Sometimes you need to unwind and hit reset.
I’ve been feeling the creeping sensation of burnout lately. For months, I’ve been spending the majority of my waking hours listening to podcasts, reading articles and tutorials, watching videos, taking courses, talking about, and thinking about coding – when I wasn’t actually coding. I’ve learned an immense amount and feel pretty confident in my abilities, but I haven’t allowed myself much breathing room. I felt the burnout coming, and I knew I needed to give my mind a rest.
This was a little bit of a bummer because I missed over a week of 100 Days of Code logs, but I’ve been sporadically missing logs and generally playing by my own rules rather than Alex Kallaway’s official version. I kept the count going because the challenge often really pushed me to sit down and code even on days when I just wanted to be lazy and mindless. I figured, once I’d unwound a little and rebooted my mind, I’d come back and resume the 100 Days challenge where I’d left off (over 80 days in).
But I felt disconnected from my last update (because I’d done quite a bit worth writing about in the meantime, whether I’d been logging it or not), and the time gap was so large that I decided to do what I’d been thinking about doing anyway – switch back to my WordPress blog for logging my progress – and restart the challenge on this platform rather than a Markdown file on Github.
So without further ado, here’s my log for the 100 Days of Code, try number two, day number one.
Day 1: December 21, 2017, Thursday
There’s a lot I’ve done that I haven’t logged about, and I don’t particularly feel like backtracking to catalog it all (which demonstrates the value in logging daily/more regularly), so I’ll just start with my most recent updates.
I’m currently focusing on learning MySQL. I tweeted about this and received a response from a couple of followers suggesting that I should opt for another database, namely PostgreSQL. I definitely want to learn it, especially after reading a comparison of the two databases’ features, but I’m currently working in WordPress, which is based on MySQL. Even if I end up relying on another database in the future, I do believe that having MySQL skills in my tool kit will benefit me.
On a related note: after much deliberation on the matter, I’ve decided to base my portfolio in WordPress. I feel kind of like a traitor, since I’m currently learning how to code in scratch HTML/CSS/JS, but past experience with the platform leads me to believe it’ll be faster and easier to get running and maintain, even if I intend on hand-coding websites for clients otherwise. Shouldn’t I be showing off the kind of work I’ll actually be doing? Well, maybe. But in the real world, most clients won’t be inspecting my source code to detect whether my content is WordPress-based. The most important things, I believe, are presentation and results. Furthermore, there will likely be many clients for whom WordPress is a more suitable option than a hand-coded site which I’ll have to update for them whenever a change needs to be made (though I’ll still need to check in periodically to update WordPress and fix any issues caused by potentially breaking changes, one of the clear downsides of the platform).
I may, at some point, decide to overhaul my site by hand. For right now, I just need something that’s live. I want to have some business cards printed, but I first need to have a website I can put on ’em. WordPress is going to help me achieve that goal much more quickly, even if it makes me feel like a phony.
Those who have been following my logs may remember me talking about my first potential client in half a decade (a friend who saw me cursorily post on Facebook that I’m back in the development game). I consulted with her via phone, sent a quote for a redesign, and then she notified me that her company had decided to put the project on hold. I was a bit dismayed, and I wondered if my pricing had something to do with it. I quoted a much higher price than I ever have before, but I was previously quoting such a low rate that I was lucky to scrape by at minimum wage after taxes and other expenses were taken into account. I felt that the price I presented was both fair and lower than most other developers/agencies (outside of Upwork) would offer. She actually admitted to me that the quotes they’d received were in the tens of thousands of dollars, which gave me confidence when I presented my own.
Earlier this week, she emailed me again to get a quote on building a new site for another branch of her organization. We had a brief phone call yesterday to talk about some of the details, and I’m waiting on her to get back to me with information she promised to provide to aid in generating my estimate. She also said that one of her coworkers may be contacting me separately for a personal website. I don’t want to get my hopes up, but this is a very promising lead (two, actually). I’ll keep you guys posted.
It’s good to be back logging, especially on WordPress. The process is still a pain in my ass, because it’s time taken away from doing actual coding/research stuff. But I do believe in the value of reflecting on what I’ve done for my personal benefit, and I’m hopeful that the people who read my logs will be able to take something away from them (assuming said readers are on the same journey into developerhood that I’m on). Soon I’ll return my focus to freeCodeCamp to finish styling my weather app for submission. I can’t wait to finish up that curriculum, close the chapter, and get my front end certification.
Link(s) to Work
None yet, but soon.