The Marketing Genius of 100 Days of Code

I’m not sure if FreeCodeCamp was the first outfit to get folks beavering away on Twitter under the hashtag #100DaysOfCode, but it seems to be associated with them now. This hashtag was a stroke of marketing genius. Since consistent daily coding is a fun hobby that often pays off in a solid career over time, getting started with a manageable finite period like that is a good idea. So it’s genius in terms of motivating people. The fact that searching for it on Twitter leads you back to the originator of the idea is where it becomes marketing genius.

But as with anything well hyped, it will lead to imitators making exorbitant claims. On Udemy, there’s a course “100 Days of Code: The Complete Python Pro Bootcamp for 2022” claiming as the first three features:

  • Be able to program in Python professionally

  • Master the Python programming language by building 100 projects over 100 days

  • Create a portfolio of 100 Python projects to apply for developer jobs

Look, I get that you have to sell the sizzle and not the steak. But if you have managed to break into software after 100 days of working on it, I congratulate you. I’m sure it’s possible, just as it’s possible I’ll go out today and pass by a woman who’s six feet two inches tall. Given any normal distribution, there’ll be a fat part of the bell curve, and there’ll be outliers.

I used to feel like the three years of coding and learning that it took me to break into an entry- level job in the software industry was because I did it so long ago (1990-1993). However, since then I’ve run into two people who’ve done it more recently (2006 or so and this year). For them, the time frame was each four years. Yes, it’s a small sample size, I get that. Your mileage may vary. I’ve recently met folks who’ve done it after a short bootcamp of six to nine months or so.

I’m not writing this to discourage anyone from doing 100 days of code. Do 100 days, then do another 100 days, and do it again and again until you break through. If you enjoy coding, you’ll look back on the adventure to go pro and on your tech first job with fondness some day. The important thing is, if 100 days is not enough for you, you’re certainly not alone, so don’t get discouraged.

However long it takes, I hope you’ll tell me when you break through, and thanks for sharing your struggles and victories along the way.