Welcome back, last week we discussed improving as a programmer and some helpful tips and sites that I use to improve overall as a programmer. This post is sort of an extension of last week post in that we are going to be discussing programming every day and how valuable it is.
During my college days, I would have no choice but to be programming every day as we always had projects to do or assignments to complete. As I moved into the work full time it was harder and harder to code every day(outside work) as sometimes I was learning all day in work sometimes coding some days not. By the time I got home the last thing I wanted to do was to go back on my computer and start programming again.
After a while of working full time, I got used to not programming when I came home from work and that is a dangerous position to find yourself in. Here are a few reasons: - You get used to the tool set you are using at work and you don’t see what else is out there thereby forming a basis for certain tools or languages - You only work on work related projects and do not work on your own ones, which can hurt in the future when you come to a job and they ask you to show them what you did? you can’t exactly show them your work projects. - Eventually, your learning stagnates as you become used to your work projects and tools the amount you are learning decreases so programming every day outside your job is great for topping up your learning.
So you are convinced that you need to be programming every day but Jason you say “…I don’t have any ideas I am not creative” well here is some news I am not creative at all I still struggle to find ideas to write about or code. So here are some places or ideas you can use to find ideas for projects or help built projects.
- Tell your friends or family your skill set and tell them if they know anybody that needs tech help. This works extremely well if you’re a web developer everybody and their mother seems to need a website so once you tell them you create websites you will get endless work.
- Use websites that provide project ideas, one of my favourite lately for web dev is www.freecodecamp.com they have front-end and back-end certifications that go from knowing nothing about web dev to being able to completely built your own website. Some projects they will ask you to do is create is Portfolio website and tribute page as you get further down the course the more advanced it gets. Other websites like fiver.com or others you can use to find people that are looking to automate small to big jobs and you can be paid for it. I don’t have much experience with Fiver like websites but they can be useful.
- If you just want to code every day and improve your program solving skills Hackerrank is by far my favourite. I know I mentioned this last week but it’s extremely useful for relearning algorithms, getting into machine learning or even learning the Linux cli.
- Copy an existing website or application and implement it on your own. Have you ever used a program or app and said “I wish it could do X” well this is your chance implement the application better. If you say “Well I don’t want to copy ideas” 99% of apps/websites out there are copies of other sites/apps but just improved on. Best example Uber, Uber is just a taxi service…but it simplifies everything and that is a multi-million dollar company…so don’t be afraid to copy ideas and improve.
There are four ideas to help you get started on programming every day. This is not an exhaustive list by any means but it is to get you started and show you there are many options to help you come up with ideas for side projects or program every day outside of what you do in work. I hope this post helps somebody, writing about this makes me realise I need to be doing more and learning more so if you guys have any other suggestions let me know!
Until next time,