January 17, 2024

Advent of Spin 2023 Wrap-up

Sohan Maheshwar Sohan Maheshwar

advent of spin coding challenge

Advent of Spin 2023 Wrap-up

Back in December we launched Advent of Spin 2023 and said “’Tis the season to learn something new”. We put together a series of weekly challenges designed to test your Spin mettle. We enjoyed seeing your submissions across 4 challenges involving a list of presents, generating Christmas stories using AI, filling knapsacks with gifts, and even solving a fun little number game.

Overall, we had many great submissions for the 4 challenges. Here are some of the amazing submissions we received for the four Challenges in Advent of Spin 2023.

Advent of Spin Coding Challenge image

Challenge 1:

For the first Challenge we asked you to build an app to help Santa and the elves remember what presents to hand out. We also asked you to create a home page with animals, landscapes, or anything that has the Christmas spirit 🎄. Here are some fun submissions we received:


Who says you need snow to build a snowman?

star trek

There are always brownie points for Star Trek references.


Meet Santa Paws!

ascii art

Going old school with some Ascii art.


This one referenced a painting of Santa Claus and Little Bo Peep.


This entry enabled you to play a quick memory game on the homepage.

And finally my personal favourite:

elves in a circle

Santa’s Serverless Elves.

Challenge 2:

For the second challenge, we asked you to help Santa prepare for his travel around the world with all of his presents. This was a spin (heh) on the knapsack problem in the world of computer science.

Challenge 3:

In this challenge, we asked you to use the Serverless AI feature of Fermyon Cloud to generate exciting and engaging stories involving certain elements, which we randomly seeded to your application. We believe this was a great way to get introduced to prompt engineering with the Llama 2 model used in Spin and Fermyon Cloud. We also gave you the freedom to choose any style in telling the story. We had a blast reading these submissions:

Here’s one that started with a tip ‘o the hat to Star Wars:

In a galaxy far, far away… In the frozen cloud planet of Hoth, Santa Claus, along with his trusty elf sidekick Pingvin and the happy elf, embark on an interstellar journey to find missing tents and Santa’s very own candle.

This one was a Christmas carol dedicated to Rust 🦀

Oh, what a night, it’s snowing tight Bunnies all bundled up, they’re playing hide Santa’s sleigh, it’s pulled by reindeer With a Christmas tree, so bright and clear

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas Just like the ones I used to know Where the RusT programming language flows And the crabs all dance, in their snowy glow

Here’s a punny one featuring Blossom the Wasm Possum.

Santa Clause is preparing for Christmas eve, when Blossom the Wasm Possom, enters with a shoe box, Rudolph by her side. “Oh ho ho! What’s this? A shoe box?” Santa exclaims. “I found it in the North Pole igloo, it must be the shoes of one of the elves!” Blossom replies. “Well, well, well! Look what we have here!” Santa says as he opens the box and finds a pair of shiny black boots. “I think these boots are made for walking…to the nearest candle store!” Santa exclaims with a wink. Rudolph chuckles and says, “I igloo what you did there, Santa!” Blossom rolls her eyes and mutters, “I’m surrounded by pun-dits.”

This story was a mix of text and emojis. Here’s the first line:

🌫️☁️👀💭 Once upon a time, in a world of endless 🌫️, there lived a curious 👀 creature named Fluffy.

And finally this one which was in the form of a hip hop verse and also featured scuba diving in Greenland.

Yo, it’s Christmas time in Greenland, yo Santa Claus is chillin’, elves are goin’ slow One little elf, his name was Timmy He was feelin’ sad, like a mistletoe in a tree See, he lost his favorite toy, a scuba diving set Made for underwater fun, but now it’s wet Santa Claus came by, said “What’s up, little elf?” Timmy told him, Santa gave a hug and gave himelf

Now Timmy’s feelin’ better, he’s got a glow Like the mistletoe in the cold Greenland snow Santa Claus and Timmy, they went scuba diving Found the lost toy, it was worth more than any prize They swam with the fishes, under the sea Just like Santa, always brings joy to you and me

Challenge 4

The final challenge was our fun little take on the Bulls and Cows game. We had folks try out different algorithms to solve the game. Since we do love looking at data here’s a graph of how many tries it to took everyone to solve the game. For the 6 people who solved it in the first try, can you DM us this week’s lottery numbers?


This last challenge was played over 200 times (yes, we kept count 🤓). The code for the game, can be found here.


We did mention there were fantastic prizes for everyone who completed a coding challenge! If you filled in the Typeform on completion, your prizes should be on their way soon (we’re solving the knapsack problem IRL).

When you receive your prizes in the mail, feel free to post it on X/Twitter and LinkedIn and tag Fermyon to give us that warm, fuzzy feeling.


We also promised special prizes for bespoke categories and here they are …


The Persistence Award - for completing all 4 challenges successfully

  • Noritada Shimizu, JP
  • David Wallace Croft, US
  • François Rieucau, FR
  • James Hagans, US
  • Chorong Jang, KR

The ‘Can i have swag in exchange for a picture of a cat’ Award

  • Seung-jin Kim, KR


How could we not? 😻 We love our pets (for proof, check out our weekly newsletter)

How the Advent of Spin Backend was built

On a recent episode of Live Code Tuesdays, we recently discussed how the backend verification system for the Advent of Spin challenges was built. (Spoiler: It’s a Spin app!).

The relevant bit starts around the 27.30 mark

Nobody Must Code Alone

When we launched Advent of Spin 2023, we said Nobody Must Code Alone. We love our community who participated in Advent of Spin, watched our livestreams, and helped each other out in our Discord. We hope you had fun doing so, and learnt something along the way. We have a ton of cool things we’re working on this year and can’t wait to share it with you.

See you at Advent of Spin 2024!




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