Some helpful sites
March 6, 2010 10:58 PM   Subscribe

Stackoverflow is great for getting questions answered, but sometimes I want to fix up someone else's code, or learn Python by doing, or solve some language-agnostic puzzles, even if they're meant for high schoolers or undergraduates. Sometimes I try to wrap my mind around some incomprehensible or deceptively comprehensible programs. Sometimes I want to write Haskell in C++ or one- liners in Python.
posted by d. z. wang (14 comments total) 130 users marked this as a favorite
I've been looking for something like this, then you came along and posted them all. Thank you very much!
posted by wz at 11:04 PM on March 6, 2010

Project Euler is very awesome--I learned quite a bit of math through that thing.

And in relation to it, I'm now fond of saying, "When thou knowest no mathematics, thou prayest desperately at the altar of C and assembly."
posted by movicont at 11:24 PM on March 6, 2010 [2 favorites]

Dooooooooooood... what?
posted by MeatLightning at 11:48 PM on March 6, 2010

For the lazy, if not for completeness: the link to stackoverflow.
posted by moz at 11:49 PM on March 6, 2010

Don't forget The DailyWTF and it's Bring Your Own Code section. Inspired by programming praxis, a programming challenge website.

Some very good suggestions, @d. z. wang !
posted by cofie at 1:15 AM on March 7, 2010

I couldn't program my way down from atop a cone of ice surrounded by a moat of beer drenched nymphets myself afire and wielding the blessed Staff of Aesculapius so I checked the "High Schoolers" link first. It wants a login and password. That I can do:

UserName: vapidav1
Password: 39vfr2p

Courtesy of Lincoln High, class of 82. (Rules)
posted by vapidave at 2:05 AM on March 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

The truly evil deceptively comprehensible C programs must be hard to debug. I'm imagining something like a program that would shut down internal fans and run the processor at full blast until the inside of your computer melts. Don't forget to back it up before testing it!
posted by Salvor Hardin at 4:10 AM on March 7, 2010


I'm already loving the Python Challenge. Cheers, OP!
posted by Xany at 7:11 AM on March 7, 2010

I've been collecting these too:
Rosetta Code: How to solve problems in different languages
Code Golf: How to solve problems in the least number of keystrokes
Anarchy Golf: Where to practice your code golf
Code Kata: What problems are useful for practicing on
Esoteric Languages: Why would you do this?
posted by wobh at 8:06 AM on March 7, 2010 [4 favorites]

In the same vein as Project Euler, Online Judge is a site with thousands of problems you can attempt solving.
posted by ymgve at 10:43 AM on March 7, 2010

There's no sense in using anyone else's log-in to the USACO training pages (the "high schoolers" link). It's an absolutely excellent resource, but one that requires you to submit (your own) solutions that work before letting you advance to later, more advanced problems.

That, by the way, is probably the best place to go if you want to start learning algorithmic problem solving. They also run contests in case you want to match wits with the best high school programmers in the world.
posted by parudox at 12:23 PM on March 7, 2010

vapidave: "UserName: vapidav1
Password: 39vfr2p

Courtesy of Lincoln High, class of 82. (Rules)

Do you mean you did the USACO in 82? Wow!
posted by d. z. wang at 12:26 PM on March 7, 2010

I'd like to recommend the free Creative Commons-licensed book "Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python" at

The way it teaches programming (in Python, aimed at kids and complete beginners) is different; it shows the complete source code for small games (Tic Tac Toe, Othello, Hangman, etc.) and teaches programming concepts from the examples.

It's also completely free to download, and a print version will soon be available.
posted by AlSweigart at 11:45 AM on March 9, 2010

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