CodeFights

In a followup to my post about CodeWars and Coderbyte (two sites that offer coding practice problems), here are my notes on the latest site I’ve been using: CodeFights. CodeFights has several types of challenges, including quizzes, “Tourneys,” and “Head to Head” competitions, but I’ve been using only the the “Code Bots” feature so far.

I like the setup. Each challenge has three parts: one problem fixing broken code, one problem adding to partially written code, and one problem to solve from scratch. At the end, my scores are matched against a “bot” to see who won. It’s nice having a warmup to the hardest problem at the end, and I liked that I’m pushed to stay focused through three problems. The challenges I have finished so far are comfortably within my ability level, and completing each set unlocks a new (presumably harder? If so, the increase in difficulty is marginal) challenge.

I’ve found it user-friendly and glitch-free so far. Occasionally the instructions for problems are a little unclear.

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Codewars vs Coderbyte

For the past two weeks, I have been solving as many practice problems as I can manage in my spare time leading up to coding bootcamp admissions exams. The two sites I’ve mainly been using are Codewars and Coderbyte.

Codewars is a community-driven site that uses some gimmicky terms (“kata” are code challenges completed to achieve “rank”) to make the challenges feel like a special mission, I guess. The two downsides I found with Codewars were that I had trouble getting around at first (the interface is a little busy) and I had some glitches when I tried to submit my answers. The upside is that the challenges are sorted into eight different levels, so you don’t have to work on problems above or below your ability level.

Coderbyte challenges have a straightforward setup with easy, medium, and hard level problems. I have been working on the easy challenges, but have found a big range in difficulty. Some I could solve with only my knowledge from finishing the JavaScript track on Codecademy and a little Googling. Others were way beyond my ability level and I had to look at the provided solution. A very limited number of Coderbyte challenges are free. I invested in the $24 a month for access to more questions and the solutions (though sometimes users had better solutions than the site provided.) The membership fee also gives access to bootcamp study guides, which I found very helpful.

Overall, I’ve mainly stuck with Coderbyte for its reliability and simplicity, but turned to Codewars for a change of pace, when needed.