What I have learned from daily code commit for a year

coding

It was exactly last year, 13th October 2018, that I have decided to challenge myself in a daunting way. My challenge was to commit code every day for one year to prove that I’m a dedicated and committed person. It was a way to show myself that I can do whatever I want and overcome the most difficult obstacles in my life. Hence, I started the challenge and today I SUCCESSFULLY and PROUDLY have finished it. In this post, I summarize what I have learned from daily code commit for a year.

Background

For the past few years, I have had a very eventful life. Most of my plans didn’t work out and I have reached the level that I was very disappointed with myself. I had so many distractions in both professional and personal life and didn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.

I was very distressed and needed something to help me to get rid of all the disappointment I was experiencing. Something to keep me on the track, something positive, and something to prove myself that I still got it.

I started brainstorming in late September. Initially, I had some wild ideas as a way of keeping my self positive. Some pretty unrealistic, others also doomed to failure. Then I came up with the very risky idea of having a year-long challenge on something positive.

I figured out since I am crazy about coding and technology, the challenge or at least part of it has something to do with coding. I had some ideas such as building a full-fledge app, writing a book, or even building my computer.

After a few days of mind wrestling, I came up with a one-year coding challenge. It was simple and does not need much time or effort. It was more difficult to not doing it than doing it. Additionally, I had the opportunity to learn many new technologies that I always wanted to.

And that’s how I started my daily-code-commit-for-a-year challenge on 13 October 2018.

Committing code every day for one year, learned lessons

There is nothing new in what you are about to read, even not for me. I already knew about all long before this challenge. I just didn’t experience them to my bones though. And I can say experiencing them and drawing your conclusion is heck different.

One year GitHub code commit everyday
My one year commit history

Challenges could be joyful

For the first month after I started the challenge I was feeling an unbearable obligation and it was not easy for me. I can’t describe it in words but I was not comfortable with this challenge. That’s partly because I was looking too far ahead. I was thinking about what I should do for the next days, weeks, and months. What if I have nothing to commit and what if I fail six months down the road. And many other what…ifs.

What...if?
What…if?

However, as time passed I cared less and focused on what I could do that day. After sometimes the thought process has automatically started and I was on the track. I didn’t need to worry about what I should work on the next morning. I already had plans for the next day and the next week. At most I could conceptualize my plan for the next month which was very good. Many tasks started to queue up that I didn’t have a shortage of tasks to do.

And as I coded more the thought of challenge and the uneasiness feeling has faded away. I started to enjoy it very much to the extent that many nights I could not sleep because I was so eager about what to code tomorrow. Or even dream about coding! I am not joking.

Patient and passion are mandatory

I was passionate about coding but did not have much patient. I think I am still not patient enough.

Be patient, be passion
Be patient, be passion

But the challenge has taught me how to be patient enough. Picking up new technology, language or anything else does not require only a passionate person. It requires someone who is patient enough and can resist failure. Once the first 1,000 attempts failed, then better days show up.

Failure is the key to success

People fail forward to success
People fail forward to success

It is impossible to succeed in one thing without failing it. All science and technology that we benefit from nowadays are results of many failed attempts. Before the challenge, I was ashamed of failure. I was not looking at the whole picture. I was very very goal-oriented. Either I succeed or fail. It’s either zero or one. Either heaven or hell. In this one year, I came to this point to learn from my failure and started to see each failure as a valuable experience. In other words, the entire journey makes a trip fascinating not merely reaching to the destination.

Coding as an addictive habit

Unsplash

Coding was a hobby for me before this challenge. However, after a couple of months in the challenge I started to become addicted to coding. I breathed, ate, and slept code. I oriented my life around it. At some point, while I had no internet connection for a week, I realized my obsession with coding. This was alarming and at the same time a very interesting observation. After that, I started to tune it down a little bit. Just be aware of it.

Computer and technology are not the entire universe

Life exists beyond computers and phones

Since I had a computer, I have been heavily involved in computers and technologies. And I have never thought that I could get bored with it. This challenge showed me otherwise. In the last two months of the challenge, I gradually started getting bored and realized that this is not what I want to constantly do for the rest of my life. Since then I started to peruse and value other hobbies and finally growing out of it.

Coding as a pathway to other challenges

Coding as a warm up challenge

Three months down the road of my challenge, once I see I progressed well, I started to challenge myself in other ways as well. For instance, the challenge of eating healthier, reading books, and writing blog posts more often. Needless to say, I started to adopt more responsibilities.

I guess the coding challenge has made me braver to pick up more responsibilities without the fear of failure.

Coding as a therapy

Coding as the remedy of sad times

September was hellish for me. Once I am ready enough, I may write about it. Just enough to know in that disastrous time coding has given me a breathing room to calm myself down. And all the experience I have gained during eleven months before that helped me significantly to pass through the crises.

Conclusion

I’m very pleased that I managed to complete my daily-code-commit-for-a-year challenge. In that one year, I made 1,266 commits and my highest contribution was 43 commits in one day, 17th March 2019. I also missed committing code in nine days due to different reasons. You can see my contribution at my GitHub profile, here.

I believe it’s necessary for everyone at some point in their life to challenge themselves to explore the unknowns. Whether it’s traveling the world, running a marathon, being a bodybuilder, etc. I have learned a lot from daily code commit for a year and I’m grateful to come out of this challenge successfully.

I am however not sure whether I keep continuing doing it or not. As I have stated above, I am growing out of the habit of locking myself in front of my computer 24/7 and continuing it won’t help much.

Inline/featured images credits