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I Made a Twitter Bot to Curate a Higher Quality #100DaysOfCode Feed to Challenge and Encourage Others

duhdugg profile image Doug Elkin ・3 min read

Preface

You must know what the #100DaysOfCode challenge is before reading further.

The rules of the challenge are simple:

The main rule: Code minimum an hour every day for the next 100 days.

Learn more about the main rules, as well as some other considerations.

  • Code for minimum an hour a day
  • Tweet your progress daily with the hashtag: #100DaysOfCode
  • Each day, reach out to at least two people on Twitter who are also doing the challenge

If you take on the optional, but highly recommended, task of forking the challenge's GitHub repo, additional rules are added:

  • If I code at work, that time won't count towards the challenge.
  • I will push code to GitHub every day so that anyone can see my progress.
  • I will update the Log with the day's progress and provide a link so that others can see my progress.
  • I will work on real projects, facing real challenges. The time spent doing tutorials, online courses and other similar resources will NOT count towards this challenge.

My Initial Challenges to These Commitments

I've recently committed to this challenge, including the additional rules from GitHub.

I want to complete the "reach out to at least two people on Twitter" part of the challenge by reaching out to people directly as they provide their updates.

The problem is that I was having a hard time sorting through all the tweets using this hashtag to find people actually committed to these rules.

The Types of Tweets Using the Hashtag

1. Jokes

I won't critique the joke itself because I can't squint my eyes hard enough to read it. I just want people to know there's a #ProgrammerHumor tag for that.

2. Danny Thompson

Stories like his are inspirational. Having worked in similar kitchens, I celebrate when people manage to break into the industry the hard way while making it easier for others to do the same. His advice has power, and I recommend that you read about his journey from the man himself, and also watch his Juneteenth conference keynote on YouTube.

However, at the time of this tweet, it had been 1 year, 4 months, and 29 days since the last commit to his 100-days-of-code repo on GitHub.

Yet, he tweets more frequently using this hashtag than the combined tweets of all Kardashians on any topic.

(Hey, @dthompsondev . I admit that I don't know if that last statement is factual. If you're reading this, I want you to write a script that proves this assertion to be false using data pulled from the Twitter API. Write the script, host it on GitHub, and then tweet about it using the #100DaysOfCode hashtag. If you do that, I will update this article.)

3. Tweets which beg the question, "How is this even relevant?"

Oh. I get it now. It's a bot with an unresolved HTML decoding bug. I can track down the GitHub project and file an issue, but without that problem I don't think I would have been able to explain why it uses this hashtag.

4. Status Updates without Code

Errmahgerd! I love this little flippy egg toggle thing! That's the extent of my feedback on this, and I only have it because a visual was included (many don't even provide that). I really don't have anything valuable to add to updates like this without being able to see the source code.

My Solution

I created @ActualCodeBot to have something I can follow that filters out all of these things. It retweets original tweets containing #100DaysOfCode, but only when they also contain a link to source code through a popular code-sharing website.

You can view the project on GitHub.

I've been following this bot exclusively for the kind of updates I'm looking for, and I am quite pleased with the quality of the feed I'm now seeing. Here are just a few representative examples of the things it retweets:





In Conclusion

I anxiously await the day my bot retweets Danny's completion of the challenge I've presented him. In all seriousness, I hope these words and this tiny digital frankenstein I've created will encourage each of us to add more substance to the statuses we share. Tagging yourself with a popular keyword is easy; maintaining its meaningfulness is a responsibility.

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Doug Elkin

@duhdugg

There is a fire within me that sparked at age 10, accelerated at 20, and is burning brighter in my 30s. Dev until death!

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