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Ana Vela
Ana Vela

Posted on • Updated on

A reflection on my CNC2022 Code More Journey

Name: Ana

Title: Web Developer

#CNC2022 Cohort: 1

Code More" Goal: Create a schedule to study and practice consistently

Introduction

I’ve been coding for some years, and I’m interested in leveling up my skills. I signed up for the challenge because I wanted to figure out ways to focus better and clarify my goals. I’m interested in a lot of areas, so part of this process for me would be creating priorities and trying out different weekly plans to see what schedule would work best for me.

Hi, all. I’m Ana and I’m in the USA. I started coding a few years ago, and I’m interested in leveling up my skills. Working on side projects has helped me, but I haven’t maintained a consistent routine to build or tinker with them. I’d like to dive deeper into JavaScript and CSS to get faster. I’d also like to revisit any previous projects or start something new to work on and create a reasonable schedule I can maintain. My long term goal is to build solid projects for my portfolio. Looking forward to connecting with you in this track!


Mission 1

Our first mission was to write down our general goals, figure out the assumptions that we think would help us achieve those goals, and how to reduce the risks that would hinder our progress.

I’ve made adjustments throughout the program, but this one has stayed consistent. I love coming back to this as a reminder of the core values I’ve set out for myself.

1. Why do you want to code more?

I want to level up my JavaScript skills and make progress on a web accessibility course. I’d also like to complete some Frontend Mentor projects and start the UI Design Foundations course through Scrimba. The general idea is to create a regular habit of studying and building each day.

2. How will you know when you've reached your goal?

I would feel I’ve reached my goal if I made progress on any of these courses and projects.

3. What were some of the assumptions about reaching your goal that you identified?

Some assumptions I identifed:

  1. having a time slotted for this practice or learning and actually completing a work session
  2. having the patience to work through challenges and difficulties
  3. not getting distracted by the next shiny thing aka cool new class or challenge, or fun project before finishing current projects

Mission 2

Our second mission was to identify individual tasks, create weekly goals, and develop a schedule for work sessions.

I picked a block of time in the evening to start working on a Frontend Mentor project. I didn’t get as detailed with tasks because I just wanted to start. I aimed to work on the project a few times during the week for at least 20 minutes each session. I found that the weekends seemed to be a more realistic time to dedicate longer sessions, and this has been working for me so far.

The good news is that I have been working on a coding project regularly since I stared the challenge. I've been able to complete longer sessions over the weekend which is what I've been wanting to do for a while. I haven't been as good about answering the homework questions other than making a few notes for a simple roadmap. I'm glad to see others working on this and sharing their schedules. Keep going!


Mission 3

Our third mission was to evaluate our process and make changes as needed.

One key motivator I’ve learned through this challenge is to have at least one small task to complete for each work session. If I only have time to complete that one task, then I can feel good about my progress for the day. The time it takes to complete that task isn’t as important as staying consistent.

1. Tell us what you plan to do differently in your next coding session

I found that I really enjoy having a defined project to work on. I started out the challenge planning to work on some neglected side projects that I want to update. I also have been wanting to work on some Frontend Mentor challenges. These are challenges where you are provided designs to code using any stack you prefer. This has been a better way to keep me focused on a project without getting sidetracked on so many details I have to decide on. I do have to decide on how to structure the CSS for my projects and I'm finding a lot of good resources to improve my skills.

2. How is your coding momentum right now? Give us an update on how you're feeling.

I can complete 20 - 30 minute work sessions during the week and dedicate more time for longer sessions on the weekends. This has been working out better for me. I've tried coding early in the mornings, but I'm finding that scheduling sessions for late evenings or at night work best. Overall, I'm establishing a better routine that I can stick to and that I'm happy with.


Mission 4

Our fourth mission was to return to our goals, review our progress towards those goals, and think about if they are still relevant to us or if we need to revise those goals.

As I am getting more consistent with my work sessions, I am able to get specific on my tasks and goals. Of the courses I wanted to complete, I identified one that was the most relevant to my current projects. I’m working on Conquering Responsive Layouts by Kevin Powell which has been huge help in reviewing CSS and best practices.

I'm late to post this, but I'm making an effort to complete the challenge on time overall!

1. Do you feel you are making progress towards your longterm goals?
Spending this time writing down my goals has given me a boost to get more rigorous with my study plans. My longterm goals have revolved around creating a more consistent habit of coding which is actually happening now. Taking the time each day to do work on a project and reviewing coding materials will make a big difference.

2. Tell us about any changes you want to make to your coding plan.
I feel good about my plan so far which is mainly to work on more Frontend Mentor projects. I'm also working on some other side projects and improving on them. As I incorporate more time to study and build, I'm refining my plan and improving my skills.


Sticking to it

I've tried a variety of tools, but the one I’ve been using to help me stick to my schedule is Google Tasks. Using the Google Tasks mobile app, I’ve added recurring alerts when I should be starting a task. If I can complete those tasks earlier, then I can check them off sooner and not get the reminder. Keeping things simple like this will allow me to build on the list over time.

Daily Schedule


Biggest Challenges

One ongoing challenge for me is finding a new class or new project to work on which sidetracks me from current projects and classes. I want to finish the conquering responsive layouts course by the end of March and then focus on another course for April. I wrote down the classes and projects I want to complete and listed them out by priority. If I find something new, I can re-evaluate my list and see where that new class or project would fit into my plans.


Highlights

During the challenge, I completed two Frontend Mentor projects! You can visit my profile to see them. I'm working on my third Frontend Mentor project and plan to complete a few more this year.

Another highlight was connecting with @adrianskar and sharing lots of ideas to keep the Code More momentum going!


Overall Reflections

This experience made me slow down and consider my priorities rather than trying to do too much. This helps set the tone for how I will approach my learning and practicing for the rest of the year.


What's next for me

I have one new project I'm excited about which will be a collaborative effort. I'm also working on creating better notes and getting back to blogging.

Thanks so much to @codenewbiestaff for putting these challenges together! I may join the next cohort on a different track.

Photo by Christopher Gower on Unsplash

Discussion (4)

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adiatiayu profile image
Ayu Adiati

Congrats, Ana! 🎉
Now I'm thinking to use the Google Tasks as well for my learning time 😁

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anavela profile image
Ana Vela Author

Thanks, Ayu! I hope you do check out Google Tasks. It's a simple yet powerful tool. Best wishes with your coding journey! 🤩

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adrianskar profile image
Adrian Skar

Congrats! Keep it up! 💪🏽🤓

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anavela profile image
Ana Vela Author

Thank you!