Coding every day

For the last two months I have been coding every single day. At least I tried. By coding every day I mean pushing new code, that is my goal. Let met tell you why I did this.

Bad coding skills

Coding for me has always been a kind of hate/love relationship, I like coding in the way that sometimes I’m capable of building something I make up from scratch.

Although most of what I do are toy projectes, the feeling is really nice. Long time ago I struggled trying to code the most simple thing - and sometimes I still do - however I realized that coding is not different from any other activity you do.

If you like doing sports, and you want to run faster, there is only one way to get that goal, traning.

Practice helps you to reinforce the information you learn days behind. Suddenly some technique becomes natural on you and you do not have to think more about it.

A routine

One of the problems I have/had with coding was getting started and persevering. For instance, I love doing sports and I practice crossfit, normally I workout between 4-5 days per week and I take it seriously.

Let’s say that one week I workout two days, next week one day then I workout fivedays in a row. You always are getting started because you do not have a routine, and you spend too much time learning the basic moves, and you also get disscouraged, you do not see any improvement.

I exactly have/had this issue with coding. As you may realized, if you do not stick with a routine, you are most probably going to fail. It does not matter the language, I had to review the basics of it and I didn’t get the feeling I was improving.

The problem is always the same, we are trying to get too many things done, but we are always complaining about time.

Daily coding

Right now I can not remember, but I read a write-up about somebody that was coding for every single day, and I thought I could give it a try. I had never tried such a thing, but I was willing to.

Ideally I like to have some pet projects where I can hack around for probably one week or even more. To me, the biggest issue I have is creativity, I need to think and read a lot to get inspired. Sometimes you are not in the mood, or you are on vacation, or probably you do not have your equipment with you. Even simpler than that, you just do not feel like coding.

However, I found the perfect way to code almost every day. I say almost because most sure, I will skip some day. I guess the point is, it is ok coding every day as long as it does not turns out in duty.

Snippets

The best to code something like 20-30min per day was with snippets. A snippet is just a small chunk of code that shows a funcionality. Let’s say you want to parse XML information using Python, that would be the task to complete in that time. Sometimes I even spend more time, that is not the point. The key is to learn something new and write some new code.

This has worked really well for me. Think of this like reading, some people in order to get a lecture habit start reading either a certain time or a number of pages per day. Well, this is what I wanted to do, that coding was something that I like to do and I want to get that habit, alghough not always you have the time for coding even ten minutes.

My job

I work as a Service Engineer and I have to travel all around the world, doing my thing, I should explain that too, but probably in other post.

The last five weeks I have been working from Mexico. I’m used to spend a lot of time abroad, but this time was different, I had to work at nights and I was travelling to different states during the day. I barely had time and I was really tired because my sleeping was not very goot at all.

At the end I have been able of coding every day, but it was really hard, and just the first week I came up with something that I was hacking like one week. I really like those small projects, because you only need to define a new feature and every day you can do a small part of it.

I will go on with this experiment, who knows If I quit in two days or two months, the point is that there are things beyond our willigness that can delay our personal projects, and if it happens every now and then, it’s ok.

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