I just recently listened to another episode of the Talk Python to me podcast. The guest, Alexander Lyabah, presented his project check.io. Check.io is a platform where you can solve coding challenges to become a better programmer. The different challenges are placed on islands you can visit. Some of these challenges are fairly simple but every island contains some really hard ones.

Find the exit of a labyrinth

The cool thing is, that every challenge is carefully designed. There are pictures and sometimes there is even a little widget that lets you test your code on the fly. An example would be an algorithm that has to find the exit of a labyrinth.

labyrinth_checkio

Check.io gives you the labyrinth and you have to give the answer in the form of steps (North, South, West, East). You can then let check.io assert your code or you can test your code by yourself. The cool thing is that everything runs in your browser. Here is a short video that shows you how to use the “Try It” for the labyrinth challenge.

Empire of Code – a “real” game

Check.io currently has challenges for Python and JavaScript programmers. The island differ slightly but it is fun in both languages. However the python community is a little bit bigger at the moment. This becomes important in the latest project on the website: Empire of code. This is a real game that lets you create a base and units to fight other players. Early in the game you have to choose your side: Python or JavaScript. From there on you can solve coding challenges to get special upgrades and resources in the game. On top of that you can program the behaviour of your turrets and units. Several years ago I thought about such a game, too, but never came around to make it a reality. Empire of Code does all of that really well. Here is a screenshot of my base:

empireofcode_small
Empire of Code

Join the community

I really like check.io and I wish that more people would join. There are already several interesting and creative solutions to the challenges but this would only increase with more people. To give you a little challenge: I am currently at level 9 on JavaScript and level 3 on Python. Especially in JavaScript you currently have the chance to become #1 on the leaderboard.

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