Coding Problems for Homework

“Coding Homework” is a small website that I have built to list small problems that one can work on, to learn how to use a new programming language. For example, small problems requiring to read from a file, or to use regular expressions, how to find duplicate files in a folder, and so on.

Note that the problems listed on the site is not for testing your algorithm skills, there are many sites for that already.

This list was inspired by repeated requests and suggestions from readers of A Byte of Python for homework problems at the end of each chapter to exercise the skills they have just learned. So I thought why not make it applicable to any language and multiple programming skill levels. And it’s a good topic that can be collaboratively worked on with the programming community, à la Stack Overflow.

All the content will be licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 India License so that anybody can reuse this content, especially in classroom situations.

Screenshot of "Coding Problems for Homework" website

I also had my own specific goals when implementing this side project:

  1. Solve the lack of “homework problems” for people to exercise their programming skills, especially in the context of learning a new programming language.
    • I am not trying to replace existing lists but rather focus on making the reader active (providing exercise problems) than letting him/her be passive (reading code listings).
  2. Learn how to do website layouts, specifically how to use YUI Grids CSS.
  3. Learn how to pick colors for website design; ColorCombos turned out to be useful.
  4. Learn to use Google App Engine.

It has been a fun side-project, spending a few hours here and there. It is very far from polished, but the basic functionality works. There is still more to do — adding a search functionality, conforming to standard UI design patterns, caching for the rendered HTML (from Markdown), optimizing the housekeeping code, and so on.

This site itself is a good example on the kind of problems that beginners can work on, but they would not know what kind of problems they can solve and what level of expertise (beginner / intermediate / advanced) would be needed. That is where this list of problems can help.

I request you to spend 5 minutes of your creativity to add a few problems so that beginners and intermediate level folks will have interesting problems to test their learning of a new programming language. Thanks!

It might be helpful to you as well when you’re going to play around with functional languages (Haskell, Erlang, etc.), funky new languages (Ioke), or new languages by big companies (Go).


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Jamie Larson