As per this question: I decided to implement the BitTorrent spec to make my own client/tracker.
Now, I was going through the spec, I was about 70% done implementing the BEncoding when I found a link to an implementation of BEncoding in C# written by someone else.
Normally, if I were working on production code, I'd use it as a reference to check my own work against, and a baseline to write some tests to run my code against, but I found myself thinking "I'm making this, it's a for-fun project with no deadlines; I should really implement it myself - I could learn a lot" but some voice in my head was saying "Why bother re-inventing the wheel? Take the code, work it so that it's you're style/naming convention and you're done."
So I'm a bit conflicted. I ended up doing the latter, and some parts of it I found better than what I had written, but I almost feel like I 'cheated'.
What's your take? Is it cheating myself? Perfectly normal? A missed opportunity to learn on my own? A good opportunity to have learned from someone else's example?