by Alexander Kallaway

Boot Up 2017 with the #100DaysOfCode Challenge

A year ago, I was frustrated with my slow speed of progress in learning to code.

I knew I needed to do what all the experts recommended: code every day and push myself to build projects.

But time after time, I found myself skipping days and taking the easier route of just following along with tutorials.

I needed a way to force myself to get onto the right track and stay there. And that’s when inspiration struck.

I knew that habits were powerful, and that everything becomes much easier once you get going. So I decided to commit to coding every day for 100 days.

Then, as a way to get some social accountability and to share some inspiration, I wrote an article called “Join the #100DaysOfCode.”

I was pumped up — and also a bit anxious — when Quincy Larson approached me about publishing my story in Free Code Camp’s Medium publication.

The idea of building projects for 100 days straight resonated with a lot of people. More than 100 people made serious attempts at this challenge, and many of us finished all 100 days.

We also shared our progress on Twitter — both good days and bad days — using the hashtag #100DaysOfCode. This made it easy for a community to spring up around it, and for people to find and support one another.

During the 100 days, I personally built several projects, had a lot of fun, and made a lot of friends.

A lot of people have approached me asking for a new start date for #100DaysOfCode. And what better time to commit to the challenge than in the new year.

A New #100DaysOfCode for a New Year

First things first, if you rise to the to the #100DaysOfCode challenge, here’s what you’re committing to:

  1. I will code for at least an hour every day.
  2. I will tweet my progress every day, with the hashtag #100DaysOfCode and note which day of the challenge I’m on.
  3. I will fork the #100DaysOfCode repository to my GitHub account, then track my progress there
  4. If I code as part of my job, I will not count that time towards the challenge.
  5. I will only count the days where I spend at least some of my time building projects — not the days where I spend all my coding time working through lessons and tutorials. (If you’re new to coding, Free Code Camp’s curriculum quickly ramps up to building projects, and you will have built dozens of projects by the time you finish it).
  6. I will encourage and support at least two people each day in the #100DaysOfCode challenge on Twitter.
  7. I will only skip a day if something important comes up. And when I resume, I won’t count the day I skipped as one of my 100 days.

January 1 isn’t a very practical day for new endeavors, so everyone will get started on January 3rd, 2017.

What #100DaysOfCode can do for you

There are several good reasons you should consider committing to this challenge:

  1. Coding will become a daily habit for you — a habit that you can easily maintain after you’ve finished the challenge.
  2. Every day that you consistently code, you’ll build momentum. That momentum will make it easier for you to learn more advanced topics. You won’t have to spend extra time trying to remember what you did previously. You can stay in the “flow” of coding.
  3. You’ll make friends and meet like-minded people who are also working through this challenge alongside you. They’ll help you find the strength to keep coding even on the days when you don’t feel like you’re making progress. They can also help you when you inevitably get stuck.
  4. The projects that you’ll build will be small in scope, so by the time you finish, you’ll have completed several of them — and gained a wide range of experience.
  5. If you were just working through tutorials, you wouldn’t have much to show for it. But with #100DaysOfCode, you’ll build real portfolio projects that you can show to potential employers and share with your family.
  6. These projects will give you practice with concepts that frequently come up during developer job interviews.
  7. Your GitHub profile will look extremely active. And yes, hiring managers and recruiters do look at these.
  8. You’ll greatly diminish your fear of starting a new coding project. It will become a natural, ordinary thing to do.
  9. You’ll have a good reason to stop procrastinating and start coding every day.

If all this sounds good, click here to tweet out your commitment to the #100DaysOfCode challenge.

If you still aren’t sure whether this challenge is for you, take a moment to listen to Saron Yitbarek interview me about #100DaysOfCode on the CodeNewbie Podcast. We talk about the history of this challenge, and all the exciting things that have come out of it.

Also, scroll through some of the live tweets from people who have committed to the challenge and working through it.

If you have friends who you think might be interested in taking this challenge, share this story with them. And you can help more people see this here on Medium by clicking the ❤ below.

Here’s wishing you a Happy New Year, and at least 100 solid days of coding!