Kory’s 2023 Advent of Code

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I’ve never completed Advent of Code. Every year since 2019, I’ve started but never finished. I always get to the first really hard problem (usually on day 5) and stop.

I think that’s fine. Advent of Code is a lot like work, and I work enough. In fact, I hadn’t even considered doing Advent of Code this year until I told my good friend Michael Richardson that I was learning Rust and he asked, “Are you doing Advent of Code in Rust?

No, I am not doing Advent of Code in Rust. I think I would have an aneurism. Since my first (and only) language is JavaScript, I have a lot to learn about the ways of memory management.

But his question did get me thinking about it. I am unusually free this December—my wonderful wife Sydney is out advertising the Rockettes, which leaves me with a lot more free time than I was ever expecting to have. Plus, it kind of feels like a rite of passage—something everybody should do once.

And Santa needs me, damnit.

So I will do Advent of Code this year. I’ll keep all my progress at https://github.com/kory-smith/advents-of-code. And, win or fail, I’ll update this article with how I do. Onward!

Update 12/17/2023: I quit

I got to day 12. Day 12 was too difficult, so I planned to skip it and do day 13 first. I spent 2 hours on a solution to day 13, and my solution worked for the test input but not the real input. That was my final straw.

Before that, I spent probably 20 hours on Advent of Code problems. These problems were not easy for me. I don’t know why they were so hard for me, exactly. The problems mostly revolved around parsing some input and doing stuff with it. There were a lot of matrices.

I’m both bummed and relieved that I quit. On one hand, Advent of Code was making me miserable, and it’s stupid to do something that makes you miserable—especially willingly. Another part of me is disappointed in myself. I am not a genius. I wish I was. But instead of being a genius, I settle for being someone who works really, really hard. I see myself as someone who perseveres. And in this case, I did not persevere. That hurts my sense of self. But what I feel the most is relief, and I guess that’s what’s most important.