January 26, 2014
My new coding workout
I’m not going to detail the web-surfing path which led me to discover exercism.io, but I am going to explain why I like it.
The concept is this:
exercism by itself is a small command line utility. When you run
exercism fetch it gets you a programming exercise, which amounts to a
README file and a test suite. The website describes how to set up the command line utility, and how to run the tests in each language supported. It uses GitHub for authentication and to serve the activities; I suspect there’s some git involved in storing the completed solutions as well.
The interesting part is what you do once you have the activities. You don’t just write code to make the tests pass, although you could. You submit your code to the site, and people who have previously completed the activity critique it. There’s a lot of effort put into emphasizing that this should be constructive criticism, and so far it looks like it has been. You get to respond to the criticism or iterate your solution to incorporate it (hence the constructive criticism; it’s more like you’re workshopping your code than being graded on it).
Currently 12 languages are supported, mostly of the “trendy” variety. Perl5 is offered but not PHP. Go, Clojure, Haskell and Scala are offered but not Java or C.