I’ve been doing a few more Code Wars kata recently. I initially found the site through the WaniKani forums, forgot all about it, and then rediscovered during some mentoring at work. It’s all very well me suggesting that people do kata, but unless I practise what I preach it’s an empty suggestion.

I find the fundamentals tag interesting in the programming languages kata. As with many interviews and tutorials, there’s a propensity for maths-based questions with many of them revolving around prime numbers and factoring. I don’t think I’ve ever been paid to factor a number in my professional career, the only time I’ve done so was during practical work for a cryptography course I did in my spare time.

Rather than focusing on programming and discovering yet another array manipulation kata waiting for me, I started looking at the SQL exercises instead. I’ve been using relational databases since my first job, but my interactions with them tend to be relatively basic, infrequently changing, and quickly forgotten. Of late I’ve been digging deeper into query analysis and ensuring I’m writing efficient queries, but that starts with the fundamentals. Can I be handing more work to the database and doing less post-processing? By going back to the start and not having the fallback of a quick bit of code on the server, I’ll hopefully obtain some more muscle memory for queries and won’t have to reach for the analysis engine as often.