500 shades of Green
No, it is not fake. I did it - I have managed to have real streak which last 500 days in a row and document it on Github. But, you can do it in a different way - there are couple of projects which allows you to create arbitrary history of your contributions (it uses a separate repository for that and well - it cheats using ability of
git to bend the time).
One is here.
No, it does not mean anything. I am not a better programmer than anyone else, definitely quantity does not involve quality (I will describe this in details below).
No, it does not mean that I did not have proper holidays or that I have spent all my free time on that.
Why did you do that?
Mainly because of two reasons: documentation and creating habits.
Many of the repositories like afronski/playground-notes, afronski/dotfiles or afronski/papers_i_love are pure and private documentation of my notes, publicly visible settings and observations with commit history.
It also helped me when it comes to developing new habits:
- Taking care about commit history, proper commit messages, linear and nice history. Working with facilities like rebase, squash or fix-ups helped me a lot in daily job.
- Besides that some commits have attached story with explanation why I applied that change. It is sometimes priceless, because I can drop my mental overhead related to fear of forgetting something important. And when I hit the same wall again I can tackle it with certainty and exact solution. Example here.
- Also having a daily habit of delivering something valuable is crucial. It helps a lot when it comes to daily work, when it comes to planning the workload, actual steps to be done.
- It also helps regarding planning my weeks and during a lot of other related activities - like meet-up organization, building community around them or preparing real contributions to open source projects.
- Another point is related with developing other habits. It is easier to develop a new habit on top of existing foundation.
I cannot overlook the fun factor and that all the small things delivered daily sometimes formed something bigger, and endorphin’s rush related with a finished project cannot be underestimated.
Obviously, if you know
git well you can cheat with the dates (e.g. when you skipped a day or two) - especially if that repository (or branch) is not used by anyone:
~ (my-private-branch) $ git commit --amend --date="Wed Feb 01 23:50 2016 +0100"
All rules regarding rewriting commit history of pushed shared branches are applicable also in this case, so you have been warned.
Quality != Quantity
Last, but not least - my daily streak means literally nothing when it comes to my skills. It can be only a indicator of my stubborn nature and persistence. Also, there are a lot of days which are really low when it comes to contributions value (like changing a thing or two in a
README.md file). That’s definitely not a full-blown contribution, but it still helps preserving the habit and it keeps you in the loop.
Hey - it still counts if you feel better afterwards! Why so serious? It is just a pile of green squares. Just don’t break the chain, and try as much as you can to deliver something - it will be still awesome, even if it will serve purpose only for you. For me it is like a motivational perpetuum mobile - I wish you the same thing!