At some point during quarantine I started spending an hour a day working in Python. It was some real low pressure stuff, just with the goal of getting more comfortable actually programming. After three weeks, I somehow convinced the rest of the team at Madstone to join me in a 100 Days of Code journey.

I’m here to talk about:

  • The study materials we chose.
  • How we treated it like a project to help us get familiar with our new project management system.
  • What our goals were and how it’s helped us grow as a company.

I’ll start with a little bit more about my experience with Python first, I have been classifying myself as a Python white belt for about 4 years. I did not like to say that I knew python, rather I could read but could not write it.

I was not a ‘programmer’, more like a Translator of Runes chiseled by those smarter than myself. Following along with tutorials wasn’t a problem, I could even manipulate some starter code off Stack Overflow with some moderate success. The traditional advice is to start working on personal projects. Solving personal problems always ended in frustration, hitting a roadblock with some poorly documented library or weird bug I couldn’t find results for on Google.

Our Study Materials

Even though myself and the rest of the Madstone Team weren’t deep in programming many of us regularly listen to Talk Python With Me, a podcast on what’s happening in the world of the python language. It made sense for us to take advantage of Michael Kennedy’s (the host of Talk Python) paid courses.

Studying the Foundation, Building Habits

Being that we were tackling this as a team, and not everyone was on the same page. We had some light scripting experience in Bash, and Reggie and myself had some light familiarity of python going in. To make sure we were all on the same page, before the 100 days started we went through Talk Python Training’s Python for Absolute Beginners. This seven hour course proved extremely useful for getting us all started. It gave us a common language we could speak when starting the 100 Days of Code proper.

The other thing I think this provided us was the appropriate mindset going into the full 100 days. In reading B.J. Fogg’s Tiny Habits, I started to change how I approach creating habits for myself. We gave ourselves two weeks to get the Python Foundations course done, trying to do at least an hour a day.

So much of the 100 Days is overcoming obstacles and distractions that come up every hour on the hour. ESPECIALLY during Forever Work From Home (FWFH). Missing a day is going to happen. Playing catch up on Friday with 6 hours of crash/stress studying won’t stick in your brain the same way steady repeated learning will.

100 Days Proper

We started our official 100 Days of Code journey on 4/20 (or as I call it “Today”). No jokes, that’s just how the timing worked out. The course we chose was Michael Kennedy’s 100 Days of Web with Python. Everyone wanted to get more familiar with WEB STUFF, so it ended up being a natural fit. We are excited to continue along this path, though I know for myself having spent the last 6 weeks applying this practice I am going to be successful.

One of the most exciting discoveries so far has been learning that I can make memes with python:

Fresh Home Grown Memes

Manage It Like It’s a Project

One of the things that helped us get familiar with our new Project Management system was setting up this 100 Days of Code up as a project. Using Roadmaps to chart our path and sprints for getting studying done has really helped us solidify the 100 Days of Code project and at the same time allows us to integrate new tools and workflows into the company.

I’ll be updating the blog with our experiences going forward, so stay tuned!

Photo by Joshua Aragon on Unsplash

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