After 200 Days of Code…
Days 101 through 125
I did started a free React course on Edx but ended up trashing it since I did not enjoy the pace. There was a lot of copy-pasta code to build a Connect 4 game and I simply didn’t learn that way. During this time, I also switched over to Ubuntu Mate since my Windows 10 had an annoying message to upgrade. It was not too difficult to get use to Linux since the development environment was closer to Mac and I liked it much more than windows actually. Our Free Code Camp Ashburngroup was just slowly starting up too and I started posting more about our meets, setting up the facebook group, and building our local website.
Days 126 through 150
This quarter of the leg, I started on the Free Code Camp Twitch API app. I knew it was going to be more of Fetch API so it was going to be a quick project and I finished on day 130. I started doing HackerRank challenges but evertually stopped since the UI was overcomplicated (CodeWars is a better platform anyways). My friends and I also attempted to work on a project and do interview prep together but it eventually failed as other things took priority. On day 141, I switched over to Manjaro Linux which was so much better than Ubuntu Mate. Some of the features I loved were Yakuake (a persistent terminal), multiple window switches (try the Desktop Cube Animation, pretty slick), Octopi software manager (watches all your software and informs you of updates), and just the beautiful UI that came with the KDE install.
React.createClass (where most people use stateless functional components or ES6 classes now). I still pushed through it but it was tough trying to discern between old syntax versus new. If you ever do find yourself working with old React code, react-codemod is a godsend and helps convert your syntax. It helped me launch the notepad app from that Lynda course actually.
Afterwards, I started React.js Essential Training Course on Lynda on day 148. This course was much better but still didn’t get into a lot of depth. As a general opinion, Lynda.com courses never go into a lot of explanation or best practices. Some of the courses are hit or miss since they might be older. This was my experience with some of the other courses on there as well. The courses explain some topics well but gloss over the others. The format feels more like watch-me-code and learn. I don’t know about you but I learn better if it is explained well and if I code something myself. I shouldn’t complain since my library offered the subscription for free (your library might have it too, you should check). They have other cool stuff on there anyways which I hope to check out in the future.
Oh, and I completed all my Pharmacist CE credits too and all 15 long articles with a pass/fail test at the end, but not that it’s important to you. Haha
Days 151 through 175
I started a photography website for a friend to try out Materialize CSS and an Instagram API. I made a kick-butt contact form for it too. I finished the ReactJS Essential Training course on day 157.
Then came the intership company in Ohio. I had an online interview and they wanted to see what web app I have completed. Up to this point, I only had the Twitch API app that I built. So I came up with the idea to build a project in React for an event management system that I mentioned during the interview. I strapped down for 1 week and really learned React. It was amazing what I picked up under a time constraint. I built the best thing I could and sent them an email. Unfortunately, I never heard from them. That was okay because I learned a tremendous amount of React anyways and it eventually lead me to to more of the React ecosystem and Firebase too.
We continued our regular Free Code Camp meetups during this period. At one event, we even had record-setting 7 devs turn up. It was also my birthday and Christmas season so there were a lot of different festivities. I got deeper into Firebase and learned a lot about data structure manipulation too.
Days 176 through 195
I continued with the momentum and pushed through Wes Bos’s free Learn Redux course to see if there’s anything that would help my Respondez app. I finished the Redux course on day 191 with data from my own instagram account. Turns out that Redux is more for much larger applications and all I really needed was React’s inherent state and the update-immutable library.
I came back to my Respondez App and pushed through all the hurdles with bitten nails and pulled hairs. I’m glad I returned since you can see it for what it is today.
So that’s where I am now, just working on the app and trying to deploy it, fixing bugs, user testing, and writing an article about it. I hope to be able to launch it so other Free Code Camp groups can use it too.
The biggest thing I learned from this cycle of 100 days was to persist even harder and sometimes the most simplest solution is to push through instead of trying to look for libraries/other resources. It helps to also put self-imposed deadlines as it will help you to ship your app faster.
The next 100 rounds, I’m attempting a couple new habits. I’m working on waking up before the sun, meditating, using apple cider vinegar, adding steamed vegetable to my diet, and podcast-walking. This isn’t related to coding but I thought you should know that I have been feeling a significant gain in my productivity. I feel completely relaxed and full of energy to code and no longer take any naps. So that’s why you see the icy sunrise picture as my banner. I love waking up before the sun and the cold invigorates you (as Wim Hof would say, “the cold is your friend”).