I can write docs, or blog posts, or other things but it must be in addition to the code that I write. You are crazy. How much code was written? Like a form of Seinfeld’s Don’t Break The Chain for hobbies: I can relate to the need and anxiety of developing good work habits. I am going to plan around what you have shared. Thanks for sharing. I was burdened with an incredible amount of stress to try and complete as much high quality work as possible during the weekend (and if I was unable to it felt like a failure). In the meantime I’ll do all that I can to recommend this tactic to others who wish to get substantial side project work done. I also love midnight coding, though sometimes it extends to 4am coding and I am not so happy the other day when I check out the code I wrote at 4am :P Otherwise you get too stressed out. But, the next time I do go on a trip or find myself without access to my computer for a while, I think I am going to plan ahead a little better, and think of ways to keep the projects/code/ideas fresh in my head so that it’s not so hard to pick up where I left off. Perhaps this just means writing ideas down on paper on a daily basis, or asking people around me what they think of the latest UI in my app – stuff like this will hopefully help to keep it all fresh in my head. I loved the commit chart. :-), Very inspiring John. The code doesn’t technically need to be written before midnight of the day of but I wanted to avoid staying up too late writing sloppy code. Thus far I’ve been very successful, I’m nearing 20 weeks of consecutive work. What max I could do is couple of hours per week, but its not at all sufficient. After several years as Director of this, or VP of that, my skills had eroded. Glad to know more experienced guys also see the benefit. So how did you get into the habit of it? Hattie is put into her crate when they go. Good advises, would try and tell you back my results after a specified amount of time. There’s always going to be a context switch cost when resuming work on a side project. I strongly feel that while side projects are really important they should not be to the exclusion of life in general. It’s very good. For something you yourself use every day, you always know what you need to work on next: it’s whatever bugged you about it the most yesterday. Very nice read, it’s interesting to see how similar lives of programmers might be :). in favor of getting more work done. I’ve never had any programming job where even 50% of my day was spent writing software. This was a problem as there’s no guarantee that every weekend will be free – nor that I’ll want to program all day for two days (removing any chance of relaxation or doing anything fun). Venous Leg Ulcers (VLU): A 24hr/day commitment is required if you wish the ulcer to close. It’s a daily feedback loop both of incentive, and of productivity. At least to me, because then my “side projects” begin to feel like work, and I do enough of that already ;). Thanks for the post and reaffirming the benefits. According to the highway code, you should take a break every two hours. It means I don’t get to see yesterday’s improvements, except indirectly. I think your overall strategy of incremental progress is very effective, and one that I’ve started to follow as well. 11. Typing code is part of programming. I think it’s important not to Plan too much and do less at a time. “I should note that I’ve been finding that I have less time to spend on hobbies (such as woodblock printing) but that’s a reasonable tradeoff that I’ll need to live with.”, Great. When starting out, it’s ok to make mistakes. I’ve been endured the same feeling when I couldn’t get some of my side projects done as I hoped. When you have walked for 10 minutes without stopping, your first goal has been reached. The main problem for me has been to start and stick with this for a few days at least, and then the habit establishes itself. I decided to set a couple rules for myself: Some of these rules were arbitrary. You may want to stand up while you read this -- and a lot of other stuff. A second grader needs 2 hours. It will definitely gives me helpful pointers. I work as a programmer in my day job, that’s 7-8 hours of solid coding a day (with breaks of course). (All these things are permitted, but not as the exclusive work of the day.). I’m going to try this experience starting tomorrow. This is a strategy that does not work well for me, as it turns out. You can also supplement exercise for dogs by playing in a yard if you have one. Hello, I’m trying to follow this practice these days. Other times, I find I have to get some library or framework that looks promising, setup a build environment, build it and test it. Keeping your use down to just 30 minutes a day can lead to better mental health outcomes, according to research being published in December in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology. That is what I’m working on… I’ll let you know how it goes. This did not happen when I was working on the code once a week, or every other week. Other experts say 30 minutes is the optimal time to spend per day on learning something new. With information overload, we just forget we are humans not computers and try to do a lot of things which backfires instead. I even took a whole week of PTO just so I could make “a ton of progress” on my project. If you’re a 10th grader and you only want to study five days a week, that means you should plan two hours of study each day. I also found the other thing folks in the comments mention, that it just takes an incredible number of hours. You may stop to rest at any time. And this is a stat from 2013. That’s not so much the case now – and that’s a good thing. Additionally if I hadn’t finished my work yet, and I was out late, then I’d hurry back home to finish it up (instead of missing a day). If you cannot afford to hire a dog walker, aim for a 10-15 minute walk a day, or at minimum, 2-3 times a week. Just-a-second, what commands do we have to put the left foot on the ground?