Why Did I Code Every Day for a Year?

On Tuesday I dropped my daily tweet for #100daysofcode. Nothing special in that except I have done that for 30 days in a row now AND something in that tweet was special to me and that is I had coded every day for 1 year.  

What! you coded every day for a year?

Yes, I did, but first I'll cover the I tweeted every day for the last 30 days as it is related.

Why didn't I post on Twitter every day?

I have always felt that I needed to post what I did, or some beautiful creation but with limited time every day for 100 days of code I didn't really feel I had anything to post. Also, I was finding it hard to post to social media full stop, I guess I felt like I had nothing useful to say or anything useful to comment. I think I am a good listener but on social media, if you just listen nobody knows you are there or here. I decided well I have nothing useful to say and probably no one is going to see it either so WTF, I'll just post 100 days of code to an empty audience. And you know what I don't have an empty audience at all! This social media thing is not really what this post is about but if you struggle with it, I suggest you make yourself post every day, build that habit with no excuses.

Okay, with that in mind and building habits the goal let's see how I keep my motivation and commitment.

How did I code every day for 1 year?

I have one rule that is maybe different from the "official" 100 days of code and that is I only have to do one task, not one hour. So when I don't really feel like coding I only have to do one little thing. Usually, this one little thing will turn into a 10, 15, or even 50-minute task and if I achieve that and still don't feel like coding I pack it in for the day. Coding tasks that I might do include documenting the last few days and writing detailed plans and pseudo code for the next day or completing one little block of code I had been thinking about all day or setting up a new repo. You get the idea, something with a definite time limit, something small to get me going.

A second rule I make, let's call it rule 1b, is to catch up with something a little more the next day. Maybe do a couple of sessions. If you work on a 24 - 48 hours cycle to complete some task you can have a small day in there every now and again.

That's it, I have no other rules, except I don't track time, and this isn't really a rule. Some days an hour or 2 will go past and I am in the zone and that is fine. Some days I have one task, like creating a new repo and setting it up for an article I am writing, 10 minutes, done fast, pat on the back.

I want to note here that I also code for my job Monday to Friday and I don't count that. 100 days of code is something I am doing for myself. And yes it will help others in the future too.

Why are you doing 100days of code? (or coding every day for that matter.)

The simple answer to that question is I want to become a master at these skills, I am competent at building websites, running full stacks, troubleshooting issues, and solving problems; I had to be, I have single-handedly built and ran small business websites that have created millions of dollars of revenue every year. I don't do that anymore as I don't want to be on call 24/7 for 10 years anymore.

I want to design and build modern front-ends and by experimenting a little every day, breaking the internet in the safety of my own space, I will be able to discover and truly master these tools. That's is what 100 days of code is giving me.

I want to build a habit of doing something for myself every day, non-work related, doing what I set out to do when I started this journey nearly 20 years ago. I haven't coded or programmed for 20 years, I have worked in web development, marketing and digital media but I really think creating things with code is cool, it is abstract and it will allow greater expression in the future. I am not knocking no-code tools however and I want to embrace them anywhere I can but that's a story for another day.

Finally, I want to get better at writing and documenting so I have been writing fairly detailed reports on days I felt like it would be useful. You can check an example of what I mean here, day 56 of round 5. I really think this type of detailed report is important so I want to try and do it as a habit but sometimes the motivation falls flat.

That's pretty much it, doing something for myself that will benefit others who need these skills and build a habit. So you can probably guess what comes next but let's see anyhow.

What comes next?

I intend to continue as I am, play around with code, revisit some ideas from the last year of repositories. I will write more articles and share more of the code as I feel it may be useful to others. I might build a few projects too, I have a few ideas that are currently percolating. So stay tuned, sign up for my newsletter at the bottom. I'll be sharing my journey, coding tips and snippets, design and website building and real-life s*$!!1, like how I deal with keeping motivated, life here in the mountains of Japan and things I have learnt along my way.

I hope this gives you some ideas and motivation to build small habits in whatever you are doing. My most valuable piece of advice right now is to do one small thing every day; write one line of code, make one Tweet or social media post, write 100 words or go for a walk. Thanks for reading and see you again soon.

 1 s*$!! = stuff

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