If you use Twitter, you must have seen this #100daysofcode popping up in your feed every now and then. I saw it often but never tried it. This year, however, I made a commitment to myself, which was to make 12 products in 12 months. Might sound weird to some, but it has worked great for me so far.
We have successfully launched 2 products on ProductHunt so far, have completed making the 3rd one, and have started working on the 4th as well. But the challenge is yet to be completed; far from it actually. And that only excites me more. I had a good idea how much of a challenge it was going to be, so the first thing I did was start working almost every single day, and my GitHub contribution began to look like this:
When I was in Taiwan and attending some meetups last month, someone asked me whether I was following the #100daysofcode challenge. I said no, but it still made me stop and think, "Wait, am I?" Because I had already been coding continuously for more than 45 days. And although I was on vacation, in my subconscious mind, the idea kind of stuck, and I started pushing myself to somehow do at least one commit on GitHub daily.
My reasoning was that since I had already done almost 50 days, why not make it official and go all the way to 100? And so I continued making daily commits, even if it was just a minor change in CSS. I started feeling the pressure quickly, soon realizing that this wasn't the most productive way for me to do things. Many times, I felt like I didn't have enough time to think about new ideas or work on something new. So I quit, but this experience made me realize that many others must have felt the same thing I did. I asked my dev friends who have completed the challenge how they managed to do it. Some said it was easy as they had to code daily for work anyway, so that covered 5 days a week and they just had to code on weekends. Some actually tried to game the system by doing meaningless commits on private repos, and one person even went so far as to use a tool to generate fake git commits.
All this made me realize one thing about #100daysofcode:
"It's not about continuing, it's all about starting."
100 Days of Code is a challenge, and like all challenges of this nature (think NaNoWriMo, 100DaysofDesign, etc.), its purpose is to ignite the fire in you. Popular among beginners, #100daysofcode was started to inspire them to start writing their very first lines of code. As a former teacher, I know this for a fact that beginners often spend most of their time watching videos, reading articles, and digesting knowledge they won't be using for months if not years, rather than actually implementing what they learn by writing some real code. This challenge inspires them to do that.
But keep in mind, it's not necessary for you to complete it. You have already won if you've actually started. The point of this challenge isn't to complete it for the sake of completing it, but rather to cultivate a good habit of actually writing code on a regular basis. You have to understand that this is not for the people reading your tweets or scrolling through your Github profile. It's for you, only for you. So don't cheat the system, because sometimes it's okay to fail. At least you started and lost honorably.
Instead, I chose to enjoy my last few days in Taiwan. I went to Green Island near the east coast, and it was the best decision of my life. I had never been this close to the sea, so it was exhilarating for me. Green Island is absolutely gorgeous - just look at the photos below - and I hope I can see it again someday soon!
But after days of carefree traveling, one evening, I dared to open my laptop and revisit an old project. While navigating through its node modules folder, I noticed something I hadn't before, and bam! Just like that, I found an idea for my next product, which is actually the 4th one I'm currently working on. It called Moddoc and it's a tool for developers. (I will share more details soon!)
It's simple, guys. Stop pushing yourself to the point where the stress makes you lose sight of the bigger picture. If it's getting that stressful, 100daysofcode will just make you less productive. So when that stress bar hits the peak value, grab your car, hit the road, and take a break.
Remember, being busy != being productive.
Even if you can't do 100 days of code, do 50 or maybe 20, or even just a week. Just start. This is what matters, THE START.
Thank you so much, friends. Hope you liked my article, and if you did, don't forget to read my other articles as well.
If you have a cool story of your own related to #100daysofcode, please share it in the comments section below. If you don't, how about you start your own journey with me here? I'm always eager to collaborate. 😊