The Seven Character Classes of Advent of Code Players

Tim Sneath
2 min readDec 7, 2023

For those who haven’t yet tried it out, Advent of Code is a fantastic developer role playing game (DRPG) that is taking the community by storm. Set in a fantasy world of elves, AoC can be played online by thousands of people.

As a DRPG, you can play as one of a variety of character classes. Here’s a quick run-down of the unique attributes of each character type, to help you identify your fellow game players.

  1. The Warrior. Dedicated to their task, which is simply to faithfully complete every day’s challenge on the day. It may not be pretty, but they make steady progress at their star count.
  2. The Thief. Fast and stealthy. You’ll never see their code, but you may see their name in lights. They have finished their day’s work before others have even downloaded the task.
  3. The Mage. Occupying a lofty position in the ivory tower, they are advanced practitioners of arcane arts, uttering languages that most mortals have never heard of. Most likely to use: Haskell, APL.
  4. The Craftsperson. The opposite attributes to The Thief. They may still be on the third day’s challenges after six months, as they search endlessly for an unrealized Platonic ideal of code beauty. Success takes a distant backseat to aesthetic quality.
  5. The Librarian. A rarer breed. Less of an active character, they prefer to catalog and dissect others work, ever on the hunt for a new depth-first algorithm or novel regular expression.
  6. The Questioner. They prefer not to write original lines of code, instead carefully constructing search queries to find small pieces of code to assemble into a semi-working whole. Most likely to use: StackOverflow.
  7. The Conjurer. A newer class of character, introduced last year and now becoming more popular. Rather than write code, they seem to whisper their desires to an unseen spirit which relays them into semi-finished works. Most likely to use: ChatGPT, Bard.

Let me know if you observe another character class in the wild!



Tim Sneath

Director for Developer Tools and Frameworks at Apple. I used to run Flutter and Dart at Google.