The Challenge

During May 2012, I challenged people everywhere to code a small project using a language or environment that was new to them or that they had only casually messed around with.

Possible options suggested were: Python, Django, Bottle, Pyramid, Ruby, Rails, Sinatra, Java, ASP.NET, PHP, Objective-C, PhoneGap, Flex, or any other.

In mid-May, I encouraged participants to return here and share their project, tell us about their experience, and what this challenge taught them.

Why this challenge?

My good friend and fellow nGeneer, Jeff Croft, had kicked off a conversation about a specific programming language and how awful it is. This led to the topic that most coders stick to what they know. Digging deeper, several people commented that more of us should try new languages and/or frameworks and broaden our perspective to allow us to make better informed decisions about the tools we choose for building things.

Stories

Eugenio Fage

Recorded on June 17th, 2012

  • Usual code: PHP (cakePHP)
  • Challenge code: nodeJS

Long time ago ive hear that you could do really cool things using nodeJS. So i take courage and star learning to code my first app.

I...

Gavin Blair

Recorded on June 7th, 2012

  • Usual code: PHP
  • Challenge code: Node.js

I built a dice roller in Node.js. It was very interesting working with event-driven server-side programming.

We had a...

Larz Conwell

Recorded on May 29th, 2012

  • Usual code: Ruby/Rails, Shell
  • Challenge code: JavaScript

I'm used to a framework that handles most of the low level stuff like data management, and I've usually only touched on JavaScript to...

Martin Brennan

Recorded on May 26th, 2012

  • Usual code: VB.NET, ASP.NET, MSSQL
  • Challenge code: PHP, mySQL

As suggested I built something simple to start learning PHP and mySQL with, a to-do list application. I also used this project to further...

Zaid Pirwani

Recorded on May 22nd, 2012

  • Usual code: C Embedded Systems (AVR/PIC)
  • Challenge code: C# VS2010

I never knew making a simple GUI Application would require this much attention to details and have so many issues.

Got my first...

Max

Recorded on May 21st, 2012

  • Usual code: JavaScript, PHP
  • Challenge code: Ruby (Sinatra)

Truth be told, I've been rather a web designer and not a developer working with JavaScript and PHP every now and then so far, so I didn't...

Rene R.

Recorded on May 16th, 2012

  • Usual code: JavaScript, C#
  • Challenge code: Bottle

I decided to try this challenge out by writing all the suggestions on a makeshift dartboard and throwing a pencil at it to choose what I...

Fred Boyle

Recorded on May 16th, 2012

  • Usual code: PHP, Python/Django
  • Challenge code: Rails

Decided to keep it simple and not get to fancy so I built the story submission system for the code challenge in Rails.

I chose Rails...