#100DaysOfCode Round 1, 1/100

Today’s #100DaysOfCode progress:

I completed all of the “Basic HTML and HTML5” challenges at freeCodeCamp.

I also read/watched the following:

I forked the 100 Days of Code repository to make my own 100 Days of Code Log.

I also set up a Dev page in Notion, with subpages to track goals, deadlines, schedules, a reading list, tools and resources, and notes about things I always forget. (Like how to do forms in HTML5. Because I’m very old-fashioned and not used to it being so straightforward.)

But Kimberly, why are you doing this now? Aren’t you getting a PhD in cosplay or something?

I’m getting a PhD in Library and Information Science. Knowing how to code has rarely made anyone’s life worse.

But one of the main reasons is that, though I’ve been developing websites for about 25 years, I have almost never made money off of it. Which is kind of ridiculous, when you think about who gets paid what for what. It occurred to me that perhaps my potentially lucrative hobby might be a thing that could make me money.

And why I’m doing it right now, is that yesterday I started watching the BeyondProf webinar, “3 Things You Should Do Now to Maintain Momentum in Your Job Search.” BeyondProf is always putting out great stuff and this is no exception. Maren got real about what higher ed might look like in terms of hiring in the near future. And sure, the likelihood of getting a tenure track has been tiny for years.

But until recently, alt-ac seemed like a very good option. A preferable option, even, in my case maybe.

And in this webinar, Maren confirmed what I began to suspect when I heard about hiring freezes at local institutions: that Plan B (or, again, in my case, probably Plan A) well is about to dry up. She talked about having to take odd jobs while you figure stuff out.

And I asked myself in what industry I could be content taking an entry-level position at age 40, with a PhD in LIS and 9 years of experience in education, aside from the cough number of years I’ve spent in grad school. (When I graduate, it will be 9. I will have spent half of my post-grad time in full-time work, and half of it in full-time school.)

The answer was immediately apparent: tech. The nice thing, too, about gaining web development skills is that it doesn’t actually chain you to the tech industry. Lots of library vendors, socially conscious businesses, and non-profits need web developers. And pay them better than they pay librarians. (I know money shouldn’t be a thing or whatever but I have a lot of loans and health care expenses and a 30+ year old house that needs maintaining, so. Also, hi there, we live in late stage capitalism, it means we need money to survive.)


My goal is to have all the skills needed to be a full stack developer by the time I graduate in May 2021, so that if necessary, I’ll have my pick of front end, back end, and full stack jobs.

My deadline for some kind of employment is November 2021, when my student loan deferment grace period will end.

Is it ambitious? Yes, but I’m not starting from scratch.

Kimberly Hirsh @kimberlyhirsh