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Get to Know Advent of Code

00:00 Yeah, definitely. As you say, Advent of Code is something that’s been running for many years by now, and it lives on the adventofcode.com internet page. The whole Advent calendar was started back in 2015 by a guy called Eric Wastl, and he’s been doing fantastic stuff on this site since then.

00:18 So by now, every December there’s some two, three hundred thousand people participating in Advent of Code.

00:25 As you said, Advent of Code is an Advent calendar where there are small programming puzzles that test your skills every day. And one of the cool things with these puzzles is that you can solve them in any programming language.

00:36 So today we’ll be using Python, but you can use really anything that you want to solve these puzzles because as you’ll see later, you’ll just get some puzzle and puzzle input, and then you just need to figure out what’s the answer for your code.

00:49 So you only input the answer, so you don’t show any code to solve these puzzles. So that brings a lot of freedom for you.

00:57 And that means Advent of Code is a good event for you if you want to try out a new programming language besides Python to get a little bit into it. But yeah, since we are at realpython.com, let’s stick with Python for today.

01:12 Yes. Yeah, no, exactly. I’ve been using it to kind of practice some other programming languages as well, so it’s really fun. And one of the cool things is that because it’s so popular, you can always find other people doing the puzzles and kind of discuss with them your solutions and so on.

01:29 We do have a discussion forum like that in the Real Python community, but there’s also other places online where you can find these discussions.

01:38 And yeah, it starts on the first of December and goes until the twenty-fifth, like you said, like an Advent calendar.

01:45 The one for this year will be unlocked on the first of December only, but you can already go back to former events and do a bunch of puzzles. So I didn’t do the math, but it’s basically the ninth year running, and every time there are twenty-five puzzles.

02:02 And this gives you a big number—let’s say it like this, a big number—of coding puzzles that you can dive into. And today we want to dive into one as an example to show you how Advent of Code works because the general atmosphere—let’s say it like this—of the Advent of Code event is always very similar.

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