School’s out and the sun’s out, but are you still craving a way to be creative and productive? Maybe you’re even missing your classes a bit - don’t worry, I won’t tell! - and you’re looking for some inspiration.
While summer is a great time to destress and relax in the sun, it’s also the perfect time to get your creative coding juices going! Here are my five favorite ways to stay ahead of a summer productivity slump:
I’ll let you in on a not-so-secret secret: I’m a little obsessed with hackathons. If you’re feeling bored now that classes are over and you’re looking for a fun outlet for your coding skills, hackathons are the BEST opportunities. They’re a great way to learn new skills and practice old ones, meet other coders, and push yourself to build a product from start to finish.
One of the main reasons I love hackathons so much is they can remind you of all the best parts of being a coder. Without the stress of trying to get an A on an assignment or the constraints of following a professor’s instructions, you have the freedom to build anything you want, any way you want to make it.
Most hackathons are 12-24 hours, though some intense ones can last up to 36 hours. The best part: they’re free! You will rarely, if ever, have to pay a fee to participate in a hackathon, and there’s always tons of free food throughout the night! If you’ve never participated in a hackathon before and you’re feeling a little nervous, click here for a taste of what to expect at your first hackathon.
One of my favorite things to do when I’m feeling uninspired or lazy is to go to a museum. While I appreciate art, I do prefer museums dedicated to the sciences. Admiring the technology and machinery in the exhibitions will not only get your inner science nerd jumping for joy, but will also inspire you to go home and create something yourself! Click for some suggestions of the best museums to visit.
3. Coffee shops
While the general vibe of your neighborhood coffee shop will be unique to the particular location, most cafe’s tend to be full of writers, coders, designers, and other individuals hard at work. The wifi, constant access to coffee, and the social atmosphere are major draws for the self-employed. Make friends with your local barista, take over the comfiest chair you can find, and get inspired by the people around you!
Summer is the perfect time to follow up on the connections you’ve made this year. Did your friend introduce you to a colleague? Did you meet someone you’ve always admired? Follow up with these acquaintances and invite them to coffee/tea! Most individuals will be open to meeting for a quick coffee break and these are great opportunities to ask for advice, learn more about their careers, and create relationships with potential mentors.
Bootcamps are often the most overlooked opportunities in tech. I personally think they’re hidden gems when it comes to professional development. Over the course of a few days (or weeks, or months), you will learn valuable skills and meet other motivated individuals with similar interests as yourself.
Some bootcamps simply require a fee and commitment to the program, while others have a longer application and selection process. Whatever the case, you’ll work your coding muscles and find yourself surrounded by inspiring professionals in tech.
Once you’re done with your coding bootcamp, you’ll be ready to dive back into the academic year with our .