. You can then look at other people’s solutions, discuss them, and upvote them. It can be discouraging to learn that your 50-line solution could be accomplished in just three LOCs, but on the other hand, it can teach you some helpful programming ideas and tactics.
5. Compete with your friends & colleagues
The Codewars platform was designed with gamification in mind: for each kata you complete, you get points (also known as “honor”). You gain a higher level (a.k.a. “kyu”) after accumulating the required number of points. It’s exciting to watch your numbers increase over time!
It’s even more enjoyable if you form a codewars clan with your coworkers or friends and begin competing against one another. You feel as if you’re all playing a game together, but you’re also learning a lot. It’s a win-win situation!