I reached a 60-day commit streak without much hardship. How do you ask? Routine! As you can imagine, I had a lot of momentum the first couple of weeks with ideas for new projects and the ambition to delve into new languages. Most of the commits I am pushing day in and day out are tutorial work from Bucky from TheNewBoston. Easily the best java tutorial site there if you are looking to learn more about java. Even though I am a java programmer now, I still find these tutorials helpful. Some of the exercises last over several videos so I end up watching the first video and finishing it on my own without help.
I am also proud that I created my own personal site. Its is a static Github hosted page, so don't get crazy, but I was excited to incorporate one feature on the site. Since I was planning on doing a 365-day streak on Github, I wanted to showcase the progress on my site. So I ended up finding a nifty gem on Github called Githubchart that skims your account and creates a map SVG based on the data gathered. I can trigger it from the command line and place the resulting SVG in the site folder. I even edited the gem to use a custom color for defining the chart that matched with the scheme of my site. You can see it on my site or below:
As I outlined in my last coding post, I wanted to accomplish four major programming goals. During the first 60 days I was able to accomplish one. I raised two issues on Github. One with the gem I mentioned earlier because there was no way to incorporate this into a static page. The other was a deployment issue on an older application that I was fine tuning. Because of the age of the application I had to reach out to one of my mentors to find out why it was running fine locally, but not in production. The issue behind it was concerning outdated software that required an additional gem called "backports" that automatically update all gems in the .gemfile that are outdated.
One issue that I suffered with was my mapping project. I wanted to make a application that featured a map which had a JQuery .hover effect that showed the individual state flag within the boundaries of the state I was rolling over. Originally I was using a font state map which I used in a project called GoHuntGeo that tracked personal travel and granted the user points for how much they traveled. Check it out here! But this font style was not going to work because I could not locate it in the DOM, so pinpointing each state was not easy because each letter was mapped on top of the other and if I altered the elements themselves then the map orientation would be altered drastically. I ended up going with a map with the locations coded out individually. As you can see from the code on this, having individually mapped out states requires a lot more coding, so I am grateful to .... for taking the time to do this.
What really helped get all this done was creating deadlines for myself and prioritizing pushing code everyday. Most of the time I did it first thing in the morning. After a long days work as a programmer, the last thing I want to to do when I get home is fire up the computer and keep coding. So I would do my exercises in the morning. Sometimes, when I had time, I would do upwards of 10-20 Bucky tutorial exercises at once during the weekend, then push each exercise individually throughout the week. After a while it just became a part of my routine.