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Hackernoon logoMy SICP (Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs) Challenge by@paigebolduc

My SICP (Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs) Challenge

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@paigebolducPaige Finkelstein

44 Weeks of SICP

When I first began seriously learning to program a year and a half ago, one of the best things I did was to read and work through all of the exercises in Allen B. Downey’s Think Python: How to Think Like a Computer Scientist. In order to keep myself accountable and track my progress later, I kept a blog that I updated almost every day with notes and my answers to all of the exercises. Now that I’m working full time as a developer, I won’t be able to tackle SICP with the same daily dedication; however, I’m going to attempt to implement the same format of approach to the textbook and its exercises and see how things go.


This Quora answer/discussion and this review cover all of my reasons and then some for wanting to read and really learn from SICP. Perhaps my main motivation, though, is the fact that my mentor at my first job (whose opinions about and approach to software development I deeply respect) mentioned SICP in passing by far more times than any other text during my three month apprenticeship. Since that time almost a year ago, it’s been in the back of my mind as a book that I someday needed to read.

Structure and Goals

  • Read and work through all of the exercises for one major subsection (e.g. 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc.) every two weeks (22 subsections * 2 weeks = 44 weeks total)
  • Record my notes for each subsection, any questions or struggles, and my answers to all of the exercises in a Medium post

Github Repo


I’ll mostly be using the hard copy of SICP that my partner and I own. I’m also impressed with the formatting of these two online editions of the text: Unofficial ebook version and Interactive version.

Many people have blogged about their processes of reading SICP before me. I’ll likely turn to their blogs when looking to confirm or challenge my own exercise solutions.

I’m undecided as of yet regarding whether I’ll also watch the original lecture videos that accompanied the text (available on MIT’s course page).

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