Before starting the challenge, take a few minutes to plan it!
If you are anything like me and need a plan, routine, and a little support - this guide is for you. I would like to invite you to check out 100daysofcode.com and commit to it but before you take the leap read this post. Also, take an hour or so to plan and consider appropriate courses with realistic and achievable goals.
Make A Written Plan!
I'm a list maker. I make a list every day to figure out what I have to do - it keeps me sane, lowers my stress, and keeps me focused. It keeps my gears from turning when I go to bed, I just get it on my calendar and out of my head.
I was pretty anti-smart home gadgets for a while because of privacy concerns but I went to my in-law's house where they are super productive, have 4 kids, go to school full time and still have time to work out - their secret? Planning and Alexa. I have an Alexa in every room now; the bathroom even has one for my morning routine. With Alexa, you can create "Routines" that will help you to organize your life. She turns on my coffee pot, lights, fish/bird light, Roomba, you name it. My favorite feature though is you can have it tell your schedule for the day at key events. I have a daily zoom call and 2 minutes before, Alexa tells me "you have a standup in 2 minutes, here is your schedule for the day". Let's say I wake up and work out, I go to the shower and say "Alexa, start my day" and she proceeds to tell me my schedule, the weather, and the traffic for my wife's commute. She even controls my son's screen time and tells him to clean his room (surprisingly effective I might add).
Do you need an Alexa device to do #100days of code? Probably not, but it's a helpful tool I enjoy.
Use A Calendar App!
My family uses a paid service called Cozi.com - it's a calendar service for you to coordinate meal planning, shopping, calendars, and to-do lists and it integrates with google calendar rather easily. If you don't already have a calendar app with calendar.google.com, create one!
Pick a course
In this google sheet you can see the 3 courses (plus a supplementary course) I am doing during this round.
I recommend creating your own based on the time you have available every day - my intention was to do 1 hour of course work per night at 9 pm. Use this template, fill it out for all 100 days. When you are done, export it as a
.csv file and import it into your google calendar. It will make an All day event with the day number in it! One of the things I struggled with during the 1st 100 days I did was getting my day numbers right.
Get A Head Start! Create Your Accounts
This is a shortlist of accounts I'd recommend making if you haven't already:
- Twitter - follow @Drewlearns2 for extra bonus points
- GitHub - You will use this often, get a head start! It will also allow you to use this account to create other accounts.
- CodePen - You can create this account using your GitHub credentials. It's a great place to sandbox projects and if you do freecodecamp.org, it will help!
- Freecodecamp.org - You can work on this as your primary plan if you like, it's a wonderful free course that also provides certification.
- Udemy - You don't have to, but there are some spectacular courses to view with tons of value for a low cost.
Goals and Realistic Outcomes
Will you likely get a $100,000 / year job from doing a single 100 days of code challenge? Not likely, but you will level up your coding skills, make a few friends (myself included), a cool hobby, and best yet something to be proud of. My intention with the first 100DaysOfCode was to get my feet wet, get a certificate or two but most importantly learn. With round two I have refined this a little more. I do believe if you have more than three priorities (with anything) you don't have priorities. I believe that it's important to define your goals clearly with actionable and measurable outcomes. This is my attempt to nail those down and encourage/inspire you to do the same.
Here are my goals and expected outcomes this go-round:
- Goal 1: Learn
- Goal 2: Build a proper portfolio
To build a portfolio, I believe a fair amount of commits to GitHub needs to be a priority since I don't currently work as a developer - this will show that I write code and often. With that, I intend to use Github to commit changes to a portfolio site to showcase not only my blog but my projects. At some point during this process, I'd like to revamp my blog/portfolio from scratch using react.
- Goal 3: Create
This goal complements Goal 2 but the focus is to create stuff others will either learn or enjoy. I'd like to share more about my experience and the things I learn along the way with original content.
My Expected Outcomes
During this 100 days of code, I'd like to achieve 1000 followers on twitter, create 10 completed projects, commit 5 times per week to GitHub and post to this blog 3 times per week.
I'd like to make mention that I'm not endorsing or getting any kick backs for telling you anything about Alexa or other products - these are just tools/tips I have found that work really well for me and my family and I wanted to share them.
Publically Commit to #100DaysOfCode on Twitter!
I feel so silly that something like this could be so fulfilling and motivating but I'm excited everyday to share what I learned, what I'm going to learn or just ask questions. The #100DaysOfCode community is super giving, supportive, and helpful. Join me this new years with your own 100 Days Of Code Challenge, share your plan/goals and follow along with me!