December 3, 2020 by Kenneth Fisher
Christmas. Depending on where you live it’s a big deal even if you aren’t Christian. It pervades almost every aspect of life. And this year it’s going to seep into your professional life. How? I want you to do an Advent calendar. If you’ve never heard of them an Advent calendar is a mini gift each day leading up to Christmas. I’ll be honest that’s about all I know about Advent calendars. I’m sure there’s more to it than that but this is a SQL blog not a religious one so I’m not doing a whole lot of research on the subject.
So what Advent calendar has something to do with SQL? The Advent of Code! For each of the first 25 days of December there is a two part programming challenge. These challenges are Christmas themed and can be fairly amusing. They are also some of the best put together programming puzzles I’ve seen. For example for day one you were given a list of numbers. The challenge was to find the one combination where two numbers could be added together to get 2020. Then you had to return the product of those two numbers. Not overly difficult with SQL but remember that these are programming challenges. Some will favor SQL some won’t. Once you’ve input the correct answer you’ll get part two of the challenge for the day.
Here’s what I want you to do. Participate in at least 10-20 days. And that’s both parts of the puzzle. If you feel like stretching yourself a bit give it a shot in multiple languages. Studying Python? Do it with both T-SQL and Python. Powershell? Give that a shot too. Each language has it’s strengths and weaknesses. Try to play to the strength of each language.