So the lights are up across London, the weather is atrocious and the trains are going nowhere fast; so it must be time to think about the Advent of Code. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, this is a fantastic set of 25 puzzles released one by one every day in December until Christmas Day.
Jesse Clark and I spoke about gamification within Alteryx at Inspire London this year. One of the ways I like to have fun with it is finding challenges which are fun to attempt to solve within the platform. The weekly challenges are a great set, but these are curated specifically for Alteryx. In the Advent of Code, the challenges are general programming problems that start off easy and get progressively harder and harder.
Alteryx is in many ways like a programming language, this naturally led Adam Riley to suggest last year that we try doing the Advent of Code in it. It was a lot of fun if very challenging. Following some very late additional solves Patrick Digan is leading the real Alteryx entries:
The rules for playing are straight forward – solve the puzzle each day as quickly as you can using Alteryx. Nowadays Alteryx lets you lots of extra things so we need a few constraints – at London the ACE’s nicked-named this rules BaseA:
- No RunCommand tool
- No Python tool
- No R tool
- No SDK based Custom Tools (macros are fine)
- No Formula SDK extensions
- Download tool allowed for downloading (no posting to APIs to get answers from!)
Thanks to Sam for our logo.
Last year, some of the puzzles were beyond our capabilities with these constraints but many were perfectly solvable. If you want to read a retrospective of solving them, I wrote a post here.
Come Join Us
So as we start another year’s challenges, I invite you to come join us and see who can be the Alteryx user to achieve a perfect 25 Gold Stars.
You can join the Alteryx leaderboard by going to https://adventofcode.com/2019/leaderboard/private and using the code
453066-ca912f80. Last year, we chatted on twitter but it might be easier to chat on the Alteryx Community where we can share problems and solutions.