2022’s Geeky ‘Advent Calendars’ Tempt Programmers with Coding Challenges and Tips

“The Perl Advent Calendar has come a long way since it’s first year in 2000,” says an announcement on Reddit. But in fact the online world now has many daily advent calendars aimed at programmers — offering tips about their favorite language or coding challenges.

  • The HTMHell site — which bills itself as “a collection of bad practices in HTML, copied from real websites” — decided to try publishing 24 original articles for their 2022 HTMHell Advent Calendar. Elsewhere on the way there’s the Web Performance Calendar, promising daily articles for speed geeks. And the 24 Days in December blog comes to life every year with new blog posts for PHP users.
  • The JVM Advent Calendar brings a new article daily about a JVM-related topic. And there’s also a C# Advent calendar promising two new blog posts about C# every day up to (and including) December 25th.
  • The Perl Advent Calendar offers fun stories about Perl tools averting December catastrophes up at the North Pole. (Day One’s story — “Silent Mite” — described Santa’s troubles building software for a ninja robot alien toy, since its embedded hardware support contract prohibited unwarrantied third-party code, requiring a full code rewrite using Perl’s standard library.) Other stories so far this December include “Santa is on GitHub” and “northpole.cgi
  • The code quality/security software company SonarSource has a new 2022 edition of their Code Security Advent Calendar — their seventh consecutive year — promising “daily challenges until December 24th. Get ready to fill your bag of security tricks!” (According to a blog post the challenges are being announced on Twitter and on Mastadon.
  • 24 Pull Requests” dares participants to make 24 pull requests before December 24th. (The site’s tagline is “giving back to open source for the holidays.”) Over the years tens of thousands of developers (and organizations) have participated — and this year they’re also encouraging organizers to hold hack events.
  • For 2022 Oslo-based Bekk Consulting (a “strategic internet consulting company”) is offering an advent calendar of their own. A blog post says its their sixth annual edition, and promises “new original articles, podcasts, tutorials, listicles and videos every day up until Christmas Eve… all written and produced by us – developers, designers, project managers, agile coaches, management consultants, specialists and generalists.”

Whether you participate or not, the creation of programming-themed advent calendar sites is a long-standing tradition among geeks, dating back more than two decades. (Last year Smashing magazine tried to compile an exhaustive list of the various sites serving all the different developer communities.)

But no list would be complete without mentioning Advent of Code. This year’s programming puzzles involve everything from feeding Santa’s reindeer and loading Santa’s sleigh. The site’s About page describes it as “an Advent calendar of small programming puzzles for a variety of skill sets and skill levels that can be solved in any programming language you like.”

Now in its eighth year, the site’s daily two-part programmig puzzles have a massive online following. This year’s Day One puzzle was solved by 178,628 participants…

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