Introduction to #100DaysofCode
I was waiting in the TNP queue at O’Hare airport, listening to CodeNewbie podcasts, when the person being interviewed suggested that aspiring web developers should find meetups to practice coding and network with other developers.
I immediately googled “code workshop Chicago 2019,” which led me to download the Meetup app. There I found People of Color’s “Code and Chill” and Thinkful Chicago’s “Learn to Code.” I registered for both. I also found Girl Develop It’s meetup, but registration wouldn’t open until January 9th, so I set a reminder on my phone.
After driving Uber passengers around for another hour and ending up somewhere in Hoffman Estates, I set myself toward home, wondering how in the world I was going to learn how to code. I couldn’t even answer the main question bouncing around in my brain: what did I actually plan to code?
I decided to go to the library so I wouldn’t be tempted to fall asleep at home. With no distractions, I learned about Slack channels and subscribed to the CodeNewbie and POC’s workspaces, chose a nice profile pic for my online networking endeavors, and created a new Twitter account. That’s when things got interesting.
The following is a timeline of what has happened since I decided to join the #100DaysofCode challenge on Twitter.
Day 1 (1/4/19)
I only have to take one look at my stupid basketball game on Scratch to decide that this is not how I want to spend 100 Days of Code. I restart Colt Steele’s “Complete Web Developer Bootcamp” on Udemy, something I signed up for months ago. It was boring then and it’s boring now (sidenote: Colt’s not boring, I think it’s a great intro for $10. I’m bored because I want to move faster.) I realize I learn best when I’m doing. But what can I do?
Then I get an idea. Earlier in the day, I’d heard Brian Douglas explain in his interview on CodeNewbie that one of the reasons he blogged while learning to code was that it served as his own knowledge database, so he wouldn’t need to keep looking for answers to problems he’d already solved. I spend the next hour taking notes from MDN in Sublime, thrilled each time I open the file in Chrome. Now I’m excited.
Day 2 (1/5/19)
Day 3 (1/6/19)
Colt Steele’s “The Web Developer Bootcamp” on Udemy is suddenly more interesting, since I’m now taking notes on his lectures and converting them to HTML. I notice one problem, that one instance of a right angle bracket is rendering in Chrome as two, stacked on top of one another. Not sure why; it’s written the same way as the brackets surrounding “body”. I’ll keep looking.
Day 4 (1/7/19)
Code fixed. I was typing the wrong characters for the closing angle brackets. Hilarious. NOT.
Listening to CodeNewbie again, about 6am, sitting in the TNP line at O’Hare, when I hear Jeff Casimir from the Turing School of Software and Design discuss coding bootcamps, though he doesn’t refer to his non-profit coding program as a bootcamp because it implies bare minimum commitment or “just enough” mentality (my paraphrase). His assessment of the time investment needed to even have a chance at success is sobering.
Questions flood my brain, but of one thing I am absolutely sure: I need to be doing more! After dropping off the next passenger, I pull over and google Jeff’s organization, the Turing School of Software and Design. Some seconds into an application, there’s a “series of questions;” i.e. a test on logic. I drift away for a moment.
I’m in sixth grade. My family has gotten a ton of invites from different educational programs like Kenwood Academy’s fast-track to high school for seventh graders, among others (we settle on an offer from Boys Hope Girls Hope of Illinois… that’s a topic for another day). But one of the invitations is from the International Baccalaureate program. I remember being very nervous and excited. Upon receiving my score, I find out that I’ve passed every metric except for one: logical reasoning. But what does that mean?
Back to Present
Despite feeling like this is a total waste of time, I answer two questions in the car (my Samsung Note, it’s like my Handy Dandy notebook.) Then I drive to the local library. In a corner for the next three hours (not all spent answering the questions, needed to stretch often), I answered the remaining six questions. I submit the application and am told that I’ll receive an answer within two weeks.
On Twitter, keeping up with the #100DaysofCode challenge, I tweet about submitting the application, and tag the Turing School. I do not expect Jeff Casimir, executive director of Turing, to reply directly to my tweet.
Day 5 (1/8/19)
In the process of researching Turing School, I stumbled across this blog. Here I find encouragement and my next clue. Thanks Dmitry!
So I signed up for a free account and started the practice tests. (In the list of tests, click on “LSAT”, then “LSAT Logic Games.” They are actually fun! I downloaded their free Android app too, so I can level up between Uber passengers.)
