100 Days of Code Journey
April 8, 2020
After reading inspiring stories of career changers who transitioned into web development through self-studying, I finally decided on 25 October 2019 to publicly commit to the #100DaysOfCode challenge to take learning to code seriously - although this didn't go completely to plan at first!
Within the first 16 days, I got my first freeCodeCamp certificate for HTML & CSS. I was also enrolled on an 8-week Introduction to Web Development evening course with Code First: Girls, which was incredibly uplifting learning with other inspiring women also interested in pursuing a career in tech. I also got to build my first "proper" website in a team and ended up winning 2nd place in the course competition (it was of course about cats and it's live here).
I've had many moments of self-doubt & struggled to bring myself to tweet my progress because I kept thinking I wasn't good enough. I've now made self-care a priority & I feel ready to restart #100DaysOfCode 🙏 just finished Gordon Zhu's course & I can't recommend it enough! #Day1 pic.twitter.com/NuEVmYkIrA— tuyet le 🌻 (@toowee_) December 15, 2019
On top of a full-time job, I'd found that I put a lot of pressure on myself and couldn't enjoy the learning process. I kept comparing my progress with others, which is detrimental because comparison is the thief of joy. I also applied for a junior dev role on the whim and was shocked I was put through to the interview stage. However, I wasn't able to complete the home assessment which made me question whether learning to code was even for me! BUT I'm grateful for this interview process as I learnt a lot and after a few days of mellowing, self-reflecting and planning, I restarted the #100DaysOfCode challenge on 15 December and completed it on 8 April 2020!
Why do the #100DaysOfCode Challenge?
- Supportive community - From day 1 of tweeting my progress, I discovered how extremely supportive everyone was. No matter how big or small your daily progress was, the support really encouraged me to continue. These people have now become my support network who I feel inspired by daily and I'm forever grateful to them.
- Form a new habit - I developed a momentum of coding/studying daily for at least an hour. Balancing a full time 9-5 job with routine activities and social events was tough but dedicating that time everyday helped me progress fast. This meant listening to tech podcasts and doing SoloLean challenges on my commute to and from work. The process also helped me figure out what learning method suited me. I soon realised doing back-to-back tutorials wasn't challenging or keeping me motivated and that building my own projects was what drove me.
What I've learnt
Looking back at my tweets, it's a good reminder to see my progress log considering I started this challenge knowing only the very basics of HTML and CSS. I learnt:
- HTML5 - how to write semantic HTML to improve SEO and accessibility.
- CSS3 - CSS Grid and Flexbox together are game changers for building amazing layouts. I also learnt about CSS variables, animations and how to build mobile-first web designs using media queries.
- Bootstrap - If I want to build something quick and responsive with less line of code, I now know how to use this CSS framework for this purpose.
- SASS - I'm guilty of writing long stylesheets but I absolutely love how SASS has reorganised my CSS with features including nesting, mixins, variables and inheritance.
- API's - I've learnt about API's and how to use it to fetch and manipulate the data for my program. I deployed my first weather API project on GitHub here.
- Git and GitHub - I feel more confident using the command line on all my work and using it to push my work to GitHub. I've also worked collaboratively in setting up our own project on GitHub.
- Deploying - I used Heroku, Netlify and GitHub to deploy some of my websites/apps.
D67:— tuyet le 🌻 (@toowee_) March 4, 2020
✔️ learnt about lists & dictionaries in the @CodeFirstGirls Python course last night. JS is still my main focus but learning python on the side has really helped consolidate some of the programming concepts I now know 😬
✔️ reviewed Promise and async await#100DaysOfCode pic.twitter.com/k95SVGgt5c
- Web development strategy - I found planning my project before writing any code was very important. Breaking my project down into smaller pieces of work, wireframing what I wanted to build and having a design helped saved me a lot of time when actually building it.