It's been a while since I've last blogged here and that's something I want to change, among with some other stuff I've been meaning to get done for a while.
So first things first, the inspiration for this post and even for the general mindset comes from a variety of sources, but I was most inspired by the Try something new for 30 days TED talk, by Matt Cutts. It's really a good watch and it's short too, so if you have a few minutes to spare, give it a go!
TL;DW: Find something new to do and do it consistently, for 30 days.
My 30 days challenges
A tweet a day for 30 days
Apparently I've been using Twitter for 5 years now. Happy #Twitterversary to me!— Rui Gomes (@ruigomeseu) August 2, 2014
It was my Twitterversary today (yes, that's a thing according to the Twitter team, they even email you about it) and I really haven't been using it much.
I follow a ton of really interesting people and I read really interesting stuff there, but I need to start posting more and even interacting with other people.
209 tweets in 5 years averages around 3 tweets a month. I'll be increasing it by ten fold with this challenge.
Write 100 words a day for 30 days
Writing is great. Practising it helps you structuring your thoughts and greatly benefits your capacity of conveying ideas.
It's not as easy as it looks like to properly write about technical subjects (as I mostly do) and still be eloquent and writing something that's nice to read.
I therefore intend to practice this essential skill by writing 100 words a day, for 30 days.
Those words will then be compiled in technical articles and maybe some random thoughts here and there, when I have nothing interesting to write about.
Work on a side-project for 30 days
As any developer who's worth his/her salt, I have a ton of ideas I'd like to develop. Some of them are really silly and just something I'd do for the fun, but actually some of them are actually feasible.
The problem is, I'm not working on any at the moment and things unfortunately don't build themselves.
I ought to fix this by working on a product I have in mind for 30 days straight, for at least 1 hour a day.
Learn a new language/framework for 30 days
This one's a classic. About the same time last year I started learning Laravel. I was into PHP development for a while and I wanted to learn a framework that would help me speed up the development of my projects.
This was by far the best decision I've made in years, as not only it sped up my development by a lot, but also I've learned a truckload of design patterns, best practices and in general, my programming skills were greatly benefited from learning Laravel.
Of course learning the framework on itself didn't improve my skills, but coming up with new problems and not being happy with the first hacky solution that comes to mind definitely did.
So this year I want to repeat the prowess. I intend to stick with backend development with PHP and Laravel for the foreseeable future, but I definitely need to work on my frontend stack. Pages long jQuery starts to feel messy, as my old PHP did, so that's something I need to work on.
I still haven't decided which framework to learn, probably Ember or Angular.
This will be tied up with the above challenge, so the product I'll be working on will hopefully have a nice frontend.
So, to sum things up I'm daring myself to consistently work on 4 different tasks for 30 days.
Hopefully in 30 days from now I'll have built consistent habits that are part of my life and I can keep on doing them with ease.
If you want to follow me closely as I endure through these challenges, feel free to follow me on Twitter @ruigomeseu.