stick with it

That last saga of finishing that medium difficuty HackerRank problem made me remember why I love programming so much. It’s like a drug, at least, the feeling you get when you finally solve that problem or fix that bug. It doesn’t matter what you put yourself through, how much time you waste, or how much you bang your head against the desk. That feeling of accomplishment is worth it all. It’s like a high. It’s addictive.

In preperation for interview season, I decided to shake off the rust on my coding problems. The last time I remember doing one-off coding questions like these was when I was a Junior in high school. I had a brief stint where I did most of advent of code, then USACO, and then picoCTF 1. I got super into solving these problems, and I had a few friends who would do these with me, and I’ll admit, were also I lot better than me. I would get stuck on these puzzles for hours, just thinking through and trying solutions. That feeling of finally solving a problem, espicially after a lot of thought, trial, and error, was so satisfying.

I don’t consider myself anywhere near the most naturally gifted programmer. However, something that I’ve always prided myself on is my ability to stick with problems and solve them. I don’t quit easily. Most of these problems, or programming challenges in general, I won’t put down until I’ve understood and solved it. But that’s what I believe makes a great programmer. Yes, there obviously needs to be ability and skills that are built overtime through practice and experience, but the desire to stick with a challenging problem is almost as equally important.


  1. I know, picoCTF isn’t algorithmic coding problems, but they were still technological puzzles that I became addicted to solving.