What I Gained From #100DaysOfCode Challenge: Inspiration Doesn’t Always Come First

Maribel Duran

“Don’t just sit there. Do something. The answers will follow.”- Mark Mason

Last week I completed the 100 Days Of Code Challenge! Through this experience, I found a twitter community that helped me make coding a daily habit. I also gained other important skills and values that I want to share with you.

I encourage anyone trying to level up their coding skills to give this challenge a try!

Skills and Values Gained

During the first half of this challenge I thought I wasn’t going to make it. Coding and tweeting about my progress every day took me out of my comfort zone because it forced me to think about what exactly I was trying to solve. But I am so happy I stuck with it! Below are some skills that I have gained:

  1. Made coding a daily habit
  2. By tweeting about my progress, I learned to write more clearly about the challenges I was facing or solutions I was looking for
  3. Moved away from Codepen and started using Git
  4. Practiced writing more detailed git commit comments
  5. Let go of the fear of whether my code would be good enough
  6. Stopped waiting for inspiration to come in order to get started on a project

The Challenge

At the beginning of the year, I committed myself to this challenge because I wanted a way to push myself to code everyday. The rules that I followed were: (Take a look at Join the #100DaysOfCode for a full list of rules)

  1. Coded for at least an hour every day for 100 Days
  2. Tweeted about my progress every day
  3. Worked on real projects (Tutorials, online courses and other similar resources did not count).

The most daunting rule for me was that I had to work on real projects, not tutorials or exercises. What would I do if I wasn’t motivated or inspired? What if I missed a day? What if I got stuck on the project?

I Struggled and Learned

Concern #1: What if I missed a day?

Indeed there were days where I didn’t get to code. But tweeting that I would make up for it motivated me to put in that extra hour the next day.

Concern #2: What would I do if I wasn’t inspired or motivated?

There were days where I couldn’t find the inspiration to come up with the creative portion of the project. It might have been a stressful day at work or couldn’t simply decide what I was trying to achieve.

So I worked on something else that I already knew how to accomplish. For example, I would work on trying to make my methods more readable. Even if it meant just updating a method’s name. Any progress was better than none.

Concern #3: What if I got stuck on the project?

I think the answer to this concern took me by surprise. Initially I would sit there and get overwhelmed with the problem I was facing. But the key point was to just start working on it. I soon realized that there was always a smaller problem to work on within my bigger problem. So I learned to create a list of really small tasks so I always had something to tackle on. Adios excuses!

Most Valuable Lesson Learned: Inspiration Doesn’t Always Come First.

The most important lesson learned was that inspiration doesn’t always come first. One night I was reading The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*** and Mark Manson explained something I connected with:

“Your actions create further emotional reactions and inspirations and move on to motivate your future actions. Action -> Inspiration -> Motivation”

No longer do I wait for inspiration to give me the first step. I learned to push through difficulties even when I don’t have any inspiration. I simply start working on something. I encourage you to do the same.

But please keep looking for inspiration to help you create! “Reading quotes, reading books, watching media, and paying attention to the world around you can act as inspiration” — DeveloperTea

Thank you ❤

Thanks to all my friends, boyfriend, and twitter community who supported me every step of the way. I will continue to code daily and continue on my journey to becoming a web developer.

We all need some validation and motivation to know that we are on the right track. And I think #100DaysOfCode is a great resource to find this.

Here are three of the FCC Front End Development Projects I completed thanks to #100DaysOfCodeChallenge.

Minimalist Pomodoro Timer: https://maribelduran.github.io/pomodoro-timer/
Javascript Calculator: https://maribelduran.github.io/javascript-calculator/
Twitch Streamers App: https://maribelduran.github.io/twitch_streamers/


Are you up for the challenge? Join the #100DaysOfCode

If you liked this article, click the💚 below so other people will see it here on Medium.

Let’s be friends on Twitter. Happy Coding :)

Maribel Duran

Written by

Software Developer living in the Bay Area. Spending my time Running | Hiking | Coding. Here to share inspiration :)

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