My 30 day challenge and what I've learned
Day 15 of 30 sites in 30 days challenge
I am on day 15 of a 30 day challenge, you can see my initial post here and I have already learned quite a bit about myself, my process, and what I enjoy doing. I know it sounds crazy, that I'm doing a 30 day challenge of creating websites even though I've been doing web development since Netscape 1.0 and software development since I was 9 years old. However, the process I had when I was 9 has changed a bit to now. :-) I think it is critical to challenge yourself to do something like this every year if not more frequently. Let's get to it...
What have I learned.
I can make it a simple list and I'll elaborate on each one.
I like the process of creating websites
It's not that I didn't know that, but I have done database work, front-end work, and api work for years, but never knew why I enjoy it. I enjoy it because I get to see it form right before my eyes. Each tweak I do can make a significant change. I also realized after the first 3 websites, I wanted a repeatable process to create additional websites knowing I am going to do this for the next 25 days. I created a simple workflow, a simple template to start from, and even a build process to use SCSS and I leveraged gulp for that. That made each day a little better because then I wanted to improve that process.
I was amazed at the samples that are available
Ok, I know the internet is a big place and there are a lot of websites out there, but if you just look a little bit for something, you will eventually find something close to what you want to create and you can leverage those samples (often for free) and create your own website based on those samples. I found great quotes, some amazing photos (for free, checkout https://stocksnap.io/), and of course https://fonts.google.com/. You can create some really great things.
I love sandboxes of code
I created a sandbox on codepen.io and it was really useful early on in this challenge but then I needed a little bit more than that so I created a subdomain to host this challenge and I have loved it. http://30days.lotekmedia.com has my sites, placeholders, and my sandbox at the bottom. Enjoy and feel free to let me know what you think and if you are curious about something, let me know.
Change will happen, so be ok with that.
I have placeholders for a lot of the sites and realized I won't finish everyday, but that's ok. I try to at least create a placeholder for the site I am creating so when I do have the time to get back to it, I know what it is. I also realized that by day 7 that a lot of sites are similar in the start, and it is simply layout and some minor functionality changes that make a difference between sites. I probably won't create all of the websites because some I just don't care about (toy page, movie page) but I may come back to them and finish it, but either way I have learned from each one of the challenges and continue to learn.
One of the most important things of this challenge is the support from the Facebook group. I get excited every time I post on that group and when people like my share, or provide critiques that make me a better developer. The amount of feedback I have received from that group is astounding. In receiving it, I have tried to provide feedback to others that are doing the same feedback. The level of community that exists and the support and positive feedback in this challenge is amazing.
The challenge has been very rewarding and educational. I continue to learn more with each new site I create. I also realize that practice, practice, and more practice makes you better. It almost becomes muscle memory at that point. I also know that having a support group is critical for success. No one ever succeeds alone. If they claim they have, then they are forgetting about that person who gave them their first break, their first job, that bit of advice that helped them course correct their own path. We continue to do amazing things together so let's work together and continue to inspire each other and create amazing things.