Jennifer “180 Sites in 180 Days” Dewalt Completed Day 180!

jennifer dewalt sites

Back in July, I wrote about Jennifer Dewalt’s project to learn programming by building 180 sites in 180 days. As of today, October 3, 2013, she’s done just that, and written a blog post titled After 180 Websites, I’m Ready to Start the Rest of My Life as a Coder.

About her progress, she writes:

I started by making very simple websites with just a little bit of CSS andJavaScript. Soon I was playing with complex CSS animations. By day 37, I was digging into js by exploring the <canvas> element. On day 69, I made my first Rails website which opened the door to building sites that allow people tocommunicate with each other. On day 119, I made my first Backbone app, though I’ll admit I was pretty confused the whole time. By the end of the project I made everything from games to toys to tools. I tapped into external data using API’s from companies like Instagram and Twitter and I built real-time dynamic communication apps using Node.js.

Her approach:

One of the most important mantras for me has been “Start Small. Keep Building.”

Tackling small goals gave me small, solvable problems which led to new small goals and more small, solvable problems. Eventually, after I solved enough small problems my conception of a small problem changed. A small problem for me on day 100, for example, is much more complex than a small problem on day 1. Bit by bit I inched toward being able to make dynamic websites.

What’s next:

Keep coding! The end of my 180 websites in 180 days project marks the beginning of the rest of my life as a coder. The project certainly hasn’t given me a comprehensive understanding of software development, but it has laid a broad foundation for me to jump off of. I plan to work on a couple of more complex websites that take more than a day to complete. Doing some larger websites will allow me to fill in the gaps in what I learned through this process. After I feel like I’ve filled in the gaps a bit, I’d like to work with a smallish team of passionate people who are equally interested in making awesome stuff happen.

Jennifer’s example is inspiring. I know a lot of people who, when trying to learn a new language or technology, try to master every last nuance of it before building anything substantial, and their efforts often end up for naught. I like Jennifer’s approach of learning by doing and following the mantra of “consistency beats intensity” much better. We’d all do well to borrow that trick from her.

Congratulations, Jennifer, and best of luck as you continue the journey!