Ruby Programming Challenge for Newbies FAQ

What Is The Ruby Programming Challenge For Newbies (RPCFN)?

The RPCFN is a monthly programming challenge for Ruby Newbies in the spirit of the Ruby Quiz. A new RPCFN will be posted on the RubyLearning blog every 1st of the month (normally). The contest is open to individuals only and you are invited to contribute solution(s) and/or discussion(s) as comments to the respective blog post. All solutions posted would be hidden to allow users to come up with their own solutions. On the 21st of the month, all the solutions will be thrown open for everyone to see and comment upon. No new solutions will be accepted from 21st onwards. The cycle begins again on the 1st of the following month. The Ruby working solution(s) should be clear-cut, follow Ruby conventions and still be easy to understand.

How does RPCFN benefit you?

Chris Strom (twitter / blog) is one of the problem setters for the RPCFN and has this to say:

RPCFN is a good idea as reading books and documentation can only take you so far when learning a new language. To really learn, you need to use the language. RPCFN provides a fabulous forum for using Ruby in the form of regular, engaging (but not arcanely difficult) challenges. Better yet, it provides feedback on how to use Ruby well, as each fortnight the best solution to a challenge is chosen. RPCFN is a wonderful introduction to the Ruby language and to the Ruby community. Welcome newbies!

How to Enter the Challenge

Read the Challenge Rules located at the bottom of this page. By participating in this challenge, you agree to be bound by these Challenge Rules. The Ruby Challenge is free and registration is optional. You can enter the challenge by posting the following as a comment to the Ruby Challenge blog post (this appears on the 1st of every month):

  • Your name:
  • Country of Residence:
  • GIST URL of your Solution (i.e. Ruby code) with explanation and / or test cases:
  • Code works with Ruby 1.8 / 1.9 / Both:
  • Email address (will not be published):
  • Brief description of what you do (will not be published):

Source Code on GIST


Click for a larger image.

  • 1. Under Options, click on Private.
  • 2. Select the Language as Ruby
  • 3. Paste you Ruby Challenge Source Code along with explanation in the window.
  • 4. Name this file with your first and last name. Ex. satishtalim.rb
  • 5. Ensure that the “Private” box is checked before you finally click on the Paste button.
  • A new screen loads up with a new private URL. This is the GIST URL of your Ruby Challenge Solution.

Challenge Rules

To participate in the RPCFN, you must be at least 18 years old. The Challenge is open to individuals.

Each entrant shall indemnify, defend, and hold RubyLearning harmless from any third party claims arising from or related to that entrant’s participation in the Challenge. In no event shall RubyLearning be liable to an entrant for acts or omissions arising out of or related to the Challenge or that entrant’s participation in the Challenge.

Odds of winning depend on the number and quality of entries received. All taxes, including income taxes, are the sole responsibility of winners. No prize substitution is permitted. Winner(s) may be required to verify their entry.


The winning entries will be announced on the RubyLearning blog. The winners will be sent their prizes by email.

Best Solution


The author of the RPCFN for the particular month will decide the best solution, with some help from RubyLearning. This panel shall have the sole authority and discretion to select the award recipient(s).


There will normally be two prizes (though we reserve the right to change this for each challenge). One prize will go for the best solution (if there is a tie between answers, then the one who posted first will be the winner) and the other will be decided by randomly selecting one person from all the remaining working solutions for that month. If a person wins he/she can’t win again in the next, immediate challenge but can still participate. Prizes can range from small cash rewards to free pdfs – whatever the sponsors of the challenge have offered.

Can I Submit A Ruby Programming Challenge Topic?

Please do! Ruby Programming Challenge depends on community support. The challenge problem statement should be easily understood by Ruby newbies but complex enough for it to be fun ;-) Let the challenge be both obvious and.. challenging. A hard combo! This is obviously vague, so use your best judgment. Send all submissions to Satish Talim. Feel free to submit as often as you like.

Can I make a donation?

Absolutely! RPCFN is entirely financed by RubyLearning and sometimes sponsors, so if you have enjoyed the problems and would like to give something back by helping with the running costs then any donations are gratefully received.

Click here to lend your support to: Support RubyLearning With Some
Love and make a donation at


Contact Satish Talim at

Posted by Satish Talim

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