I’ve been into physical fitness and I’m supposed to be writing about that on this blog but I’ve had to put a hold on it. This is about keeping fit at creative work which include code, design, animation, modeling.
A while back David DeSandro tweeted this:
Do programmers practice or do warm ups? I feel like prototyping takes same level of concentration as writing production code— Dave DeSandro (@desandro) July 10, 2017
and as a fan of his works I hastily replied without much thought.
Warm ups would be code katas (cardios) and side projects (weight lifting)— Joseph Rex (@josephrexme) July 10, 2017
It didn’t end there for me. I started thinking through my reply and asking myself if that really feels like workout for me. I joined exercism and I’ve not been so consistent. I really do want to give more time to it and maybe codewars as well but here’s the reason I can’t do that now.
I’ve been developing software for 5 years and I’ve mostly made things I can’t make reference to. After realization I started trying to improve that. Putting more on dribbble, making more contributions to open source, putting more demos out to codepen. I consider myself a creative technologist so these are the things I need to do to prove I’m what I am.
My next big question became when I go to the gym and do a HITT session followed up by some bench presses and perhaps some burpees, I could see the effects of it later. People get to ask if I workout because they suspect I do by what they see. How can I make my creative and coding fitness leave such an impact?
Only a few companies will probably ever care about checking my tracks on exercism or codewars. In my experience, so far just 1. But these platforms offer the benefit of impacting more knowledge as you go further. I wanted something that both impacted knowledge in me and left works I could make reference to.
For most positions I apply to, they first get to see my GitHub, Dribbble, CodePen, and this blog. What signs can I leave that’d make them know I work out so they don’t have to ask:
The answer to that was challenges. I’d recently started #ThirtyLogos and it’s been a great journey in improving my design perspective and ability to make logos. My minuscule OCD gives me a crazy impulsion for completion when I believe an end is reachable. Code katas have no definite end which leaves me anticipating for too long to reach an end. I have to work for money and for other things and spending hours solving katas just wouldn’t cut it.
Challenges that target 100 days also feel like too much to do. How do I stay on a challenge for 100 days and not get interrupted? Not like I can’t focus but things could come up in my life that’d require me to put it aside. Then that’d really hurt my brain to know I started something I couldn’t finish. For this, I’m totally digging challenges that are centered around 30 days. It’s the best thing ever. Yeah do one thing for 30 days and you’d see yourself get better at it. If you’re still at it by day 18 you could already see the differences from day 1. And you’re over halfway done so you know it’s going to end and you can tell yourself let’s put in a little more effort to see this done.
The other kind of challenge I relish has less rush and offers a chance for accuracy but doesn’t enforce that. I was privileged to find creative coding club and it’s been so great for me. It’s one challenge at a time which spans the period of a month. Sometimes I end up doing nothing at all but I still learn while trying to do something and when I can, I put in my effort and making something I’d be proud of. I also recently discovered loopdeloop which I might explore in the future to stretch my muscles on animation.
I love 3D and since I signed up for sketchfab and artstation, I’ve been itching to put some character models on them. Hopefully I’d find a 3D challenge soon or I might just make one for myself like I personally have a track for learning web animations at the moment.
I might still get around doing katas but I don’t have so many hours in a day to give at this time of my life. I still have to give some of my time to reading books I cherish. I hope this helps anyone looking to stay fit at creative work.