It’s fun to write about different ways to practice coding. But “how to practice” only gets you so far - at some point you have to actually do the practice.

There are a lot of neat programming exercises in the world. This is an example of one I call a “coding study”, and I think it fits my definition of a good exercise.

A coding study is like an artist’s life study, but for code. You’d normally pick your own design. But this is meant as a simple introduction, so I’ll suggest a little more than usual.

The theme today: ivy on a window. I’ll refer to the picture below repeatedly in this post - have a look, then scroll back here as needed or save a copy locally.

One hard thing about exercises is that you need different habits for them than for production code: you’re not trying to write polished, production code. Instead, you’re trying to learn as fast as possible. So at the end, I’ll talk about some intentionally weird things I do in this code and why.

Up-close picture of ivy growing on a windowsill, houses visible through the window
Ivy on my windowsill