I decided to take the day off and do something I haven’t done in a while. CODE!
Let’s face it, solo coding is great when you need to practice (which is what I am doing right now), but when you are learning, it is a lonely, lonely road where you find yourself unaware you are picking your nose, cos you don’t care, because no one is there.
No one is there to help you out when you are trying to figure out where to start
No one is there to hi-five you when you actually figure something out on your own.
So I sat down for a refresher, on an 80° day because I love this stuff and because I wanted to.
One of my favorite experiences was paired programming at GDI’s NeoHack15. I love hackathons and this is one of my very favorites. Our team got to work in a war room with 50” monitors so everyone in the group could view code.
We would take turns writing JS, HTML and jQuery, we used Bootstrap and Python. Our mentor, who was from Twitter and super freakin awesome, would ask us some logic about our app and we would create the programming for it. I learned more in that one weekend than I ever learned coding solo.
I sometimes struggle when learning new concepts solo because I am not repeating them in a workspace with collaborators and I because I lose muscle memory.
- Attend Hackathons
Pick out Hackathons that are interesting to you. If you love Nike, and they are sponsoring a Hackathon, GO! These are probably the most valuable learning opportunities, IMHO, that you can use.
- Practice with a friend IRT
With a simple tool like Collabedit you can invite friends via url to collaborate with you in real time.
- Find those Meetups!
I can’t count how many times I have gotten stuck and didn’t freak out because I knew I was going to a Meetup where I would be able to talk through the issue I was having. Meetups were the first place I started and they are welcoming, fun, free, there’s food, and cool talks.
All of the above solutions are the best way for me to keep fresh and refreshed when programming. I can’t wait until I can do it everyday in my Dream Job!