… One of the most important aspects of this change was in simply learning how to better balance work/life/side project. can you explain clearly about the projects you have done with this method. Definitely going to try this. this is something I’ve been trying out recently. But, not right now. I think it helps when you have someone else to work with – but it needs to be someone who is onboard with your specific project/goals… not always easy to find. I want to work there! It was an intense period of two months of pre-course work (18 Code School classes and a bunch of coding assignments), followed by three months of intense work on site where we went 11+ hours a day for 6 days a week. So, I’m learning to live with the angst of not being able to solve everyone’s problems and taking care of myself more. Since, its lot easier to start coding with a fresh mind. If someone had said that to me on day 1 that I would actually write 100,000 words I would have seemed unimaginable, but it adds up. This suggestion could help improve my favorite side work, by not cramming 7 hours in the dark between Saturday and Sunday. I was forced to write code for no less than 30 minutes a day. My partner understands that I have to finish this work every day, and thus activities sometimes have to be scheduled around it. Nice points on how to keep the streak continuing. But after watching my health deteriorate from too much sitting, it is just not worth it any more to me. Assumes an eight-hour day/40-hour week. Let me know if this technique does, or doesn’t, work for you – I’m very interested in hearing additional anecdotes! Once I started to make consistent progress every day the anxiety started to melt away. For example, it’s reasonable to ask how long it’ll take before you’re ready to build an app or work for clients. If you test too soon after exposure, it can result in a false negative. https://github.com/picandocodigo. I’ll follow your idea. Thanks so much for writing this article, John! She described to me a typical weekend day: She gets up at 5 a.m. to walk Hattie, and then they leave for the mountains (a two-hour drive). If I was scheduled to go out in the evening, and not get back until late, then I would need to work on my side project early in the day, before starting my main Khan Academy work. Which is basically the idea of picking a subject, whatever hobby, or work, or whatever, and focusing on just that for a month. (It’s really hard to write meaningful code in less time, especially after remembering where you left off the day before.) Working constantly at the grinding wheel will never get you there. For you, John. concerning the content of this post, please feel free to contact me. Last week, I got back from a ten day trip, and it has been very, very hard to achieve the focus I had during this streak. Also, just observing the difference in doing a side project now vs. soon after college makes me aware that time management just works differently with friends and social obligations. I am now 65 years old and have been working on an application I first started working on in 1978 before most of you guys were born. I need to either be *really* confident I’d find just the doing itself worthwhile (e.g., using fun CS or expanding my limits somehow) or I have a rational hope that my work could actually help the world in some really miniscule way. I spent a good part of my career writing code then worked my way up to executive management and stopped. it’s so inspiring! but I have to get my coding in later” and have that be understood and taken into consideration. Maybe that’s not what you intend, but I think that’s the message that comes across. As a general guideline, Doug Sklar, a certified personal trainer and founder of PhilanthroFIT in New York City, recommends striving to do three sets of up to 60 seconds. I fucking love this article!!! For example if you work or study during the day, you could try programming … Secret techniques of top JavaScript programmers. If you have a question Also, I’d like to add a link to your post in a recent article I wrote around this topic (http://hacksnsnacks.com/hacks/theres-always-room-for-jell-o/). I’ll surely try to code everyday and make it live on GitHub. We have prototypical style work, R&D stuff, development with cutting edge work, improvements to legacy system etc. We believe in this so much, we even have a 20-minute-a-day kitchen-cleaning schedule that will … One of the biggest blogs in the world, Huffington Post, got its start by publishing one blog post every 58 seconds. Living longer and healthier and spending time with the people I care about is far more important than the side projects. Those are the parts I need to improve the most, but I fully agree with the post and the advantages of writing code every day. I suffer from the same anxiety too – a side project (a somewhat popular WordPress plugin) has a never-ending stream of feature requests coming in. I recently started the same discipline. Great! You should always audit your code and see if you could write it in a more effective way. I shall also give this a try. Exactly the same feelings of guilt over not working on side projects enough, delaying work for the weekends etc. I want to share this to my friend, and translate it in Korean to share to those who don’t use English. I’ve written so much I sometimes forget the