Do you think codewars and similar sites are a good use of time?

Tl;dr at the bottom! is a site that tests your algorithm creating skills similar to Free Code Camp’s algorithm challenges. That are many similar sites out there that gamify the challenges to varying degrees.

I recently came across a comment elsewhere that said sites like codewars may teach you how to code, but don’t really teach you how to build software. The author elaborated that such sites aren’t bad, but it’s always better to just build something because you’ll better understand how things work better at a deeper level and you’ll have more experience with real-world applications.

While I agree with that comment, it left me wondering how I should be using my free time, especially as someone working full-time in a position unrelated to coding. I spend most of my coding time doing Free Code Camp projects, but I sometimes like to do codewars on days I don’t have much coding time.

For example, today I only have an hour of coding time and I’m stuck on my current project. I feel like won’t gain much ground with my project in an hour, but I still want to code something, so I’ll try codewars’ challenges. I’ll resume my project tomorrow because I have a lot of free time.

Since I’m busy I want to use my coding time as efficient possible, I was wondering if I should bother with codewars and similar sites even if I only do them every now and then.

tl;dr: If someone has a limited amount of time to study and practice coding, would you consider it inefficient to sometimes use codewars and similar sites?

Yes. You should do algorithm challenges, do projects, read books/watch tutorials etc.

If you have limited time I recommend you to select 8kyu and 7kyu katas - you can do a bunch of them in an hour (compared to one 5 or 4kuy level kata which can take hours).

The biggest plus in codewars is that you can see how others solved the same challenge, read comments, see what is considered best practices, find about some language quirks etc.

I personally think coding challenges is time good spent.


Hi ellereeeee,

I am in similar situation and I also do codewars or hackerrank when I do have time and it’s not very often. I think it’s a good use of time because sometimes you can find in other’s people answers things you never saw before, so you gain some knowledge.

Given a choice between doing a project and doing a challenge I’d pick the project. But I don’t always have an idea and sometimes even if I have one I’m tired of it or stuck. Given a choice between doing a challenge or stalling completely I’d do a challenge, or tut, or something–anything.