Meet The Champion: August 2023

Sunday, Dec 10, 2023| Tags: Perl, Raku

Get to know about BarrOff

Welcome to the monthly series Meet The Champion.

Last month we declared Mariano Spadaccini, the winner of July 2023.

Today we are talking to BarrOff, the winner of August 2023 of The Weekly Challenge. I hope you are going to enjoy the interview.

Mohammad: Tell us about your technical background?

BarrOff: After graduating school I studied chemistry but towards the end of my bachelors it became obvious that I want to do something computer science related. At that time I had played around a lot with Linux and FreeBSD, learning a lot on my own. Therefore I switched the university and changed subject to computational science for my master. Besides my master studies I joined the Linux User Group in my university’s city and founded one in my hometown. At university my studies focused on chaos theory and astrophysics, running many simulations. The combination of math, science and programming really got me hooked. Once I had finished my master in CS I tried to find a PhD position but it did not work out, yet. I am currently working in the IT department of a German physical institute, being responsible for most things Linux. Management of workstations, cluster machines, email and many other tasks. This keeps me close to the scientists and is quiet enjoyable. Having graduated from university just recently makes it easy for me to understand the needs of the new students which come and go all the time at the institute. Next year the institute will expand with two more scientist working groups. One of those will focus on machine learning applications for physical use cases. My hope is to find a PhD position there.

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

BarrOff: I tried Raku at the end of 2020 but at that time I focused more on Nim and so it was only a short intermezzo. Last year between Christmas and New Years I was looking for a new language to check out and came across Raku again. This time I could focus more on the Raku way of programming and I regularly learn new facets of the language. While searching information about the language I stumbled across The Weekly Challenge. Starting with Challenge 198 I solved them just for myself. After a while I wondered how the sibling language Perl differs from Raku and how it would solve the challenges. Therefore I took a quick dive into Perl and started writing solutions in Perl, too.

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

BarrOff: As mentioned in the previous question, I was looking for information about Raku. The official webpage of the language contains a link on it’s resource page. I have solved tasks from Project Euler in the past, which are heavily math focused problems. Therefore it was a natural thing to participate in PWC :)

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

BarrOff: There are two things. On the one hand the challenges ask for things I never had to do before, which keeps your brain flexible. It also makes you look more into the programming languages and explore their features. On the other hand is the collection of solutions. Being able to take a look at how other people and languages solve the problems is really inspiring and opens up new ways to me. Seeing these solutions also makes you think if your language of choice could do it in a similar way.

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

BarrOff: I would say at least one hour. However I usually read the tasks on my way to/from work and think about possible solutions from time to time. When I have a picture in my mind I start to implement it. As I usually solve the challenges in multiple languages it sometimes takes a little longer.

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

BarrOff: Yes, I regularly do, but I do not have a favorite.

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

BarrOff: As with most things in life, think first, then act. Also, especially when you start, take some time to review a few people’s solutions.

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

BarrOff: Thank you very much for all the effort you put into this project! I want to thank DS for the great time we had. I really miss the hacking and coding sessions we used to have. Wherever you are now, I hope you are happy.

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


If you have any suggestions or ideas then please do share with us.

Contact with me