This article is written as a journey note of my #100daysofcode challenge. I have jotted down the experiences and how it all ends with founding a startup and building our first product 100daysof.codes.
Big thanks to the Twitter dev community for encouraging and supporting me continuously.
It's all starts with a tweet!
Two years back, when I was new to Twitter, I just explored with hashtags. Suddenly a hashtag with #100daysofcode reached maximum impressions, random bots retweeted my post and I hit maximum likes.
Suddenly I got much excited and explored about #100daysofcode. What is it? Why all are taking this challenge? What are the benefits? How to take this challenge? I was curious and explored even more and learned it as a challenge of coding a minimum of one hour a day and posting about what we did with the hashtag #100daysofcode for 100days. I was excited about the challenge and much interested in start taking it.
Trust me, it was my fourth attempt to be consistent!
Attempt 1 - Typical short time momentum
It was on June 5, 2020. With much curiosity and eagerness, I created a dedicated Twitter account to start and post my challenge. I started the challenge with a simple calculator. Everything starts out well, but the momentum fades out slowly, and on the 3rd day, I lost the motivation to continue the challenge.
Attempt 2 - External motivation is an ignition, but still need to learn to steer forward
Nearly a month after, I began the challenge again. This time inspired by cool ideas of the Twitter dev community. The challenge was to change the Twitter handle name dynamically with the follower’s count. My interest peaked again, let’s try doing this! Check out this tweet for that challenge. I had written a blog post about that experience. Twitter dev community is much awesome and supportive. Whenever you ask for any help, they are ready to help you any time. I reached maximum support and appreciation from the community after completing the challenge. Hoohoo! That was really a moment that boosts my motivation rocket. I started trying out a few project ideas as part of my challenges, but it wasn’t just enough to push me towards something newer every day.
I began to continue the challenge, but I used to skip the days, I don't have any end goal to do the challenge. I told myself that, it's okay to skip days in between. But days passed I got self-doubted, why I need to take this challenge? If my goal was to relearn things then why I need this challenge? I had completed around 6 days of challenge, only motivation was my community. There all are consistent in their challenge, but I felt really bad about my consistency. I self-doubted a lot with consistency. Later I decided I need to learn consistency than skills.
Attempt 3 - Searching for my internal trigger
I had completed around 6 days of challenge, only motivation was my community. I began to raise myself a few questions as self-doubted, why I need to take this challenge? Am I actually doing the right things to improve myself by taking this challenge or just an illusion?
I decided to re-learn & improve my development skills as a goal at the end of 100 days and start taking challenges again. But in only two days, I felt it wasn’t strong enough to push me around to commit dedicated apart from work hours.
Attempt 4 - Solid end goal matters when out for a long journey
I shared my experience with my friend Karthi. He shared his views on this - while the challenge to build consistency is hard in #100daysofcode, the problems are almost the same if we want to improve ourselves or a product. I realized the same of getting trapped into our muscle memory of never getting out of our comfort zone, while we are out for bigger goals.
We discussed if one thing we want to focus on most is being consistent in improving ourselves more than the development skill, and thought out like maybe we should focus on process and build it as a product at end of #100daysofcode from learning.
We planned to build an extension for 100daysofcode. Keeping this as my end goal, at the end of 100days, I should have built this as a product and launch it on November 24, I got much excited about the challenge ahead. All I need to focus on now is what I do each day that will push me closer to analyze if I make mistakes and learn the process first while staying consistent. To my surprise, it turns out a 91-day streak, I spent slowly get out of my comfort zone and finish #100daysofcode.
And, my learning journey starts...
Trust me, I did not know much about building any extension, lots of concepts we discuss redux-saga, which seems kind of buzz terms for me at the time.
My path to building the product unfolds before me. Learning how to build react app, using redux & building the extension. Several youtube videos were my primary learning source, helps me to get clear about building out an extension from scratch. There were few days, it was kind of blank to do what next as a challenge, there came freecodecamp as a rescuer.
Freecodecamp helps me to revisit and learn missed concepts as a daily challenge. I first completed the redux course in freecodecamp, still that I haven’t earned any certification. I decided to earn all certifications from the freecodecamp. In my 25th day challenge, I earned my first certification from fcc, and in the day 80 completed 6 certifications from the freedcodecamp.
Focus on building the system, day by day
I began the day with reading and ends the day by posting the challenge. When I woke up, after finishing the daily routine, my first thing was to read a chapter and post the best points on Twitter and I used to do the challenge in the evening, after 6. It may sometimes take 2 hours or sometimes go up to 6 hours.
I made a rule to myself, I shouldn’t miss a streak and should learn something new on the day. In the mid of the challenge, I began to share the best lines from the book Atomic habits.
There is a quote in Atomic habits,
What’s the difference between goals and systems?
Goals are about the results you want to achieve.
Systems are about the processes that lead to those results.
All days are not the same
As I begin to slowly learn the concept, there were a few days, I feel not much satisfied though I spend 1-hour learning. We felt this is a natural condition for a long-term journey, we shouldn’t get much use to it. I often need to look back at the challenges done earlier, to analyze and ensure I am not getting too comfortable with it. There were 1 or 2 challenges I felt best in maybe a week or day, which I try to beat much often. Yes, self-competition is much powerful to know we are really improving daily.
It’s true that dots will connect backward
After around 60 days, we started discussing what works well & didn’t. And starts designing & developing the project during our non-office hours. Since it was part of my routine, I never logged it as part of my #100daysofcode :P
To improve my learning still, I got an udemy course as a gift as a giveaway. It’s a complete React course, which covers the entire react, redux, redux-saga, and best way to learn as a structured hands-on way to test out concepts I have learned earlier. TBH, it was my first Udemy course and I haven’t learned a structured course and think it would become as an end of #100daysofcode as a summarized version of my learning.
The Beginning of our next journey
We build 100daysof.codes, on 4 main things.
- The strong end goal and that will drive why-power of daily goals is essential. The more we connected to our daily goals, the more chances we never break it down.
- Beating out our personal self is essential to never get trapped into the comfort zone and focusing on daily goals that are of little value.
- We need a single place to revisit our journey, self analyze to ask ourselves the question are we really doing what we should do to improve ourselves. And plan the upcoming tasks earlier for the week to not doing the mistake of planning on the go and doing random tasks as self-gratification.
- Finally, as we have to see it frequently between our routines we decided it to be a new tab extension.
Here’s a sneak into my profile section, that I use to measure the progress.
While #100daysofcode laid the foundation to do coding every day, we build 100daysof.codes on the idea to focus on the system to achieve better results. But the necessity to focus on the process of bigger goals is everywhere. Though we focused on #100daysofcode and built it out from our experience, there is far more to focus on evaluating it to be effective for all and improve our product.
While starting the #100daysofcode, all I see as my challenge is to build the product to help others and get the most out of it to be a better developer. Now as I have built my product, I need a far stronger goal to push me even more forward and never back to the comfort zone.
A few days back, I and Karthik decided to take this as the next big journey to focus more on this product and bring more value to the community. We incorporated our startup and we are working now full time on this. Though we are only two, we are already focusing on our challenges to build a process in managing the product, development, and financial roadmap of us and the company.
Though everything feels the same while I was starting out #100daysofcode, it’s all changed when I push myself to a challenging environment around. We have the same confidence, we will learn much out of it in our journey ahead.
Don't wait for motivation. Just get started.
Join with us now at 100daysof.codes and achieve your goal!
Thanks for taking the time to read my journey. Feel free to, contact me in Twitter or comment below.