CodeNewbie, Write More Challenge

CNC 2021 – Write More Challenge – First Mission

Hi everyone !

After warming up with the Pre-Mission of the Write More Challenge, I am now ready for the 1st Mission 💪🙂

Let’s dive into it

For our first Mission, the main goal is to find 3 blog ideas that we are going to use for the missions to come. But right now, lets focus on finding those ideas, and to do so, CodeNewbie gave us a really well detailed instructions list to follow !

First step – Looking for blog ideas

It may sound obvious to a lot of people, but I never did such a work even if I have been blogging for a little but now 😆 For the subject of my previous blog post, I always use the projects I have been working on to give me some blog ideas. I never actually did look for them ! 👀

So, I went on the internet, using mainly DEV and CodeNewbie feeds, but also look into my digital watch feed on Feedly, and at the projects I am currently working on. I spent about 2 hours, as recommended, on the internet, and come up with around 20 ideas, some ideas require a lot of work, some others which are more like concepts of blog posts series, and finally some simple ideas on which I can write probably right now, with only a little bit of research.

I am going to put those ideas right below, maybe one of them will inspire you to write an article 😉

Spotlight on a GitHub repository Programming book review Adding a logo to a Chocolatey package Testing your graphical interfaces
Spotlight on a Youtube Channel Making your code better automatically with static analysis tools Interacting with GitHub from your mobile Interacting with GitHub from the command line
Spotlight on a Visual Studio Code Extension WaterCooler – Funny website to cool down when you need a break Understanding Git workflows GitHub Actions basics
Spotlight on a GitHub feature How to automatically validate that your code does what you expect it to do The benefits of blogging Staying/Becoming in shape as a remote developer during a lockdown
Spotlight on a Git command Daily code challenge Time management – the pomodoro technique Creating a simple pomodoro in C++

As you may have already noticed the first 2 columns contains ideas that are more adapted for blog series, with several articles for each. So, for this mission, I am going to focus more on the 10 ideas in the 2 last columns, even if, in the future, I will use also all of them, without a doubt 😄

Second step – Brainstorming

The next task to do after researching all those ideas, is to develop them, to appropriate them to myself. The objective here is not to plagiarize other people work, but to approach each subject I am going to write about, with my own perspective. And to do so, I need to reflect on the ideas found to see what we are going to actually talk in the blog posts related to them. 🙂

CodeNewbie assignment also gives us 2 valuable advices for this step : "Write freely" and "Don’t overthink it". Indeed, we don’t have to write something very structured for this step. Some notes and a couple of phrases can be more than enough to develop an idea for yourself.

Here is what I wrote about each of the 10 blog ideas from the 2 last columns of the table from the previous part (Note : those are my personal view on the different ideas, if you brainstorm on those ideas, you will probably come up with a different development for them, and that’s good, it means that you made those ideas yours 😉):

