Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Taking A Break

No, it's not what you think! :D

Some time ago (January 2012, to be more precise), I started working on the very first problem on Project Euler. It was a lot of fun and I felt like I was playing a game. I finished the first problem, read the next and then abandoned Project Euler for lack of time. But I kept thinking about it.

And then I read Aja Hammerly's slides from last night's Seattle Ruby Brigade monthly meeting. Seattle.rb is having a programming contest to see who can complete the most Project Euler problems in the month of May. You can see where this is headed...

I signed up. So much time had passed since the last time I signed on to the PE site that I had to ask for the little username reminder email. Immediately after I crtl-v'd Aja's friend code into the little box I regretted it. How on earth would I find the time to work on this? Wasn't time the thing that had kept me away for the past two (plus) years?

I mulled on this all morning at work and then it hit me. I have been lamenting how short my lunch breaks are and how they aren't really enough time to get any significant project work done. (Particularly since I have no access to wi-fi at work and no place to secure my laptop when I'm not on a break.) But thirty minutes is a fairly decent amount of time to spend with a little pseudo code or an algorithm. Thirty minutes a day for five days a week is even better. ((rubs hands together with an excited grin)) I can take a break and do something at the same time!

This isn't to say that I expect to have a real chance at winning. But the rules of the contest require that at least ten people participate, so even if I get just a few solved this month, I'll be contributing to the quorum needed for there to be a winner. That's worth making time for. (That and playing with code is just plain fun!)

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