Advent of Code

Christmas, Christmas, Christmas…. Well its Christmas time, pretty lady and code is falling to the ground! (Christmas Chronicles anyone? My girls loved this scene)

Yes its that time of year when we all have get competitive and have a great time playing against each other across the world. We are already moaning here in the UK as its well against us here with the release time of the challenges, 5am. But I am not doing to bad after the first day of Advent. I can guarantee with the week I have ahead, I will not be anywhere near 10th so I am going to take this small victory whilst I can. 🙂

Advent of Code Website

he Private Leaderboard

Why should I take part in AoC?

  • Fun
  • Challenging
  • The theme is always great for playing along, this year’s theme is SPACE
  • You can complete it in any programming language you like
  • You can complete it in Alteryx
  • You can try and complete it in Alteryx using BaseA (see below)
  • You can join a leaderboard with the ACEs and beat us! It’s all down to timing… you could wake up at 5am UK time and smash it out.

What on earth is BaseA?

There is a concept amongst ACEs that I want to let you in on, called “BaseA”. This is when you complete a challenge like “Advent of Code” without using code, such as Python, R or the Run Command tool, no SDK usage or using the download tool to get answers from an API as these make doing these challenge far easier. Therefore they are BANNED. It is achieving these challenges using Alteryx core tools that allows us to get our heads around the problem in a different way. It also helps us push Alteryx as far as it can go. More info on James Dunkerley’s post.

So you are a first timer… how do you get started?

Firstly log in to the leaderboard, set up by our very own James Dunkerley: https://adventofcode.com/2019/leaderboard/private/view/453066 using the code: 453066-ca912f80 under the join a leaderboard page, looks like this:

Then you have to view it to see the wonderful stats as above.

Once you are linked in to the leaderboard and logged on via Twitter, GitHub or Reddit. You can then get started on the puzzles.

Now lets look at a puzzle, no I am not going to give you any answers! But there may be clues, so if you are not wanting any tips at all, please stop reading. Come back when you are done, good on you!

ARE YOU SURE?

Welcome to my NOT so HIDDEN Mickey

Well you have scrolled this far because you are after some tips with Part 2 of Day 1, because the first part is simple maths, which is explained in the text.

Puzzle – Part 1
Puzzle – Part 2

Part 2 – however requires some thought and for those who are not strong in macros, you may feel like you have fallen at the first hurdle. However I am going to point you to some really useful resources to help you out, all can be found on our fantastic Alteryx Community.

Treyson’s post on macros here is really useful: https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Engine-Works-Blog/Hello-Iterative-Macro-My-Old-Friend/ba-p/420308

Weekly Challenge #12 – Creating a HR Hierarchy: https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Weekly-Challenge/Challenge-12-Creating-an-HR-Hierarchy/td-p/36740

A post by PaulT that has some great info and visuals to support those who love visuals: https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alteryx-Designer-Knowledge-Base/How-create-an-Iterative-Macro-The-Collatz-Conjecture-Alteryx/ta-p/108830

I hope these get you started and enjoying Advent of Code, its great to learn, push yourselves and achieve something you never thought possible. If you find it too easy, try again in Python or R and challenge your friends.

Enjoy this years Advent of Code, see you on the leaderboard!

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