Too much, too soon
Before I started my recent journey into coding, I thought I would learn HTML, CSS, JS, React, Python and maybe, a little Java. I managed to get to the twelfth day before I slipped up and avoided coding for two whole days. It was clear I was taking too much on. It's not the first time I have attempted to code. I remember in late 2009, I had a go of learning HTML, CSS and some snippets of JS to create a photo gallery with Lightbox. I felt like I had discovered fire when the images floated in from the right and shot off to the left. I created little projects for the next two years before completely giving up on any type of coding. By 2012, I was off to university to train as a Primary teacher in England and gain a Bachelor of Arts in Education (I passed with first-class honours!).
Fast forward to 2022 and I find myself teaching Computing to 10 to 14 year olds at a specialist school, as well as maintaining the school's website and blog (WordPress). With 14 years of experience in IT service and support under my belt, I am frequently asked to take on numerous technical challenges at work where my colleagues need my support and advice. Using my old skills is like riding a bike. I may wobble at first, but I still have it. There are a few extra responsibilities I have taken on recently, both work and personal, where I need to start creating websites to support others. As I was scrolling through Twitter for some inspiration for web development and other coding skills in late June when the hashtag #100DaysOfCode kept appearing. I was intrigued. A few clicks in and I found what all the fuss was all about. Simply put - spend one hour a day for the next 100 days coding and share the experience with others on Twitter [Official link].
So, how am I doing?
I have discovered Visual Studio Code, Atom and a collection of awesome plugins to make the experience of web development enjoyable. I am currently going into my seventh day of the #100DaysOfCode journey. More importantly, I am enjoying it! I wake up wanting to code. The need to waste my time gaming has been replaced with coding and learning new skills. I have met some great people online and I am super excited to see where this journey takes me (hopefully, a new job and experiences). It would be amazing if I could some money as part of a side hustle. I've tried Scrimba, which is amazing because their delivery for learning HTML and CSS is unique and fun. I have looked at websites such as W3C School, DevDocs.io, MDN Web Docs, including online editors to get a feel for quickly creating online content. I wish CodePen.io was around when I first looked at HTML and CSS back in the day! I decided, as much as I enjoy Scrimba, to try a course on Udemy that will focus my attention on a mixture of skills where I will come out with completed projects to show off online. I believe a small collection for my personal portfolio will be beneficial to share with potential employers. I have chosen a course by the App Brewery's own Dr. Angel Yu called The Complete 2022 Web Development Bootcamp. I have managed to get through two hours of the course and read additional content to access at the beginning. All my progress is documented with a Google Doc I have made, so I know where I am up to. All the links and notes are stored inside like I would with Notion. The Doc is saved to a calendar entry, and a reminder is pinged to me each morning at 6:30 am. If I have missed the prompt to capitalise on my morning free time, I receive a Todoist reminder in the evening. It has worked a treat so far into the challenge.
Accountability and progress
I will record and share my progress along the way. There won't be a daily update on here, but I do tweet about my #100DaysOfCode experience on my Twitter account, which is here - @theminimlrblog. A weekly update here is more likely and achievable. As Dr Angela Yu said, accountability is important, especially when you are accountable to someone else. My progress will impact others, and I am well aware of this. From the start of September, I will be spending some time, one-to-one, with a student who wants to learn how to create websites. How can I do that if I don't know myself? Great incentive! I plan to finish the BootCamp because I know how much I personally benefit from the course as well as the students at my school.