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I survived the quarantine with 100DaysOfCode Challenge

How hard is it to code every day if you love programming and learning new technology? Turns out it is pretty hard. There is always something important or urgent to do, you are tired after work, you want to relax or you are just choosing to do something else. It’s hard to progress fast as a software developer if you don’t put in the time and actually code.

I’ve been taking some time off from work and coding in general, so I needed to create this new habit to code everyday and get excited about my projects all over again. Also I needed to put all that extra quarantine time into something worthwhile.

Previously I fell into the trap where I wanted to get better but I couldn’t find time to dedicate to programming daily. So when I saw another #100daysOfCode tweet, I realized this is just what I needed. It can help me get back on track and make all that extra time benefit me.

So I set up a couple rules for myself:

  • I’m starting TODAY. No need to wait for some perfect day or moment.
  • I’m going to code or learn about web development every day excluding weekends, because I want to spend this time with my family and friends and reset my brain.
  • I’ll make a public commitment and post my progress on Twitter, but won’t obsess about posting every day.
  • If I skip a couple days, I won’t beat myself up, instead (like with meditation), I’ll bring my focus back and continue where I left off.

Those were my basic rules. The next thing I did was decide on the focus of the challenge. I dedicated this one to learning more about 3D web animation, utilizing WebGl and the Three.js library. I shared some of the resources I used and my experience in another blog post. Check it out.

I started learning Three.js basics, building a cube in 3d space. Then I went through different courses and articles to figure out how to build more complicated objects. I tried to tweet almost every day since I had pretty cool visual results. I received very positive feedback from the community and enjoyed interacting with all the amazing people.

It was a lot of new information and I was really impressed with what I could achieve with WebGl technology. It wasn’t easy and it required a lot of time and effort trying to figure things out. I found out that a good understanding of math and trigonometry would be very beneficial when learning 3d development, so I’m going to dedicate some time to that in the future.

Around day 40 I had to take a little break and have a vacation. I wasn’t too upset about it, because in my rules I promised myself not to get critical and frustrated and enjoy my life. I had some time to relax and seek inspiration in the world around me.

50 days through I felt very motivated, excited and felt like the coding habit was definitely there. The hardest part for me to be honest was documenting the challenge and publicly sharing the progress. I certainly need to work on my online presence and social media skills. The best part though was the amazing #100DaysOfCode community. People were so supportive and helpful. I got some really good hints and resources in the comments whenever I had a question or a problem.

Towards day 60 I decided to switch my focus and take time to build an updated portfolio. My very first portfolio was built right out of the coding bootcamp and of course after working at the creative agency and gaining much more experience in web development it needed a revision.

Also after discovering FrontEndMasters, I couldn’t stop drooling over all the courses they had to offer, so I started going through some interesting ones. I learned more about animation with GSAP library and SVG with Sarah Drasner, started diving into Vue.js also with Sarah, learned more about JAM Stack with Jason Lengstorf and learned about creative coding with Matt DesLauriers. And there are so many more workshops I want to take!

For the rest of the challenge I was building my portfolio, figuring out some cool effects and dedicating time every day to learning something programming related. Coming to the end of my challenge I realized that it was free time well spent and that I was ready to start my new job search. Not only did it help me create a coding habit, but it also gave me motivation, sparked my interest and helped me figure out what direction I wanted to go as a web developer.

I consider my 100DaysOfCode challenge successfully completed and the goals achieved. Even though there has been some stumbling along the way, I’ve made it, and I survived the quarantine without going mad! I’ve created the habit to code and learn every day and keep up with the fast changing technology world. I truly believe that you need to continue learning and discovering new things in order to be a good specialist and stay passionate in your work.

If you want to learn more about the challenge, you can check out their site here. You can also find me on twitter and see what I’ve been posting throughout the challenge. Don’t be shy to drop me a message, I would love to chat and meet new friends.

Good luck with your 100DaysOfCode journey, stay strong and don’t give up! You got this!

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My path to Three.js and 10 resources to start learning it

In a previous post I talked about how I started to learn Three.js during my #100DaysOfCode challenge. Here I want to describe the whole process: what I learned, what issues I had and some resources I gathered that I wish I had when I started. I became very curious about complicated 3d animation on the web and really wanted to learn how to create those amazing effects myself. After a little digging I found out that it is best to utilize the WebGl API.

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