Friday, December 27, 2019

Advent of Code Wrap-up

After 25 nights of stowing a sleeping bag near the computer so I could wake up at midnight, Advent of Code has come to a close. I did much better in my second year, taking about 30 hours to finish every puzzle (vs. 38 last year).

Although the company competition goes until the end of the year to allow people to catch up, it's looking like I'll snag 2nd place and a $200 prize (vs. 4th place and $0 last year). This works out to about $6.67 per hour, which is more than I earned in my first internship at PEPCO in 1996. I was definitely helped by the vagaries of real life -- one top competitor had a new infant halfway through the month while another spent a week at the AWS re:Invent conference in Vegas with shoddy WiFi access.

As you can see from my times below, I managed to finish each night before going back to bed. I definitely regretted this on the day that took four and a half hours (I drove to the office directly afterwards).

I also made it onto the Global Leaderboard for the Day 25 puzzle, as the 84th fastest person in the world to finish. The puzzle involved solving a rudimentary text adventure game, so clearly it was in my wheelhouse.

I'm already looking forward to next year's competition. Maybe I'll cave to peer pressure and switch from Java to Python next time!

Update: An official 2nd place!

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