Ninety Days on Github

90 days on Github

90 days on Github

Ninety days ago, I unknowingly started my first real Github streak. I didn’t really decide to start a streak until I was about 17 days in, but since then I’ve been very conscious to keep it going. I’ve thought about ending the streak a few times recently, but it’s still more of a benefit than a burden. There are a number of things I’ve noticed as the streak has started to be measured in months instead of days:

  • Contributing at a minimally meaningful level is becoming routine; it’s just part of my day now.
  • I’m aware of the length of the streak, but these days it’s more of a habit I want to keep than a number I’m trying to chase.
  • Contributing on a daily basis keeps me from losing sight of the long-term goals of my projects. This makes it much easier to work more intensively on my projects when I get a window of time.
  • Someone reached out to become involved in one of my projects ( I’m starting to mentor this person, which is very rewarding and motivating.
  • I find myself getting more involved in an active, highly professional mailing list (IPython-dev). It is inspiring to have meaningful conversations, and even some collaboration, with such focused and talented people.

I had two satisfying milestones during the last 30 days. I finally converted a Basemap tutorial from an old blog format to the new project I am working on. It’s the first project for, and I’ve already received some positive feedback about the tutorial. It was a fair bit of work to make the original tutorial, and it feels much better to have it hosted in a collaborative project rather than on my personal blog. I am more confident it can be kept up to date, and not die a rather quick death of outdated installation instructions, and broken links to government data sets.

Highlighting lines of code that have been added or modified in a tutorial.

Highlighting lines of code that have been added or modified in a tutorial.

I also made a quick and dirty method for highlighting single lines of code in the IPython Notebooks I am using to make I feel this kind of highlighting is essential for making good tutorials and learning resources. I’m sure there is a more elegant way to implement this kind of highlighting, but I was at least able to bring a bit of functionality into IPython that I needed to make an effective final product.

Maintaining a longer streak feels a little forced and artificial at times, but overall it is keeping me connected to some important projects and some inspiring people. I’m going to aim for another 30 days, and I still have a satisfying sense of wonder about where these next 30 days will lead.


About ehmatthes

Teacher, hacker, new dad, outdoor guy
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