Pomodollars: My Pomodoro Technique Upgrade

I have been using The Pomodoro Technique for almost 2 years now. It has helped me tremendously in being productive and focused.

However, I have only kept track of the number of Pomodori I complete each day. I have never really tracked my Pomodori over the week nor month.

I have modified my tracking by keeping track of the number of Pomodori I complete each month. I keep track of the number of completed Pomodori on a spreadsheet, and I multiply this number by 25. Basically I am tracking my number of focused minutes each month.

But since I need something gimmicky to motivate myself even further, I call these monthly focused minutes Pomodollars 🙂

 

 

Mixing It Up Boosts Learning

I recently read this article: The Interleaving Effect: Mixing It Up Boosts Learning.

A few interesting points were made:

Blocking involves practicing one skill at a time before the next (for example, “skill A” before “skill B” and so on, forming the pattern “AAABBBCCC”), in interleaving one mixes, or interleaves, practice on several related skills together (forming for example the pattern “ABCABCABC”).

Overall, the interleaving effect can be strong, stable, and long-lasting.

I am currently learning from Pluralsight courses. I think interleaving works nicely with Pluralsight because the modules are around 30-60 minutes, which can fit into a Pomodoro because I play the videos at 2x speed.

I also feel like I have more fun because I can take several courses at once and finish a module from each course every day. Plus I get the variety of many different subjects, and the repetition when the courses overlap.

 

Great advice from a top competitive programmer

I read this interview with competitive programmer Ahmed AlyWhy Renowned Googler Ahmed Aly Chose HackerRank and what really stood out to me was his advice:

Ahmed, what advice do you have for people who want to become great programmers like you?

Don’t try to solve harder problems unless you are really good at solving the easier ones. That means solve a lot of really easy problems (that could be hundreds), that will improve your coding skills, which should be the easiest skill to gain. Then go to little bit harder problems, and so on.

Learning from Pluralsight

In December I wrote about growing my coding abilities by reading.

Well I have found something even better and more enjoyable for me: learning from Pluralsight.

I am especially inspired by the growth shown by Kevin O’Shaughnessy who completed over 400 Pluralsight courses!

I feel like solving code challenges plus learning and building with Pluralsight will really accelerate my growth as a software engineer.

You can get 3 free months of Pluralsight  by signing up for the free Visual Studio Dev Essentials.

On gaining coding experience…

I think life and coding comes oftentimes comes down to my simple formula:

  • Try
  • Fail
  • Learn
  • Improve
  • Repeat

So does this mean that the working developer has gone through more trial and error than the aspiring developer, that the senior developer has gained more experience and learned from them than the junior developer?

Also how much experience can be gained indirectly vs. must be gained directly?

I don’t know the answer to any of these questions so I just focus on 2 things with coding–right action and fun:

  1. Doing the right actions that bring me closer to my goals, that improve my coding knowledge and skills
  2. Having fun as much as I can with my coding journey 🙂

I will never “arrive” as a coder, so I can only enjoy programming as much as possible and as often as possible. So far so good 🙂

How to give yourself a coding boot camp

Here are the steps you can take to learn web development and get hired. This advice is based on my experiences so it is extremely biased 😉

  1. Save lots of money, ideally enough to cover 2 years of expenses. This would give you the option to quit your job and focus 100% on coding.
  2. Learn for free and get free help.
  3. Get inspired. Read How to Get Inspired about Web Development and You can get a coding job!
  4. If you have done steps 1-3, you can now begin your boot camp.
    Commit to building a site every day and blogging about what you have learned and built. Remember Jennifer DeWalt’s advice:

    Throughout the project a start small, keep going mantra was in my head. It is important to understand that you don’t necessarily need to understand to get things working. It is just as important to keep moving forward. The understanding will come eventually.

  5. Fully commit. Be willing to build 30 sites in 30 days, 100 sites in 100 days, 180 sites in 180 days, whatever it takes to get hired.
  6. After 30 days of building, revamp your resume and start applying for jobs.
  7. Prepare for interviews by doing code challenges. Free Code Camp has fun problems as does Code Wars.
  8. Don’t give up. You can do it! Keep going until your dream job is your day job 🙂