Day 6 (1/9/19)
Is today six? I’ve gotten so much done, it feels like six weeks. Today, in addition to LSAT logic games, FreeCodeCamp curriculum, and blogging, I attended another Thinkful webinar called, “Becoming a Web Developer” (the emphasis is on what Thinkful has to offer for reaching this goal). The most helpful thing I got from attending this webinar was being pointed to the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting website, which contains statistics on things like graduation rates, job placement and salaries.
Day 7 (1/10/19)
Today, I settled further into the routine of freeCodeCamp, practicing LSAT questions, watching Turing’s YouTube channel (among others), and blogging. The goal is to learn as much as possible before I enroll at any bootcamp, so I moved my school scheduled around a bit: Discrete Mathematics and Intro to HTML/CSS are first up. This was the best I could find for spring 2019; a 100-level business class isn’t going to teach me how to code.My husband has started searching for tech jobs in Denver. It appears he’s excited.
Day 8 (1/11/19)
I’ve spent the last day or so familiarizing myself with Github, Codepen, and practicing typing like a programmer on Typing.io (the first result was 18 WPM; now it’s averaging 25 WPM. However, there’s a new muscle on my right hand, pinky-side. I know because it’s sore). I’m also going through the freeCodeCamp curriculum.
Day 9 (1/12/19)
I continued going through freeCodeCamp and practiced more typing on Typing.io. That’s pretty much it. I’m fighting off some sort of viral infection.
Day 10 (1/13/19)
FreeCodeCamp curriculm touched on CSS variables. To practice, I started styling my notes on HTML with CSS. Per usual, I spent 20-30 min practicing on Typing.io. Later this week, Discrete Mathematics and Intro to HTML classes begin, and will run through May.
For Intro to HTML, our class is building a website for a pseudo-client based on the book, HTML5 and CSS3, Illustrated Complete (2nd Edition), by Sasha Vodnik. The reviews cite several errors in the text, but I don’t imagine they are impossible to overcome.
Day 11 (1/14/19)
I started the morning with freeCodeCamp, but switched over to Codecademy. I like the layout better, and the “Paths” concept is cool. I chose the “Web Development” path and hit the ground running. I’m pretty sure I spend more than one hour a day working on these things, and I’d like to spend more.
I used the Crock-Pot I got in the White Elephant gift exchange at work for the first time today. Chicken noodle soup was the first up, since I’ve had stuffed up sinuses the last few days. I had to call my homie for a step by step, since I really don’t know how to cook anything but steak and quinoa. I think the Crock-Pot and I are gonna be very good friends by the end of #100DaysofCode.
Day 12 (1/15/19)
Today was the first day of Discrete Mathematics. The instructor warned us that it is an extremely difficult course. Duly noted.
After class, I practiced HTML on Codecademy and worked on typing speed. I wanted to turn these days into a table of contents to display at the top, so I edited the CSS of this blog directly to style the table.
Day 13 (1/16/19)
Today was the first day of Intro to HTML. I’m going to build a site for the “Lakeland Reeds Resort,” and will work with a group to build a site of our choice. The instructor is encouraging and optimistic.
Outside of class, I spent 20 minutes practicing on Typing.io. Slowly but surely, my speed is improving and the hand discomfort has subsided. I also read chapters three and four of Jon Duckett’s HTML/CSS book, which covered lists and links.
Day 14 (1/17/19)
I got my math book yesterday. The first page captured my attention.
How many dots are there on a pair of dice?
Long story short, there are 42 dots on a pair of dice. But how would we know, without counting? Apparently there’s a formula, which says that the sum of integers from 1 to n is equal to half of n multiplied by n + 1.
Sum of integers 1 to n = 1/2n(n+1)
Now that’s cool. But after class, driving my car doesn’t make sense anymore.
Day 15 (1/18/19)
Today was a challenge. My nasal passages have been bloody dry all week and it’s starting to affect my ability to sleep. So despite making Uber runs in morning, the afternoon is spent in a seni-vegetative state. I’m beginning to question if waking up at 3am to drive will be sustainable when I have classwork, a husband, and like, a normal human body.
When I recovered, I migrated my PC desktop to my (new) MacBook using Google’s Backup and Sync program. I found the terminal too, which I considered a win for the day.
Day 16 (1/19/19)
Today I began the paperwork to return the leased vehicle I was using to drive for Uber. It was a difficult application of discipline. Instead of working myself to death (and potentially failing to reach the more important goal of studying well), I’ll just have to learn to stick to our budget.
Days 17-27 (1/20-1/31/19)
In the last ten days, I did a remote interview for Turing and was accepted. Now I’ll spend the new few months deep diving into the materials they suggested and doing my classwork. The rest of my #100DaysofCode challenge will be documented on my Twitter.