Recently I decided that I wanted to push myself a little and commit code every day. I am checking in to share some things I have learned after 100 days of continuous committing.
Anyone that uses git probably knows that you can fake the Github commit streak count. And that’s totally fine. The value for me is not in the publicly available streak number. This “challenge” is something I wanted to do for myself for my own growth as a developer.
What did I gain?
Since I already commit code everyday as part of my job, I wasn’t expecting this challenge to make much difference. I was very wrong.
I would rarely work on anything meaningful on the weekends. Why would I want to spend my weekend writing code when I do that every day at my job? I found, given the right project, coding can give me the same sense of vacation from work that I get playing video games. Since 99% of my coding has always been work related, I never gave myself opportunities to venture out. I had this irrational fear that if I started a new project, in a entirely different language/framework, it was destined to become a failed experiment or a distraction from my work. I think a lot of that is left over from years of freelance work. And some failed experiments.
There’s a Whole World Out There
Suddenly, I was finding, learning and using far more different technologies than I ever had in the same timeframe in the past. I found myself making progress on a myriad of side projects in languages and frameworks I never thought I would use. And, I am actually proud of the state of some of my side projects. I’ve built and released a mobile game, written a meaningless communication app, setup complete build and release pipelines, become very familiar with Docker, managed a game server with Ansible, moved my blog over to Jekyll and am now serving it out of an S3 bucket.
I explored something if it looked interesting. And the requirement to make at least one commit per day pushed me just far enough to actually do something cool with what I found, instead of just locking it away as random knowledge that would eventually be forgotten. I never would have believed that this challenge could possibly result in the value that it has for me.
I am going to keep committing each day. I am excited to keep learning and growing.