May 17, 2023
Our Best Coding Prompt Ideas for ReadyRunner or ChatGPT

ChatGPT-Powered assistants like ReadyRunner are almost like a senior developer with unlimited patience, happy to help you out 24/7. Below are some ideas of the kinds of things you can ask for.

Before we start, a few good tips to remember:

  • GPT-4 is much better at code generation than GPT-3.
  • Always be careful running code you didn't write, whether from the web or AI. Read and understand it first, don't blindly trust it.
  • Use ReadyRunner's system prompts to specify the programming language you are working in, that way you don't need to always clarify the language.

Coding Prompt Ideas

Implement a tricky function/algorithm

When you come across an algorithm you could implement, but don't feel like trying to remember high school geometry, just explain the inputs and outputs:

Prompt Example Write a function that accepts a point to test, a circle defined as x, y and radius, and a start/end angles defining a pie slice of the circle. Return true if the test point is within the pie slice and inside the circle, false otherwise.


Prompt Example How can I make a bookmarklet button in my browser that when clicked, opens the current page in's wayback machine?

Explain error messages

Programming error messages can be confusing, to get a readable explanation and possible solutions, you can try saying something like this:

Prompt Example Please explain how to fix this typescript error:

Type '{ a: number; }' is not assignable to type '{ a: number; b: string; } | { c: number; }'. Type '{ a: number; }' is not assignable to type '{ c: number; }'. Property 'c' is missing in type '{ a: number; }'.

Build a command line game

For simple cases, you can ask for an entire program to be built. In this case a command-line game. I actually used this because my young kids wanted to play it:

Prompt Example Make a game using Javascript that runs with node in my terminal. Here are the rules of the game:

- computer chooses a number and does not display it to the user

- user can guess a number

- computer will indicate if the number was too high, too low, or correct

- if the number was correct, the user wins and the game shows "you guessed the number, it was X. Press return to start a new game" (X should be the actual number)

Ask for changes

Don't forget that you can continually ask for changes and modifications if what you get is not what you wanted. Here's some ideas:

Prompt Example Add some test cases for that code

Ask for code written using a specific framework, or ask for no framework.

Prompt Example Rewrite that code to use React

If the code doesn't work, you can often just ask for it to be fixed.

Prompt Example That code doesn't work, please fix it. It produced this error: (some error message here)

Convert code from one language to another

Try converting a snippet of code between any two langauges, in this case Python to Javascript.

Prompt Example Convert this Python code to Javascript:

(paste your code here)

Convert data from one format to another

Converting unstructured data into structured data, or converting data between data formats is an underrated technique, try things such as the following:

Prompt Example Convert this XML into JSON

(paste XML code here)

Prompt Example Convert this list of products into an html table

(paste product list here)

Ask to be taught

Think what you could learn if you had unlimited help from an expert. What would you ask? AI assistants are very capable of answering technical questions and providing code examples.

Prompt Example What is a "shell script"?

Prompt Example What are some important SQL techniques to know?

Prompt Example What makes python different than other programming languages?

Prompt Example Show me an example of how Python is different than Java

Remember to be careful when asking for questions which you don't know the answer to. AI language models will sometimes make up realistic sounding answers that are incorrect.