Funny enough, while drafting up this post a couple weeks ago and re-categorizing some older ones, I found a previous post of mine with a similar topic from almost exactly a year ago. This one in particular will be more on the ongoing learning to code aspect and goals recap will be separate and coming soon (ish). There must be a mental shift when this happens after the slog of gloomy winter weather, the onslaught of spring allergies, I mean nice weather, where enough time has passed to reevaluate what has been working or has not.
On flexibility and shifting goals, I had expected part of the year was going to taken up by the CS50Web course, and I have made it to the third project working with Django, databases, and more full stack work, I’ve hit a huge mental brick wall. I have never had to plan out or design any form of a database in the past nor set up how certain fields work across SQL tables. It found me finding an enormous amount of Googling and searching, I found ways to learn how to do specifically things I needed and got some parts to work, but I still had trouble finding good explanations of these things. I admin I don’t have the best focus or ability to parse certain things when reading code documentation so I find another way to learn for the concept to make sense. Most of Django’s documentation does this to me and I skim read finding keywords but miss the explanations and ugh, I get frustrated all over again.
Also while searching, something I came across in the previous project were numerous similar question and answer posts that were from many years ago and I had a hard time know what is a more “correct” or up to date implementation since then as only some features in Django have changed over the years. There isn’t a straight tutorial “this is how you do it now” that I’ve found, but I found a few I could scramble together for an answer to an implementation.
So, rather than spinning my wheels on this, I’ll be taking a step back and returning to this course at a later date to tackle this project in hopes my focus will improve to read the referenced documentation or properly find the answers I need. When starting these larger projects, I create a personal README file as a ‘to do’ list to check off for each project requirement so it’s easier mentally to complete piece by piece and a little bit of positive push once one gets done. Here is an example of the Commerce project under ‘Specification’, I get lost in the text and shorten the actual requirements to something like “when logged in, user can add a comment.” Simple!
Okay, rant over.
So, alongside this change, I’ve recreated a Learn in Public page with some specific courses I’ve outlined that I have enjoyed in the past and found very helpful in learning styles, fundamentals, and practice. It’s similar to the quite similar to “100 days of code” challenge by focusing an hour a day on learning code and I have done four attempts in the past highlighted here, which now I realize I did not complete or update my fourth. I didn’t usually make the 100 days exactly, but the last I made it my own and got there.
This one may be considered a fifth rendition and should mark it on there eventually, but for now, I’m tracking hours in an excel spreadsheet of how many hours per day, what section or topic I’m covering, and overall percentage completed. I’ve found if I cannot track something, it’s harder to stick with, so excel has been my friend for a while. Oh and instead of 100 days, it’ll be six months, specifically setting it to a round 180 days. From May 21st to November 17th, let’s see what we can do. If tracking goes beyond an hour for that day, great! There will definitely be days I don’t have that hour to mentally spare, out of town, or other reason to build up the time bank. I was inspired for a longer time frame since I’ve done the 100 days a few times now, I wanted to change it up, and I also found this site, 180 sites in 180 days, was still around where a site was built everyday for six months.
Till next time!