  • Adding a logo to a Chocolatey package : Tutorial post – Describing the process of adding a logo to a Chocolatey package as expected by Chocolatey guidelines (using CDN) – Specify what a CDN is and why is it recommended – Doing some screen video capture may be very useful (I actually have some Chocolatey packages on which I need to add a logo) – Easy to write since I know how to do it 👍
  • Testing your graphical interfaces : Explainer post – Inspired by this post – Describing why tests and automated tests are important (even more important in some program like the one in Space X rockets) – Differentiate automated tests and manuel one – Find some technologies allowing us to do some automatic tests for graphical interfaces depending on the languages or the framework people uses – Can be difficult to write to make it entertaining for the reader – Needs a lot of research before starting to write it ⏲️
  • Interacting with GitHub from your mobile : Technical post – Showing how to do some common procedure using the official GitHUb app on a mobile (Android) – Example of processes : Modifying a file, Creating a new branch, creating a new Pull Request, Reviewing a Pull Request, merging a Pull Request – Nice to have: Some small videos for each procedures to allow the user the see them done "live" – Easy to write but I am not familiar with the video capture on mobile or with the video editing process 📴
  • Interacting with GitHub from the command line : Technical post – Showing how to do some common procedure using the official command line tool gh allowing us to interact with GitHub without leaving your terminal – Seems simple to write, but some research need to be done to know exactly what the possibilities of this tool are – maybe try to use it for a week before writing the article to have more experiences with it – Seems easy to write, but need some time to do the research and acquire some experience with this tool 💻
  • Understanding Git workflows : Explainer post – Describing the existing Git workflows existing, their benefits and their disadvantages – Link the tools that can help people integrated those workflows into a project – A little bit of research need to be done to have a list of all the mainly used [Git workflows][https://www.atlassian.com/git/tutorials/comparing-workflows] – A huge bonus would be to have some repositories setup with the tools needed for each workflows and maybe a video linked to it showing how it works ⚙️
  • GitHub Actions basics : Explainer post – Describing what is GitHub Action, the benefits to have such tool integrated in your process and what you can do with it – Introduce the concept of CI/CD ot the reader that way – Some simple and clear repositories may need to be created or maybe a link to the GitHub Actions course from GitHub Lab will be enough. Some links to the GitHub Actions documentation will be also very useful to the readers 🔗
  • The benefits of Blogging : Explainer post – Describing the benefits of blogging about something you care about in general and then focus on blogging about programming stuffs – Talking about the importance of networking and bounding with other people (even more as remote work becomes more and more of a norm because of the pandemic) – Easy to write as I will talk from experience, but I have to make it entertaining and give the reader the desire to start blogging if he does not – A huge bonus would be to put some links to interesting resources about blogging (technical resources and blogs about writing, maybe link to some writers communities) 🖊️
  • Becoming and staying in shape as a remote developer during a lockdown : "Project" post – Giving some indication to fellow programmers who experimenting the same issues than I relatively to staying healthy, or starting to be in shape, when you are 75% of your time on a chair/couch/sofa, at your place – Linking some websites and applications about fitness, and healthy habits can be helpful to the readers, like the application Plant Nanny that CodeNewbie recommended next to the current mission details – Simple to write, some research to do for the tools and resources to help us – Maybe even proposing to create a small healthy community to help each other improve this aspect of our lives 💪
  • Time Management – Pomodoro – Explainer post – Describing what the Pomodoro technique is, how to implement it in your work like, or even your daily life – Linking some tools to help you implement it more easily – Easy to write, since I am already familiar with it 🍅
  • Creating a simple Pomodoro in C++ – Project post describing the implementation I have made of a pomodoro in a terminal – sources available on GitHub – This article may take some time as I need to point all the interesting points in the code and make it entertaining for the reader too 🕙

Third step – Evaluating each idea

Now that I have a better understanding about what each idea involves, in term of workload and in term of content, the next step is to evaluate each idea to know which one we are going to eliminate and which one to keep, and select the one we are going to focus during the next part of this challenge.

Let’s first with the one I should eliminate for now !

The 3 one that fall directly into this category are the following, as they need a lot more research to me than the time I will have available for this challenge : Testing your graphical interfaces, Understanding Git workflows and Becoming and staying in shape as a remote developer during a lockdown. So I will probably go back to them someday 😉

The other reason mentioned by CodeNewbie to eliminate an idea is the case where the idea doesn’t interest you. But since I have chosen those ideas because they were interesting me in the first place, I won’t be able to eliminate any with that argument.

Another idea that I am going to eliminate for now is Creating a simple Pomodoro in C++, as it feels more like it should be published after the explainer post Time Management – Pomodoro 😄

The last idea I am going to eliminate is Interacting with GitHub from your mobile, for some completely different reasons. At the time, I am writing this post, my phone has some issue, so I won’t be able to easily make any capture of the GitHub application 😝

And with that, we are now left with 5 interesting ideas :

  1. Adding a logo to a Chocolatey package
  2. Time Management – Pomodoro
  3. The benefits of Blogging
  4. Interacting with GitHub from the command line
  5. GitHub Actions basics

I have sorted them by affinity with me, the first one being the one I am the more comfortable with. Indeed, I experimented with Chocolatey package logo during the past week, and with pomodoro on a regular bases. So, I am now going to submit those 5 ideas to the CodeNewbie mission thread, and see if I can get any feedback on those ideas, maybe reorder this list depending on the comments from the challenge, before pîcking the 3 top ideas for the next mission 😃

Before finishing this article, I would like to mentioned what I feel is a very important point that CodeNewbie authors have made in the text of this challenge: "It’s so easy to devalue our own ideas", most of us tend to do that, and pull back from what we can do and experiment in life. Moreover, our brain is really good at coming up with excuses like "It’s already been done", "I’m not an expert" or "No one else cares" (all examples given by CodeNewbies, and probably thoughts experimented by a lot of people) ! But the next time, such thoughts come to your mind, I would like you to rephrase them like so "It’s already been done, but not by myself", "I am not an expert, let’s learn and share that with the community" or "No one else care, but I do". Well, those aren’t the best motivating phrases but you get the idea 😆 When those bad ideas will come to your mind next time, think to your own positive and motivating ideas and tackle the challenge in front of you 💪

Oh ! And if you have any motivating phrases that you use, or that you thought about, feel free to put them in comment ! 😉

Thank you all for reading this article, And until next time for the next assignment, have a splendid day 🙂

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