Weston Ludeke

Mid-2020 Progress Update

Published (updated: ) in misc.

via @isaacmsmith on Unsplash

The first six months of 2020 are now completed and in this post, I’m going to write about the progress I’ve made so far in reaching my goals of mastering computer programming and the Spanish language.

Leveling-Up My Programming Skills

At the beginning of January 2020, I began the first course of the Launch School programming school, RB101. Launch School is an incredibly intense and deep program designed for students to master the fundamentals of computer programming.

I’ll be writing more about my specific experiences in Launch School in the future, but for now, I’m going to write about my progress in learning to code overall during the first half of 2020.

My approach to learning to code in the Launch School program is to treat the material as if I were doing a part-time graduate school degree. I aim to study about 15-20 hours per week in my free time, while still working in a full-time job during the day.

During the first six months of 2020, I was able to put in 22,860 minutes studying programming, which is 381 hours. It was a little less than my 20 hour per week goal, but still very good progress nonetheless considering the stress of the pandemic and other things going on in the word.

I aim for three hours of studying each weekday and use the weekend to get the final hours up to 20. I arrived at this goal of 20 hours per week by assuming 10,000 hours of studying needed to attain mastery, divided by 10 years means about 1,000 hours of studying per year. Then divided by 52 weeks means about 19 hours per week of studying. Those numbers will adjust slightly for vacation days/vacation weeks/holidays, etc.

Note: I know the 10,000-hour rule isn’t 100% backed by science and there is a lot of disagreement on how accurate the rule is. Either way, it’s still a good rule of thumb for me personally to keep in mind the amount of work I’ll need to put in to become a professional developer. It’s also helpful in my personal goal setting as described in the previous paragraph.

Continuing to Improve My Spanish

Studying computer programming so intensely each week has left me with less free time for other areas, but I’m still trying to put in some time each week studying Spanish.

During the first six months of 2020, I was able to put in 7,333 minutes of studying Spanish, which translates to 122 hours. This is a little less than I want, but it’s still a decent amount and, even a few hours each week, allows me to retain much of the material and not forget it due to lack of use.

I’m currently at roughly the B1 level in Spanish and am using several different resources each week to study. I have two teachers, both from Mexico, that I do video chats with each week via Skype. I read a lot online with the assist of Readlang to help with new vocab terms. The Doorway to Mexico podcast is also helpful to improve my listening comprehension skills and to teach me new Mexico-specific slang, idioms, and expressions. Lengalia has been a valuable resource with grammar and is great because it’s focused around the CERF/DELE exams.

Continuing On

For the second half of 2020, my goal is to maintain my same level of progress and discipline. Perhaps I’ll even be able to improve my numbers a bit, depending on my ability to navigate around any unforeseen outside circumstances occurring in the coming months.

I’ll continue writing and updating about my progress in the future!