I want to code more because:
I really like learning about coding for the web. I’ve worked with code in one way or another for the past five years and I always come back to wanting to learn more about building websites. As a self-taught developer, I felt like I was always missing something from being an actual web developer (hello imposter syndrome!), so I tend to focus my energy on building that skill set. The web changes fast and I want to avoid becoming stagnant or falling behind!
I know I’ll have reached my “code more” goal when:
This is a tough one. You’ll never know everything about code, or the web, or coding for the web. However, I consider myself as having met my goal when I can look back and clearly see what skill gaps I have filled or are working on filling. I also consider feeling more confident in my skillset as a sign that I have completed my code more goal.
My top three assumptions for reaching my goal are:
Working full time. After being in the office, sometimes, I do not want to spend more time staring at a computer screen. Also, my brain hurts sometimes 😐
Managing my time. See above. If I am clear about my goals, I can better manage my time and make progress. However, that is easier said than done
Personal life. As much as I love to learn to code and wish that was my full-time job, it is not. For me, there is more to life than sitting in front of a computer screen. Health, family, and friends are priorities too.
Of these assumptions, my riskiest is managing my time.
When I think about my riskiest assumption, three possible root causes are:
Prioritizing easy/instant gratification over long-term goals.
Saying “yes” to being lazy, instead of “yes” to being productive/working toward my long-term goals.
Being too generous with my time. I need to respect my own time in order to be successful.
3 ways I might address these root causes are:
Do not overcommit! I’m guilty of taking on “all of the things” and not really having time to do them all. Or letting not-as-important things (I’m looking at you Netflix!) take up the time I do have.
GOAL: Understand what has and hasn’t worked in past attempts to code more, and start thinking about long and short-term goals.
What has worked?
Having an accountability buddy / going through a challenge with other people in my network
Saying my goals aloud (or on Twitter)
Setting SMART goals
Writing down my goals so that I can refer to there
Having a project where other people depend on me – I don’t want to let someone else down. For example, I was really happy with my Halloween countdown timer project that I did for Hacktoberfest. I didn’t talk myself out of participating. I was so excited to practice merge commits / etc that I was easily putting 3-4 hours in daily to keep it up to date. It was a project I was really excited about, it was fun, I learned a lot and was able to help other people practice as well. I really enjoy sharing what I’ve learned with other people. The positive feedback is a confidence booster too!
Based on the above, I know that I am someone who learns by doing. More than that, I like having a project that means something in the end. That is probably why most classes with fake projects don’t go well for me. I work full time so I don’t have unlimited time resources like I did in college
What has not worked?
Most free / cheap Udemy classes. The quality can go either way and I’m not as motivated to move through the material.
Setting goals that were to vague or unrealistic. I’ve since learned that I do better when I write things down and break them into smaller pieces. Sometimes learning to code every night isn’t realistic
Daily challenges don’t work so well for me. My mood, energy levels, priorities, etc, vary day by day, so the daily stuff doesn’t usually happen. For something that has expected checkpoints / time commitments (1hr a day OR 5 hours a week) I do tend to do better. Some days I feel like coding for several hours or I am in a good headspace to learn, others I am not
Rebuilding my portfolio has not been a project I’ve successfully completed since the last major redesign in 2013ish. I keep starting with great intent and not really going anywhere. I’m embarrassed at not having a site (or rather, an online presence that speaks to the work I do, etc) but it keeps not being a priority for me. I need to be ok with using a theme and filling it in with some killer content then waiting to build something from scratch that is perfect. I think I focus on the bigger picture and don’t break it down into small enough chunks. The deadlines I set are arbitrary / etc so I tend to scramble to having something up before a conference, etc.
What are your long-term goals?
To be a front-end developer! I can do front-end development work, but I feel like an imposter. I don’t feel comfortable as a front-end developer or that I’d be able to make it in a front-end developer role, and I would like to fill that gap. I’d like to learn or improve my skillset in the following areas (to start)
I’d like to expand my comfort level with design thinking and leadership. I’m torn between sticking with the developer route (which seems hard to get into) and the designer route (equally challenging since I’ve been out of the design game for a while).
What are your short-term goals?
By the end of this challenge, I’d like to have my website hosted on either github pages or AWS. I would also like to make significant progress in the Udacity course I am taking.