Oscar Jesionek

100 Days of Code (24.12.2018 - 03.04.2018)

December 24, 2018

33 & 63 day updates added at the bottom of the post.

Starting today, 24.12.2018 (🎅🏻), I’ll be doing the 100 Days of Code challenge. It’s exactly what it sounds like: I’m committing to improving my coding skills for least 1hr a day continuously for the next 100 days.

Why

My long-term goal is to own a successful software company. In order to do that, I need solid frontend and backend coding skills so that I can quickly develop and launch product MVPs.

I’d love to focus on building side-projects right now but I realize that there are a few blind-spots in my coding knowledge that I should focus on eliminating first. This will also be beneficial for my actual day job as a remote marketing developer.

I’ve been doing a decent job of studying these past few weeks but I haven’t been as consistent as I want to be. I’d occasionally leave out a day or only do 30 minutes. This challenge will help me stay accountable.

What I’ll be focusing on

Here are the areas I intend to focus on in the next 100 days:

  • Finishing the Advanced React & GraphQL course
  • React testing: I’ve only done minimal testing in Javascript so far, so this is an important skill I need to work on
  • Node course: I plan to build the backend APIs for my side-projects in Node, so I want to get more familiar with it.
  • Advanced React patterns & concepts: render props, hooks, etc.
  • Webpack
  • CSS Grid

How

I’ll spend at least 1hr improving my coding skills every day. I’m actually aiming to get closer to 2hr on most days but I have to be realistic that between my day job, the holidays, and other responsibilities - it might be hard to hit the 2hr mark every single day. Doing 1hr should always be possible, no matter what happens.

The main obstacles I foresee are traveling days: I will be traveling to Bali, Australia, Singapore, and Malaysia in the next 3 months. I’ll need to be extra disciplined not to drop the ball on those days.

Follow along

I’ll do daily posts on Instagram and Twitter updating on my progress. Follow me there if you’re interested to see how it goes. I’ll be using the #oscars100daysofcode hashtag to mark the posts.

I quickly got tired of spamming daily progress posts so instead you can check out this Airtable spreadsheet to see how it’s going and what I’m working on.

I’ll also do updates on this blog on days 30 and 60 as well as a retrospective after the 100 days are over.


Update after 33 days (26.01.2019)

One-third of my 100 Days of Coding challenge is now over and my results have been mixed. As you can see in my tracking spreadsheet, I started out strong. I had a consecutive streak of 14 days, where I often studied for more than the required 1hr daily.

I stayed on track when it comes to the topics I was planning to focus on with two exceptions: I added Typescript and SQL as topics since I need them for a new project I’m tackling at work.

I had a major setback starting on January 10th, when I caught an ugly case of food poisoning while on Bali. I was in no shape to do any kind of coding or focused work.

That part is understandable but it also took me four days to get back to studying even after I was healthy again. Partly because I was focused on catching up on work but also because I had now lost momentum. I also missed another three days while on a work trip to Bangkok.

Basically, when other aspects of my life needed more attention (health, job), I found it hard to stay on track.

During the first 33 days I:

  • Studied for 1hr+ on 20 out of 33 days (60%)
  • Spent a total of 23h20m studying

These are not awful numbers and I’m glad I’m doing this challenge. 100 days are turning out to be longer than I thought and building the habit of studying daily will serve me well for a long time to come.

During the next 33 days I’ll focus on being more consistent and not letting my plans fall apart when things get tough.


Update after 63 days (25.02.2019)

I’m relatively happy with the 30 days since my last update. I had a very strong start and only stopped hitting my daily 1h goal in the last week, during my trip to Sydney. Just like during my previous trips to Bali and Bangkok, travel made it very hard to be consistent.

During those 30 days I:

  • Studied for 1hr+ on 20 out of 30 days (67%)
  • Spent a total of 27h05m studying

That said, I have now decided to put the project on hold. A new side-project opportunity came up and I will devote my time to that instead. I struggled with this decision a bit as I hate not sticking to my goals, which in this case would be completing the 100 days.

After putting some thought into it though, I realized that the end goal is not the learning itself - instead, it’s getting the skills to build a great company down the road. So if I have the opportunity to go after a business idea right now, that should take precedence.

Overall I’m happy with how the project turned out: I studied for nearly 50 hours during 63 days, in addition to all the learning I did in my day job.


Oscar Jesionek

I'm a fullstack marketing developer working remotely from Europe and Asia. Sign up below to get my posts delivered to your inbox.