Geeking at the mouth

OK, I so very much enjoyed this exercise Charles wrote on identifying functions, I just had to give it its own post.  I’m positively geeking at the mouth about it.  I already love puzzles, so I was hooked from the start.

Each function does a specific thing, but what it does isn’t clear from the function name, comments, or variable names.  We just had to figure it out for ourselves.  I adored this exercise for so many reasons, some being the inclusion of math patterns I love, functions we’ve written before in different ways, and functions I know exist but didn’t know how to write.  However, the most exciting part was the moment of epiphany when I suddenly knew what the function did, not because I looked variable by variable, and line by line, at what happened in the function, but because I understood a block of code at a glance.

It reminded me of when I was learning italian in college and finally started to think in italian, rather than translate from english to italian in my head. What a heady feeling that is, to feel for a moment like you’re a native in that language!  I was flying so high on this feeling, I was positively bouncing in my chair for the rest of the day.

Even when some of the mystery functions frustrated me (cough, cough, recursive functions, cough), when I ultimately figured out how it worked, I was over the moon.  Most of the functions were ones I’d never seen before. Many of them, I probably couldn’t exactly recreate right now, but I remember how they work, which is a decent first step, I think!

If you are anything like me and love puzzles, check them out.  I hope you enjoy them even half as much as I did.

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