The idea of Programming Puzzles & Code Golf is excellent. Putting-out challenges, submitting your take on the solution, receiving feedback. But it seems to be mainly code golf, and this then just seems to be a 'race to the bottom' for all the 'golfing languages'. These languages are great, but lets try to think about things through the lens of the beginner programmer for a moment...
What's the biggest thing a beginner programmer is lacking?
- Textbooks? No.
- Feedback? No - Stack Exchange has this covered.
- Tutorials? No. - The internet has this covered.
- Practice? YES
Absolute beginners need practice. To quote the Code Kata site:
How do you get to be a great musician? It helps to know the theory, and to understand the mechanics of your instrument. It helps to have talent. But ultimately, greatness comes from practicing; applying the theory over and over again, using feedback to get better every time.
Languages like Java, or C++ are daunting for beginners. Especially 'self-taughts' who won't have the benefit of being thrown in at the deep end at a software company. Code golf isn't going to help - all those golfing languages? Fish? BrainF*ck? Eh? But code kata WILL help.
People can submit challenges, give them a [beginner|intermediate|advanced|whatever] rating. Then people can work away at them in their own time, submit their answers, share, discuss, receive constructive feedback...
How do we implement this into Programming Puzzles & Code Golf? Change the title to Code Kata, Puzzles & Golf?
I think PP&CG could be an excellent platform for beginners. I think this is the niche that desperately needs to be filled right now!
I have never commented on META before, so if there's anyone here that can help promote this (or however this works), I'd be grateful.