James Stanley

Protohackers: a new server programming challenge

Tue 23 August 2022
Tagged: protohackers, software

For the last couple of weeks I've been working on Protohackers, which is a programming challenge where you have to implement a server for a network protocol, and your server is automatically checked to see if it works properly. It's a bit like Advent of Code, but for networking instead of algorithms.

Currently only the "Smoke Test" problem is available. This problem is intended to make sure you have your networking setup sorted out, so that you can deploy a program that accepts connections and receives and sends data.

If you are having trouble getting the Smoke Test to pass please ask for help! I want to see you succeed. I expect the most likely source of frustration is firewall configuration, but if you are just not familiar with your favourite language's networking libraries, I'll lend a hand with that too.

The next problem will be released on Thursday at 17:00 UTC (18:00 in the UK) and my plan from then is to release a new one every ~2 weeks, but this could change based on user feedback.

Please take a look, tell your friends, and have a go at the smoke test.

Most importantly: if you think this is your kind of thing, tell me what you think about it, and what you would like to see changed. The project is currently in a larval stage, and feedback given at this time will have an outsized impact on the direction of future growth.

The link again is: https://protohackers.com/.

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