Sudoku and Programming: A Geek’s Guide to See Sudoku in a New Light

Sudoku is a logic-based, number-placement puzzle game. The purpose is to fill the missing digits in a 9×9 grid so each column, row, and sub-square contains numbers 1 through 9 only once. The grid is partially filled to kick start your game and not make it guesswork. For each of the well-posed free Sudoku puzzle games, there’s only one unique solution. The 9×9 grid with 3×3 sub-squares is by far the most common variant worldwide. However, you’ll find tons of others with larger grids and also alphabets. And, increasing programming literacy has led to such vast opportunities. 

Sudoku and programming have common connections.

Similar to how numbers in Sudoku does not make it a mathematical puzzle; programming as well is not akin to math. For example, if the number 3 is appearing twice is a particular sub-grid, it arises two possibilities – figuring out which number to remove and identifying what goes in its place. A process like debugging in programming calls for similar actions – you recognize and remove the system errors for smooth functioning. This is one task you’ll keep doing over and over as you learn to program. In fact, it’ll be both your darkest and the fondest memory – figuring out why a program didn’t work. 


People think Sudoku puzzles are challenging, but multiply its difficulty by five and double the time pressure to measure what really accounts for debugging experiences. Knowing the rules isn’t a guarantee that the program or game would work. Where Sudoku might require a specific mindset, programming needs particular skills, and training, of course, is a mandate for both but on different levels.


Talking of another facet of debugging – after fixing the 3s, you might come across number 7 is repeated in a single row. So, with this, we learn that one type of error may often be made up of several contributing factors, so you got to fix this in several systems with distinctive manifestations. 


These repetitions lead us to yet another aspect of programming. For instance, developing a site that interacts with a database, you’d need to have experience with different technologies such as HTML, JavaScript, Python, Ruby on Rails, SQL/Relational Database, and more. A simple program starts getting more complicated, with more expertise in need. 


As you start, you’d be very much able to take up easier tasks. But the complicated ones seem to be out of your capabilities. You never know the first version might completely need to be redone. But, if you get stuck, frustrate and wait too long, the process of ripping a Band-Aid becomes more like quadruple bypass surgery. Both programming and Sudoku can take a lifetime in keeping you immersed. But the question is – how long would you dedicate? Should you just master the basics and work your way up or keep learning the nuances? 


Learning to program is certainly worth the effort, and so is playing free Sudoku puzzle games. Programming would feel like a 100×100 Sudoku puzzle. You won’t just be doing your squares but also other people’s squares – not just for days but months together. Initially, it might be difficult, you might feel like throwing your keyboard or phone across the room, but you’ll soon get there!


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