On his blog, Karthik Balakrishnan wrote:
My interest in competitive programming dwindled pretty quickly and eventually I stopped doing it all together.
Until I discovered Advent of Code.
The whole article describes exactly how I feel, except I'd never even tried competitive programming before. The very thought of it fills me with dread — or at least it did until, like Karthik, I was turned on to AoC when I was at the Recurse Center. I enjoyed it so much I looked forward to it all this year, and I was delighted when December finally came around.
I liked this too:
As time goes by, I see this becoming more a battle of who can keep the cadence of doing this every day (instead of within minutes/hours).
So far this year I've been hustling to solve each problem as fast as I can. At some point (and to be honest I'm not there yet) I will settle into a "cadence" where I take the time each day to savor the feeling of methodically solving a problem and learning stuff along the way. This will happen naturally as the problems get harder, kind of the way New York Times crosswords get harder throughout the week. I get a different kind of pleasure from a Saturday puzzle than I do from a Monday puzzle.