For the past week I have been trying to be more active on GitHub. I’m writing code every single day in an effort to boost my presence and learn a few new things.
GitHub has created a social network around writing software which serves as a productive (and necessary) tool and also as a portfolio of work. Showcasing your work on github is perhaps one of the best ways to show a potential employer the quality of your code.
As a professional software developer having more code on Github seems like a necessity these days. However the real reason I am writing and sharing more code is that I want to get better at it, and I want to explore this new concept I’m developing called Free Coding.
Free Coding is based on a similar practice used by authors to warm up before writing real stuff for the day. The idea is to write as quickly as possible off the top of your head for 10-20 minutes. It is meant to get the juices flowing – to wake up your creative mind and connect that through your hands and onto paper. The expected outcome is that authors will more reliably reach a productive flow state when they transition to real writing.
I’m testing to see if a similar technique will work for software development. And to keep the whole process open I’m committing my daily free coding sessions to my GitHub account.
After the first week of doing it I think it is already improving my code although I don’t yet have a way to measure the improvement. It has turned into a chance for me to play with aspects of Python that I’m not all that familiar with, and to write some simple fun scripts. It has already inspired me to write more code than I otherwise would have as the 15 minute free coding session has extended several hours longer on more than one occasion in the last week.
If my anecdotal experience continues to be positive I may try to spread the word and get more developers Free Coding.