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 Post subject: Trying to code every day
PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 5:08 am 
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I want advice about how I can get in the habit of coding and programming consistently every day. My problem is that I don't have a general organized "system" for coding and other activities and life in general. I'm a distracted person.
How can I organize and set up a better system for myself?


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to code every day
PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 2:42 am 
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I assume we are talking about coding as a hobby.

My advice:

Don't try to achieve some kind of quota.

A hobby should always be a net energy gain. Exercise your hobby as much and as often as you like and feel like it -- but no more. Don't let the joy of doing this thing you like "burn out" by forcing yourself into doing it.

What you can do is making it easier to enjoy your hobby. Arrange for a clean and comfortable working space. For me, having a pot of tea on the warmer does loads for my enjoyment.

As for many things, having a rhythm to the day is very beneficial. As productive as it might be, short-term, to hack away at a piece of code until the early birds start singing and the sun begins to rise, and then fall into your cot like a dead man, in the long run you will find regular schedules to be more productive.

You sound as if you don't have a 9-to-5 job. Then my advice is, don't sleep in. Rise early, have your shower and your breakfast, do the necessities (e.g. groceries, washing, whatever), all the while collecting your thoughts as to what it is you want / need to do next with your code. Sit down for a stint at the keyboard, and work on your project. Stop before, or at the very latest, when, you get bogged down. Persistence is good, but taking a break and your mind off the subject is better. Do the cleaning up and that phone call to your friend that's been on your list, eat lunch, prepare another cup of tea. Think about your project, or think about something else entirely. Then sit down for another stint of coding, until you run out of enthusiasm, energy, time, or tea. Turn of the computer, and spend the evening relaxing, with your friends or family.

And if you don't feel like coding, just don't. Do something else. Nobody is looking over your shoulder, and the only timetables you have to follow are your own. You will find it much more enjoyable to give things a rest until you actually want to continue working on them.

The really important thing is your life, your health, your family and friends. Arrange for those first and foremost, make them the internal structure of your life. Then add other things (like coding for a hobby) as and where they fit.

Details may differ for every one of us. But the keyword here is pacing. Don't get entrenched in this. It's a hobby, it's creativity, not organized warfare where we win (or, more likely, lose) by attrition.

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 Post subject: Re: Trying to code every day
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2019 10:54 pm 
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I can sort of dig that advice.


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to code every day
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 1:53 am 
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For me it's a question of whether I like it or whether it helps me solve another problem (the more I'm interested in that other problem, the better).

Curiosity is what got me into it and then got me deeper into specific areas.

At first I was just using the computer, mostly playing games. Then I got interested in how those games were made, how to draw objects on the screen and have them move around. So I learned BASIC.
Then I realized BASIC was not the right choice is it was too slow for drawing, especially for animate objects (and that was on the Z80 running at a few MHz, a machine a thousand times slower than we have nowadays). So I learned machine code and assembly and got my programs significantly faster.
Later I got interested in many other aspects of software and hardware and learned a whole lot of other things (Pascal, 3D graphics, devices, C, OSes, other CPUs, embedded, DSP, algorithms, virtualization, compilers, C++, etc etc). Some math and physics background helped with things a bit (although, I must say, to start you rarely need anything more advanced than what they teach you in high school).

There has always been something that I wanted to know how it worked or worked unbelievably (almost magically) well.

This is how I learned English, which I'd never consciously intended to. School and uni English instruction was piss poor and there wasn't English in my daily life otherwise. But through programming I got the hang of it. I wanted to learn more about programming and so I read lots of code and documents in English and I talked to people online about programming. Seeing quite a bit of confusion and misunderstanding in those online conversations, all resulting from my poor language skills, I made some effort to improve in various areas of the language (initially, just the grammar and some key vocabulary) by diving into the dictionary and grammar references, doing what my language instructors should've done or should've gotten me doing, studying and learning without thinking of it as such. After all, reading a CPU manual and an "English manual" and trying to make sense of things in there is not all that different.

English then helped me with further studies and work. And it opened to me a whole new world of literature and art. It's very enjoyable to read or watch things in original English, much better than translated. And I fell in love with American standup.

This in turn sparked in me a general interest in languages. And so I did learn some Spanish too, which is helpful sometimes.

And I only wanted to know how those old games were made. :)

So, again, if it's something you're interested in or something through which you can get something else, it is pretty natural to do it, sometimes even without clearly realizing what you're doing. I'll learn this because it'll help me with that, no biggie. And, of course, you learn by doing.


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to code every day
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:52 am 
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1. Find the reason that clicks inside.
2. Design a project, but don’t do it for the sake of “learning to be useful in the future”
3. Start working on the project right now with the knowledge and skills that already exist.
4. If something is missing - disassemble a specific technique and bring it to automaticity.
5. Exercise regularly, a little bit and while in high. Reduce demand until internal pressure disappears.
6. Take a step back and collect feedback.
This is my key to success in this area.


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