Github Streak is Over

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.