Earlier this year I completed the 100 days of code challenge. A few Twitterers suggested I write a summary of my 100 day coding challenge experience. Better late than never, here is my summary of the challenge which capped off months of previous hard work, to the extent that I am immensely proud of what I achieved over the 100 day challenge and the first quarter of 2017.
To summarise, my key achievements and projects were:
- Udacity Full-Stack Nanodegree graduate.
- Built a portfolio with several projects (listed below).
- And saving the best until last, I managed to transition my career into professional web development by landing a fantastic role at as a Junior Full Stack Web Developer at Big Health.
- Neighbourhood Map (Knockout.js)
- Catalogue app (Python, Flask)
- Multi-user blog (Python)
- Pomodoro clock (React.js)
- Markdown previewer (React.js)
What I learned
Forming a habit
The habit of coding everyday is invaluable. It helps with learning. It also helped me to realise that coding everyday was a joy and not a chore.
Balancing work, life and studying (including the 100 day challenge) is hard. I wanted to make sure that whenever I was coding, I was efficient and actually coding. So taking the time to learn about workflow and how to make it more efficient is very worthwhile. Learning git and Gulp, setting-up an editor and other such things made me far more productive.
Read the docs
I remember the Catalogue Item project from my Nanodegree as the first real time that I was able to pretty much refer to official documentation to help build functionality for my app. Getting to grips with technical documentation and learning how to apply it to your own code was a big moment for me.
If you are like me and want to change career, then work as professionally as you can immediately. I soaked up lots of the Udacity free video courses to try and work on hygiene factors e.g. using git for version control, learning about and implementing good documentation practices (e.g. always have a README, and be thorough in what you document), using Gulp to automate my workflow etc. Read up on what professional web developers actual do and then attempt to replicate that for your coding. This is a key reason I originally switched from using Codepen (as suggested for a lot of the FreeCodeCamp exercises and projects) to Sublime Text, and git and GitHub.
The hard work starts now
The 100 day challenge taught me a lot. I used it as an opportunity to learn and help drive my focus to transitioning my career into becoming a professional web developer. Having completed the challenge and changed career, I now the hard work over my entire career starts now, and doesn’t end. I’ll blog more on making the transition and starting out as a junior developer in future posts.