Will Project Euler Finally Make Me a Codeslinger?


Hello, my name is P. J. and I'm codephobic.

That might be overstating the case, but not by much. You see, I've attempted for decades to program in everything from FORTRAN to Perl; with only a few exceptions, I've given up about half an hour after "Hello World." Until recently, I've assumed much of the blame for that, but what if I had tried a better teaching method than "Learn C++ in 5 Hours" or similar titles?

Well maybe there is a better way. I don't normally read The Atlantic for technology tips, but I stumbled across something on its website recently that I'm tempted to try, as a last-ditch effort to fix the gaping hole in my skill set.


As this piece describes, Project Euler is an effort to teach people programming skills through "play" that's focused on solving mathematical problems, instead of structured exercises. I'm going to give Euler a whirl this summer and take advantage of the longer days and the publishing schedule to see if I really am a lost cause, or if there is a coder buried deep inside me just waiting to burst forth.