Last week I completed my #100DaysOfCode challenge over on Twitter. For those of you that don't already know, it is a commitment to be coding at least a little every day. You share it with others by tweeting about your activities and try to encourage others along the way.
Before I started the challenge I had no social media presence as a developer. No followers and no developer friends and I had been self-learning for about 10 months. Knowing that I would soon be looking for my first professional role, I thought it was important to have a social media presence and that it would significantly increase my chances of finding the right job.
But I didn't really know where to start or what I should be posting about? Then I found the #100DaysOfCode challenge where people of all stages in their learning were posting about what they were learning. This would be perfect I thought. I could post about my progress and meet others in the same position as me.
This challenge was absolutely the kick-start I needed and led to me meeting lots of amazing people I otherwise wouldn't have. This catalyst also led to me becoming a Full Stack Developer here at Hashnode.
Let me explain why this challenge was the catalyst for me getting to where I am today and why you might consider taking it on 👏.
- 📱 Provided content for my account
- 📈 Helped my social media growth
- 👩🏻🤝🧑🏽 Connected me with like-minded people
- 🙂 Kept me accountable
- 📝 It is a record of my progress
- 🤔 Is it for you?
This was my first-day tweet 👇
📱 1. Provided content for my account
Having a good social media presence as a developer can be hugely beneficial. If you're like me and start the challenge with no presence at all it might be difficult to know what you want to post about and where to start.
I didn't feel comfortable posting in my first few weeks but this challenge forced me to keep doing it. The more you do something, the easier it gets. Similar to when I started blogging, thinking of suitable content is difficult and so a great way of overcoming this is to write about yourself.
The challenge requires you to post a tweet each day about what you've been learning. It pushes you to write about yourself and I continued this trend into my articles. By tweeting out your progress you start to build a collection of tweets that may be important to have if people are going to feel as though they want to follow you. People are usually less likely to follow a person if they have none of their own tweets on their timeline because it tells them they are probably less likely to engage in general.
The 100-day coding challenge gave me a starting point to begin adding value to my feed which I probably would have been stuck on otherwise. I found it refreshing to be able to share with others the stuff that went well, as well as the stuff that didn't. It meant I would have at least one post on my feed every single day. If you commit all the way to the end of the challenge you will have more than three months' worth of consistent tweets just from the challenge alone!
It will help get you off the ground and into the habit of posting consistently. You will need this consistency if you aim to build a social media presence and use it to help you search for employment or freelancing opportunities.
📈 2. Helped my social media growth
When I started the challenge I think I had less than 5 followers and I didn't even have a Linkedin account. If your aim is to grow your social media presence to help you find opportunities I think we can both agree that this will not work out.
I hadn't posted a single tweet on my account before this challenge. Most of it was down to anxiety and putting myself out there. I would say I'm an introvert at heart who has learned to become socially extroverted when required. It's just a fact that I was afraid of posting 😥.
Knowing that I was going to be applying for my first full-time role in the near future, I wanted to change this but I didn't really know how to do it. I would see some popular accounts tweeting tips and think I had come up with a super-secret amazing tip every time that has never been seen before. That's not the case of course and I soon found my way that started with what I was learning.
I soon connected with lots of other developers also taking part in the challenge. This gave me the confidence to start posting some of my own content including starting to write a blog which was supported by lots of the friends I have made. It's like the snowball effect where it keeps getting bigger as it rolls ⛄.
Before you know it I became comfortable with the content I was providing and started sharing things about myself as well that I never would have considered before. Showing others you are a person and not just an account will go a long way to helping you connect with others. Today I'm proud to say I have made a lot of awesome friends and I never would have thought I'd be ending the challenge with close to 1k meaningful connections. Many of which I communicate with regularly.
#100DaysOfCode is a very popular hashtag that will be seen by many people and can help extend the reach of your progress tweets early on when it's possible you don't have many connections. If you combine this with adding value to other' tweets you are sure to see some growth and start making connections that could help your future in one way or another.
👩🏻🤝🧑🏽 3. Connected me with like-minded people
This is great for a multitude of reasons. Probably the best part of the challenge was meeting lots of like-minded people who were going through the same struggles as me. For the previous year I had been working alone without anyone in the same field to really share things with.
I soon met lots of awesome people through the challenge who were openly sharing and encouraging each other. It was awesome to see what everyone was building from week to week. You can clearly see how much progress your friends are making and this should help drive you on to do the same.
The absolute biggest benefit for me so far in my progress as a developer has come from connecting with others. There is always something to learn from another developer whether they're behind you in the process or far more experienced than you. Everyone has something to share. This is the phrase I used to push myself to start writing.
This openness to share and help others was new to me and I loved it. Not only will you learn so much from each other, but you might connect with people who can help you look for opportunities whether it's direct or through sharing that you're looking for a job. You might be surprised to hear how many job and freelance opportunities can be found on places like Twitter.
🙂 4. Kept me accountable
Staying consistent is the most important factor when learning to write code. It will help you if you can include others in your attempts to be consistent. This usually comes from sharing with others like the opportunity provided by this challenge.
Posting your progress every day will open you up to others and suddenly your not the only one interested in how you're getting on. I never felt pressured to continue in any way. I just wanted to. If you want to grow your social media presence and learn to code, you're going to want to be consistent or it's going to take you twice as long to get where you want to be.
I made a lot of progress on the coding side of things during this challenge. Partly down to the push given by the challenge and it culminated in me finding my first role in the industry.
📝 5. It is a record of my progress
Making notes and keeping track of your development is a great way of seeing how far you've come and where you might want to go in the future. Every day you post a tweet talking about what you worked on for the day like you would if you were writing a diary. The good and the bad.
Having recently completed the challenge, it was interesting for me to look back through some of the days to see what I accomplished and also the things I struggled with. Below is a quick list of some of the things I worked on during the challenge.
- Built a full stack next.js serverless e-commerce website
- Designed and built a modern landing page
- Started my blog
- Worked on many different topics like 👇
- Data structures
- Design with Figma
- Several different styling libraries/frameworks
and so much more. Some of this I might not have started with. Or perhaps it might not have gone as well as it did without the push from the challenge. Things like my landing page design/build project and this blog your reading right now were inspired by the people I met and the quality of work they were producing.
🤔 6. Is it for you?
I would definitely recommend you to take on the challenge if you fall into one of two categories. Maybe like me, you want to join communities of other developers but you're not sure where to start or what content you want to be posting about. Or perhaps you're still new to web development and you want to challenge yourself and learn to code by staying consistent. If you fall into a different category and would like to take on the challenge, then by all means go ahead. Only you will know whether it's right for you.
Whatever it is there are obvious benefits to it which is why it is a very popular challenge over on Twitter. I can't say for sure that I would have put myself out there like I have since without it and I could have missed out on all the awesome things that have happened since.
Starting the challenge is the moment I can pinpoint as the catalyst for a lot of the amazing opportunities I've experienced since. This doesn't mean that starting the challenge is guaranteed to lead to great things. It's up to you to put in the hard work yourself. What it did do was open my eyes and push me to where I am today and I am very grateful for this.
Things would be different now for me if I hadn't started the challenge when I did. If you're currently taking on the challenge then let me about it!
If you would like to connect with me then you can find me @Kieran6dev. Feel free to send me a message anytime if you think I can help you with something.
See you soon 👋