things I’ve made – work from even a few weeks prior seem like a distant memory. Thanks a lot for this post. The break should be at least 15 minutes long. 8 min/chart or 60/day ambulatory surgery records. I hope you get back to the woodblock printing and enjoy that for a change! I am currently attempting to rewrite the application (over 350,000 lines of code), moving it from VB6 to Visual Studio 2010 (VB of course). Inspired by the incredible work that Jennifer Dewalt completed last year, in which she taught herself programming by building 180 web sites in 180 days, I felt compelled to try a similar tactic: working on my side projects every single day. Reading this almost seemed that I wrote it. Background processing. Few months ago I worked on my side projects only the weekend, not making substantial progress, giving my girlfriend hard times when she planned something else, always ending up disappointed because I didn’t achieved everything that I had planned. I don’t write code, and I still find it super inspiring as I’ve got several creative side projects/business going from my regular day jobs of mama and soon, software project manager (again). Daily work has been quite helpful in this regard as the time period between work is much shorter, making it easier to remember what I was working on. I’ll never stop coding again! I realized that the feeling of making progress is just as important as making actual progress. I am so inspired what you have done for consecutive 20weeks. To find out which of these are actually true, INSIDER spoke with several health experts to find out how long you should be waiting between meals. I intend to start trying your solution tonight. Incredible way out! I was primarily working on them during the weekends and sometimes in the evenings during the week. WOW ! Go grab a beer/wine/scotch/whatever and enjoy your life. I’ve launched a number of project, with varying degrees of success. The anxiety is killing me. If you only put in five hours a day, it will take twice as long. Yes! Weekends. - YouTube I was rarely able to complete all the work that I wanted and it forced me to reject other weekend activities that I enjoyed (eating dim sum, visiting museums, going to the park, spending time with my partner, etc.) “Do a little bit every day and then you’ll be done.”. Work balance. http://community.topcoder.com/tc?module=MemberProfile&cr=22778322 * For coding and light abstracting. I felt at peace with the amount of work that I was getting done and I no longer had the over-bearing desire to frantically get any work done. Great information :) But waht about a full time Mom like me ? Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania looked at social media use among 143 undergraduate students in two separate trials. Hi! In most cases, it won’t take too long if you really try; good professional coders learn every day they work and continuously sharpen their skills by learning new languages. Thank you for writing. Never again! I found we have the same action,trying to code everyday ! I am sure you think of project ideas way ahead than you open IDE. “Several shorter play sessions tend to suit many cats better than one longer one.” Four 10-minute sessions a day is a … Although I finished the program recently I am keeping up that practice as well as working on my real project, a new startup for social video. As an aside: I wrote a book in 4 months by following the same principle. Do you try to set a reasonable minimum and maximum? How Often Should You Take A Break When Driving A Long-Distance? Plus, you always see the immediate effect of your code, not because of continuous deployments, but usually because of the magnitude of worth your code brings to the table. I’m truly happy for folks if they enjoy coding so much they want to do it for fun/as a hobby in their non day-job hours, but I think positioning one’s hobby (when it happens to coincide with one’s profession) as somehow obligatory if you care about improving/success (“if you don’t care about improving yourself then you’ll never actually succeed”) is wrong. September 5, 2019 by Tamara Pridgett. There were a few major problems with how I was working on my side projects. The wrong kind of sitting and thinking slows you down more than you think. I’m really happy for you if you find this fulfilling. Don’t you ever find that you need to spend “coding time” on research or planning and thus not getting any code written? Great write up! Published by Manning. And I find each day I get those 10,000 or more steps on the FitBit, the less angst I feel. It is important not to walk too fast or too long. My coworker has a streak over a month now, and I may join. I've even heard that those ten lines of code are roughly constant no matter which programming language you're using -- good high-level ones vs extremely low-level ones, functional or procedural, object oriented or not. The very fact you have to ask, might mean you are not ideally matched to writing code. It means yesterday’s work doesn’t help make today’s work any easier. My problems are having to exercise regularly due to heart problems from so many years of sitting on my chair and coding, and addiction to NCIS, BigBang, and Elementary, and a wife that I love dearly who wants to see me occasionally. Heck, you might find that you’re most comfortable when you’re producing 3,000 words each day – or 3,000 words each week. I’ve taken this approach with my goal of being a better artist. But I would reduce this only to working days and have weekend for the family or just to have fun/relax – without even having to touch my computer. Come on guys! Strategist and life coach Zoë B came up with “The Half Hour Theory.” “The general idea is that … It … Did you just sit down and say “I’m not leaving this desk until I have some code done”? Minimum viable code. I have found this a great way to reduce the cost of the context switch. P.S. