Vacation broke my Github streak of consecutive days for coding and contributing code openly.
It started out as a way to get me back into programming Python code and trying to test a theory I had about how to become a top 1% software developer by doing “Freecoding” – a method based on what authors use to overcome writers block and become faster at writing.
There were several key lessons I got while doing this:
- It can be difficult to think of original things to program every day
- I had the opportunity to find a lot of gems in the Python standard library and practice using them
- My knowledge of the language is significantly deeper than it would be had I just been programming professionally
- It gave me time to explore some of the other sub-communities within Python – example: Mathematics, plotting, and machine learning
One thing I was hoping this would be more effective with was getting fast at developing with a web framework. Over the course of 250+ days of coding I wrote nearly 25 web applications with Flask. I wanted to get to the point where I could type a new web application as fast as my typing speed allowed and that recalling names of packages and how to bootstrap a new application would come so quickly that there would be no cognitive load at all. It turns out that it’s hard to do.for a couple of reasons. First, If I don’t know what the application is going to do (within the scope of something that can be finished in < 30mins) then I get bogged down with figuring out something to do. When I tried implementing the same application everyday it became a memorization exercise and didn’t help with the understanding of what I was typing.
Additionally it was interesting to experience how my short term memory dropped off over time. After several consecutive days of practice I could perfectly recall a 100+ line program (and type it in 15 minuts), but a break from that practice for a couple days and I’d encounter blocks in my recall. A month long break and most of my memory was missing too many specifics to completely recall it.
Now that the streak is broken I’m calling it quits and re-allocating that time for something else. I have some non open-source code that I’m trying to work on, and I’m falling behind on my reading goal for the year.