Meet The Champion: July 2022

Saturday, Aug 13, 2022| Tags: Raku

Get to know about Marton Polgar.

Welcome to the monthly series Meet The Champion.

Last month we spoke to PokGoPun, the winner of June 2022.

Today we are talking to Marton Polgar, the winner of July 2022 of The Weekly Challenge. I hope you are going to enjoy the interview.

Mohammad: Tell us about your technical background?

Marton: I started programming in 2011 in my high school years, as a hobby. Soon I found myself making tutorial videos about Pascal - probably I learned the most from them. :) Anyway, the hobby persisted and now here I am, at the age of 25, as a software engineer mostly using C and Java for work, finding excuses to mix in some Raku. :D

Mohammad: How/When did you start using Raku? Have you used Perl before?

Marton: It all started a bit more than a year ago. I soon realized at work that scripting and text processing is essential to do certain tasks faster, however, it was quite obvious POSIX shell variants aren’t close to my heart whatsoever. For some time, I kept mixing Python code with shell built-ins but I really found it uncomfortable; the interface is just cumbersome enough to be annoying for 5 liners. I somewhat blindly trusted Perl with solving this problem - and if Perl can do it, surely Raku can do it more elegantly… that’s what I thought and I haven’t been disproven yet. :) So I have spent a little over one year with Raku, skipping Perl.

Mohammad: How did you come to know about The Weekly Challenge?

Marton: I think I first heard about it on the first Raku Conference last year. You were also there, weren’t you? :) Andrew Shitov held a little review during that conference; however I only started later, probably after I started following the weekly Rakudo blog from Elizabeth Mattijsen. That’s where I usually first see the challenges.

Mohammad: What do you like the most about The Weekly Challenge?

Marton: That they often revolve around math problems I find interesting. It’s often easy to find a solution but there is always place for improvements, either with a more effective solution or more math applied on the problem. Often they aren’t within reach with my rather rusty math knowledge but I like thinking about stuff like this.

Mohammad: How much time you dedicate every week to The Weekly Challenge?

Marton: It depends on the week, really… I think the average would be around 2 hours, thanks to those busy weeks when I just want to get it done. If we include the time for wondering around when there is an interesting arithmetic problem, well… there have been a couple of weeks with 8 hours of thinking as well, probably. :)

Mohammad: Do you checkout others solutions and who is your favorite?

Marton: Honestly, it rarely happens anymore - usually when I’m not satisfied with what I can come up with. Sometimes this hits back because Raku is really a big language and last time I saw others do these tasks, I immediately learned some things I hadn’t used. Jan Krnavek's solutions really gave me some inspiration at the beginning and it’s always nice to compete with people like Bruce Gray. :)

Mohammad: What do you suggest someone just started The Weekly Challenge?

Marton: It’s okay to skip a task or a week. Also, there are many tasks to select from, all previous tasks are available and shareable. It’s an honor that I became a champion in this competition and my conclusion is exactly that you can focus on your own learning and eventually this will pay off from the competitive perspective as well.

Mohammad: Anything else you would to like to share with us?

Marton: I would like to share my Raku experience of the last year - that’s why I applied to this year’s conference. :) Don’t hesitate to check it out, along with presentations of the real creators of the community, among them are Rakudo developers Johnathan Worthington, Vadim Belman and Elizabeth Mattijsen, just to name a few. It doesn’t get better than this. :D

That brings the end of the conversation with Marton Polgar. Please do let us know your view. We will come back next month with another champion.


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