A kata is an exercise in karate where you repeat a form many, many times, making little improvements in each. More recently, kata has come to be used in English in a more general or figurative sense, referring to any basic form, routine, or pattern of behavior that is practiced to various levels of mastery. This term is frequently used in coding communities to describe problems/exercize to solve as a way to practice and improve skills. The intent behind code kata is similar. Each is a short exercise (perhaps 30 minutes to an hour long). Some involve programming, and can be coded in many different ways. Some are open ended, and involve thinking about the issues behind programming.