2023: Introduction


Ella Kaye


November 25, 2023

After a three-year hiatus from working through the puzzles around when they’re published, I’m very much looking forward to taking on the challenges daily this December. My excitement levels are such that, in anticipation, I’ve built this new website and made a template version of it should others wish to have a similar site. I’ve also written an accompanying R package, aochelpers, to make it incredibly easy to set up new listings and posts, to get the puzzle input from the Advent of Code website and to read it in to R. As I work through this year’s challenges, I anticipate adding functions to the package that are useful for solving the puzzles.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve started experimenting with using LLMs, mostly GitHub Copilot as integrated into RStudio, and a bit of ChatGPT. I’m intrigued about what I can learn from these tools, the ways in which they might help me develop my coding and software development skills. So far, I’ve found them helpful at times, frustrating at others. So, this year, I’m going to use Advent of Code as an opportunity to explore the use of these tools further, and to reflect on that experience. As per the instruction on the Advent of Code website, I am not going to use AI to get on the leaderboard. Eric comments there that “I feel like it’s harder to get better at programming if you ask an AI to do the programming for you.” I don’t want AI to do all the programming for me, but I do think I can actually get better at coding from judicious use of these tools. Let’s see!

This year I participated in a book club to learn C. I didn’t get very far, but I’d like to keep practicing, and so may also attempt to solve some of the puzzles this year in C.