Last month, I participated in #7Days7Websites. Created by Florin Pop, #7Days7Websites is a challenge to build a new website or app each day, for 7 days in a row. These are my reflections on what I learned about myself during that week.
Spare Time is a Privilege
Finding an hour or so to code when you work full time, have a life, plus the stress of a pandemic is tough. This is why I’ve avoided daily code challenges in the past. Previously, I’ve been wiped after a workday at a relatively chill 9-5 job. Sometimes I needed the time away from the computer to recharge and do something other than coding and critical thinking.
During the #7Days7Websites challenge, I also realized I was bad at estimating how long something would take. In the future, I’ll benefit from more pre-planning, perhaps on one larger project that I add to each day, as opposed to starting from scratch each time.
Overall, coding for fun every day is a habit that I would like to maintain, but I am not sure how to make that work for me at this moment.
I have to do what feels best for me, even if it’s not coding.
I can go on about this topic, but it is 100% ok to not be coding in every spare moment of every day.
Planning Makes Coding Easier
Knowing that “code something” was on my to-do list for the day, knowing what I wanted to do was where I struggled. What was I going to code that day?
Should I try to execute an original project or try a prompt? For either option, it would take some planning to figure out what I wanted to work on, take a guess at the scope and see if I had the bandwidth to complete it during the day.
On the days where I did have an original idea, the planning I had already done helped me to keep momentum. I was able to stay focused on coding as opposed to planning out what I needed.
Prompts are Cool
Related to my above point, prompts are great if you are itching to code but have run out of ideas. I saw other participants of #7Days7Websites do challenges from Frontend Mentor, so I decided to check them out and ended up doing a lot of them in the last half of the week.
Coding Everyday is Hard
Technically, coding something every day is doable. But having a nice, complete, “this-works-as-as commit” amount of code was difficult for me. I do not like to leave features unfinished or broken. At the same time, finding those doable nuggets of code was easier said than done.
Would I do it Again?
Like I’ve said earlier, I love the idea of coding every day.
Small steps toward a bigger one is a great approach. But, as much as I love it, I do not always have the energy to code after work every day. I hate that I feel this way, but there are other priorities and—wow—also a literal pandemic going on right now.
There are other aspects to being a developer that do not involve coding. And for me, it’s finding that balances of keeping my skills fresh, continuing to learn, and taking time away for other things. I’d rediscovered the joy of tech podcasts, coding streams, and Twitter chats. They help me to stay connected and engaged with the tech community even if I’m not actively coding.
All in all, #7Days7Websites was a lot of fun. I built some fun things, tried some technologies, and re-established my love for front-end web development.