CodeFighter is a full-stack Javascript web application using technologies such as Node.js, MongoDB, Express, and Bootstrap that I developed as part of my undergraduate project whilst at at the University of Birmingham, UK. The application was designed to function as a learning tool where students could solve small coding challenges, or “katas” against their peers, with the aim of submitting a correct solution to a given kata faster than their opponent. Students were assigned ratings (using an ELO system) based on their performances, so they would be matched against appropriately skilled opponents.

On reflection (after a few years exposure to “professional” software development) the code I wrote in making CodeFighter is horrible and full of code smells. When I started the project I didn’t wholly appreciate (nor understand!) the purpose and power of Node’s event loop and I pretty much wrote code that was antithesis to it. Despite all of this, it did work and did have some cool features, including (For clarification: this list is taken verbatim from the report I wrote at university regarding the application):

  • Single and Multi-player code challenges with user profile badge rewards for completion,
  • Robust Matchmaking for multi-player challenges that suitably matches players based on their relative skill levels,
  • An easy to use syntax highlighter that matches the features and performance of native editors such as Sublime, Vim and TextMate for writing code,
  • Robust error-checking for syntax errors and lint-like behaviors in user-written code,
  • A secure Local Authentication strategy, as well as Authentication strategies through social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

If anyone wants to visit the application and have a go, it’s (as of this writing) up and running on a free dyno instance provided by Heroku and using a (free) MongoDB “Database as a Service” instance provided by Mlab and can be found here.

(Note: I’m pretty sure I “borrowed” several of the images on the website from Google. I am in no way monetizing it - it was simply my undergraduate project at University. Please don’t sue me. If you are the owner of any of the images and want them removed, just ask!).