It’s Kataday – Game of Life kata

This year's Global Day of Coderetreat set John Conway's Game of life as the coding exercise.

At Codurance, we often use this kata in the Codurance Academy as it is a great way to understand TDD.

In the Game of Life, you set up a two-dimensional orthogonal grid of square cells. Each cell can have one of two states: alive or dead and interacts with each of its eight neighbours (i.e. the ones that it touches either vertically, horiztonally, or diagonally adjacent to it).

Depending on the state of its neighbours, the cell may live or die using strict rules.

The idea is to set up the code then run it and observe the evolution; this is referred to as a zero-player game. Normally, the Game of Life runs as an infinite game, however, with our kata, you are designing a finite version.

Want to know more about the 2022 Coderetrate then why not read Mattsi Jansky's blog about the day.


Getting set up can be the roadblock to starting a kata. Our screenkatas let you join our Software Craftspeople and let them show you how to for Java, PHP, Python and Typescript repositories. For other languages, check out our guide on GitHub.

Don’t forget that our Katalyst portal is filled with programming problems to expand and hone coding your skills.