Frequently Asked Questions

Who is behind Exercism?

Exercism was founded by Katrina Owen. Katrina is a polyglot developer and Ruby Hero award winner who accidentally became a developer while pursuing a degree in molecular biology. She began nitpicking code back in 2006 while volunteering at JavaRanch, and got hooked. When programming, her focus is on automation, workflow optimization, and refactoring. She cares deeply about open source and contributes to several projects outside of Exercism.

In 2016, Katrina decided that for Exercism to fulfill its potential, it needed a professional product team to rethink Exercism from the ground up. She joined forces with Thalamus and over 8 months, led by Nicole Chalmers, they reconceived Exercism as the fully-fledged product you see today. You can read our conclusions and thinking by following the various links here.

In addition to this leadership team, Exercism is made possible by thousands of wonderful volunteers who have crafted the various language tracks and exercises that made Exercism so popular. Learn more about our mentors, our track maintainers and our thousands of contributors.

What's with the name "Exercism"?

Despite being one vowel away from "exorcism", the name has nothing to do with demons or fixing "evil code".

Instead, it's a pun on exercise. The way Katrina came to think about each exercise is that they are small, trivial, and seemingly simple. However, when it comes to solving an exercise, the devil is often in the details. In other words, that simple exercise is suddenly more challenging once you think about the finer details.

To learn more about what it means for the devil to be in the details, check out the Overkill and Succession talks by Katrina.

Everything's changed! What's going on?

We've launched the new version of Exercism, 18 months in the making :D

There is a document that explains the changes and another that explains how to migrate your CLI from v1 to v2. We hope you enjoy the new experience :)

Something need changing on this page?

If you've spotted something incorrect or missing from this page, please edit this file on GitHub. That will submit a pull request to the website team, which we can then review and push live.

Thank you!!