Web Development

Test Your Mettle with These JavaScript Coding Challenges

August 6th, 2018 | By Jscrambler | 5 min read

“Standing still” is an expression most developers don’t know. Knowledge is power, and being on top of your JavaScript game does not imply that you must learn using traditional methods.

Coding competitions are increasingly popular, and you can easily understand why: a community of developers works together to create something unique with a twist.

These often assume the form of an online hackathon, and some even give out impressive rewards to top contenders.

Whether you’re just curious or want to do something spectacular, we advise you to check these out:


JS1k - Defender Submission 2015 by KeithClarkThis simple competition started in 2010 as a gag created by Dutch developer Peter van der Zee. The non-profit event attracted the attention of several developers, which led to its annual repetition.

The competition itself is quite simple: You must submit a self-contained demo in 1024 bytes of pure JS which, in turn, may use various web technologies (without any externals). Then, a unique jury panel of four elements — people from the JavaScript scene and/or demo scene — judges the demos. If your demo outshines the competition, you will get a prize, offered by random sources.

Transparency seems to be one of the core values of JS1k — all donations go towards prizes, and submitted demos are copyrighted to their respective owners. Competitions typically start in February/March. You can sign up to be notified, or get in touch with the organizers @js1k or @kuvos on Twitter.

The heading image comes from one of 2015's submissions: Defender, by Keith Clark.

Node Knockout

Node Knockout 2017 - Pixel Beach Submission by Nathan HoadThis one is pretty clear — a Node.js online hackathon. What makes it truly special is that you can go solo or in teams of up to 4 people. Then, you enter a crazed 48-hour run to deliver the best possible app — the status quo on hackathon events.

Each submitted app is reviewed by an expert judge and, if you’re lucky enough to win one of the 6 categories, you’re promised eternal glory, respect, and some truly interesting prizes.

This is a yearly competition that always starts on November 11th at 00:00 UTC, and has been around since 2010. Keep up with the next competition on Twitter.


JS13kGamesThis is one of our absolute favorites. Js13kGames is an annual competition with a unique challenge: creating an HTML5 game with a capped file size of 13 kilobytes.

Its creator, Andrzej Mazur, acquires prizes totaling over $20k and even sends free goodies to participants. Prizes consist of several books, software licenses, and premium accounts. There are also some fun social media specials, as well as community awards.

You can participate in three categories — desktop, mobile, and server (Node.js multiplayer). It doesn’t really matter if you’re doing it alone or in a team, as long as you deliver an amazing game. Be sure to check the prizes and rules for yourself.

We at Jscrambler really love Js13kGames, and we have been supporters of this coding competition. Apart from sponsoring it, we've had our CTO, Pedro Fortuna, as a jury member.


Node Knockout 2017 - Pixel Beach Submission by Nathan Hoad
Are you eyeing a bountiful cash prize? XDHAX is definitely worth a look.

This online coding competition, organized by Xero and AWS, has a clear tagline: creating amazing apps using the cloud for the benefit of small businesses.

As a participant, you are challenged to get creative and will compete in one of three categories: Best App — Americas, Best App — APAC, and Best App — EMEA. Yes, this means that only participants from specific countries can apply. Don't forget to check the eligible regions.

Each category winner is looking at $5k plus some extra goodies, such as an entry-level exhibitor opportunity at a Xerocon, and enlistment in the AWS Activate Program.

The competition usually runs for two whole months, so expect some fierce competition.


HackalongWhat sets Hackalong apart from other online hackathons is its unique format. You’re looking at a group of Twitch streamers coming together to share their passion for development.

All participants of this online hackathon are encouraged to livestream as they progress with their hack. With this, organizers want to encourage the sharing of skills among developers and enthusiasts, hopefully bringing fresh minds into the community.

The hackathon consists of two main themes that will be announced on the day of the event. All prizes are non-monetary.

Ninja Challenge

Jscrambler Ninja ChallengeJscrambler’s own Ninja Challenge seeks to help every developer uncover the JavaScript Ninja within.

The competition's last edition comprised 4 levels of increasing difficulty, each with a different challenge. As participants progressed through each step, they kept a score based on skill and speed. Every level had a thematic background, engaging participants to give their very best shot.

A total of 3 prizes were awarded, all containing a cash prize, a Jscrambler Startup Plan, and some cool swag.

Final Thoughts

No developer is an island. These unique challenges will remind many developers of why they started getting into JavaScript — to materialize a unique vision into something useful.

During these competitions, you’re able to engage with the community, meet new developers, learn useful new things, and even win cool prizes. Be sure to show them some love!

Don't forget to protect your JavaScript source code against theft and reverse-engineering by starting your free Jscrambler trial.


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