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could make your “side project” (or hobby project as I call them) your day job? For people new to learning to code, you should spend less time than someone who has been at it for 3 months. All code must be written before midnight. Well the first three paragraphs describe my life for the last odd year and a half perfectly, so sure. This is not a profession where you ever stand still. Consistency is very important, I’ve been coding for many years now most of the code Is private. ;). I agree with the coding every day thing. In an ideal world I would be working on the things that interest me within the working week only and dropping all computer based work evenings and weekends, but I suspect that if the code projects I was working on the day were self motivated or more interesting I would still be at my computer late at night…. When you are doing projects of any complexity then you need to slow down. Unfortunately it’s extremely hard to resume thinking about a project after an entire week of working on another task. And I do get a ton of code done on a daily basis. I’m actually starting off a similar project, came up with it last week: the 30 days of Git Commits; however, I like your 20 weeks better. That’s when your body is going to most efficiently use that carbohydrate source. I need to stop looking at what others are doing (similar to my project) and just get on with what I’m working on! If you are feeling anxiety about not spending your free time coding, STOP. Seventh-graders study seven hours a week; 10th graders study 10 hours, and so on. By now, you've probably already heard that sitting all day is bad for you, but exactly how many hours of sitting may be too much? I love Steven Resig’s illustrations, but it seems his server’s doing its best just to load the thumbnails; larger versions were inaccessible. This was an eye-opener. This is how long you really have to make a decision after receiving a job offer Published Wed, Oct 25 2017 2:12 PM EDT Updated Wed, Oct 25 2017 2:12 PM EDT Marguerite Ward @forwardist I’m in the same situation as yours before your started your journey. I’m definitely going to work on a framework like this for myself. I used to work weekends mainly because I let my day job take up 10-14 hours every day. I think that if you/they really care about and want to complete side projects, then your strategy is probably a good one, but I wouldn’t position it (and blog about it) to perpetuate the idea that being successful in programming means sacrificing your nights and weekends for side projects. It’s of considerable comfort to be able to say “Yes, we can go out/watch a movie/etc. I wanted to write about it as it’s completely changed how I code and has had a substantial impact upon my life and psyche. About 70% of the lines of code you wrote today will still be in head, unchanged, in 12 months time Perhaps unsurprisingly, code changes most often in the first couple of months after being written. I have been doing the same since last year http://github.com/flower-pot the only time I sometimes make an exception is when im on vacation. – sarnold Aug 8 '10 at 5:11 Instead of writing code, I wind up drawing diagrams, outlining possible approaches, or searching to see if/how others have solved similar problems. Some week days I work a little bit more (usually no more than an hour) and on weekends I’m sometimes able to work a full day. Coder I: > 15 inpatient records** daily. Does anybody here knows if BitBucket also has a chart like this one? @Paolol, if they dont, it would be a good first project :). here’s my github:https://github.com/Jayin. I hope you are able to continue with this level of self discipline without it becoming a chore. He recommends following that pattern for five to ten days. I also tend to save work for late at night when I’m exhausted or think I’ll get to it on the weekend, but it’s not like I EVER have a whole day to luxuriate in my side projects. Code as habit. I was immediately struck by how accurately you described the problem. I have a hard time believing how much code I’ve written over the past few months. Mostly background processing, since I’m always thinking of new ideas to implement both as new projects or as improvements to my current projects. Great, great article/blog/info! Limiting your naps to 10 to 20 minutes can leave you feeling more alert and refreshed. It’s the first week that’s crucial. The new goal should be to walk for a little longer time (say, 12 minutes). 3 min/chart or 160/day outpatient and ER records. For example, programming 1 hour per day every day consistently is much better than thinking you will get in 8 hours every week or so. Now I’m looking for a co-founder to help keep the project moving along. Battling anxiety. This time should included dedicated reading instruction, beginning grammar and writing, as well as dedicated time spent to math. Inspiring indeed, but you should mention that even if you write daily code, never forget about your personal life, including friends and family. Thanks, and excellent illustrations! Keeping count is itself a turn-off for me, so I’ll need the mindset of just counting to two: yesterday and today. I am struggling right now, having hard time between my job and my side projects and this blog from you came up as oxygen for me. As of today, you can expect at least a couple hundred more per day. I found small, running pieces add up to actual software faster than you think.