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Ross

I put my co-founder on it. He never used python, his background is not web-dev (network engineer), he had it working in 30mins...I put a comp-sci grad on it and they couldn't get it working with a full week timeline. Yet they can solve these puzzles. Make sense of that.

Easily. Your co-founder has a wealth of experience and time served in a wide variety of tools, techniques, libraries, patterns, shortcuts, blockers, research techniques and the graduate has a fraction of that an no understanding of what corners are ok to cut. This is exactly the result you would expect. Why it makes no sense to you, makes no sense to me.