It has spurred every level of developer to give their craft a special level of commitment. Some have used it to focus on learning a new language or framework. Others are using it to learn programming for the first time. It is a special community where learning and helping others is the focus.
Inspired by the incredible participants, Alexander launched the #100DaysOfX challenge. It is the same public commitment and progress reporting, but you decide what the X is.
I was inspired by everyone in #CodeNewbie and #100DaysOfCode that were so hungry to learn. They are all very passionate about learning and helping one another. Some folks I talked to were trying to learn Amazon Web Services but were struggling to make any progress. They wanted to learn it and use it, but they were getting lost in the sea of information.
After hearing their story, as someone that is experienced in AWS and software development, I wanted to help them learn the platform. So back in November, I revealed that I was working on a new ebook on how to learn AWS. The focus was on giving people a framework to learn AWS by actually diving in and using it. This is done by focusing on a specific problem and then learning the services as we are building a solution.
I had always wanted to write a book and now was as good a time as ever. So I began writing little by little. A month or two went by and I realized I way underestimated the amount of time and dedication this was going to take. At the end of the year, I felt like I was running through mud with this project. There was progress, but not the progress I wanted to see from myself.
When the calendar year turned over and #100DaysOfX was catching on, I saw Andreas Reiterer pledge himself to #100DaysOfWriting. This was when it truly clicked for me.
To help the folks in the community learn AWS, I needed to dedicate my focus to writing this book. After seeing Andreas starting to make progress I decided to join the commitment train as well. So on January 11th, I committed to 100 consecutive days of writing.
For the 99 days after that, I would write. Some days I would write 1000 words, and others I would only get 50 words down. Regardless of the time of day or my own personal fatigue, I wrote.
Within the first week, I started to see incredible progress on my book. I went from one chapter complete to almost three chapters in just seven days. It wasn’t just filler either, I was writing some of the best content I had seen from myself. This spurred me to start writing other things like blog posts, screencast outlines, and even introduction emails.
On day 84 I released my first ebook + video course focused on learning Amazon Web Services by using it.
I had never been more proud of myself than the moment I received the first printed copy of my book.
For some, this probably isn’t that great of a story. It is, after all, a 100-page book and some screencasts.
But for the folks I wanted to help, it has been groundbreaking. They have been able to create an AWS account, host their static website, and learn a slew of AWS services in just 100 pages of reading.
For me, well for me it has been one of the most rewarding things I have done. Writing from your own experience and having that help others is more fulfilling than can be described here. Without a doubt #100DaysOfWriting gave me the focus and commitment I needed to give folks a book that they would value and learn from.