The 21-Day Coding Challenge starts Oct. 1. You need all of your coding and quick-thinking skills to complete the challenges. But what if you don’t quite have those coding abilities mastered yet? Or what if you aren’t sure how to set yourself up for success over the course of three weeks? Don't fear, Lighthouse Labs is here! Below we’ve compiled the top eight ways to prepare and succeed at the 21-Day Coding Challenge.

Do Some Prep and Plan Ahead

Since the 21-Day Coding Challenge is all about coding in JavaScript you’ve got a few options to help you hone your skills ahead of time.

1) Learn to Code Online

Our very own (free!) Learn to Code Resources are available 24/7 to help you master the basics of JavaScript with: JavaScript Essentials and JavaScript Essentials Part II. We also recently partnered with Course Report on a blog: “5 JavaScript Terms Beginners Need to Know” - written by our very own (amazing) Head Vancouver Instructor, Don Burks!

2) Learn to Code In-Person

If you’re looking for some mentorship to go with your coding, consider coming to one of our (free!) workshop events. When you attend a workshop, you’ll have Developers who will act as your mentors and work with you through different coding challenges. Our workshops are delivered by people with years of coding experience, so it’s a great chance to get exposed to the realities of the profession and learn some different styles of problem solving. We're also hosting a free, in-person workshop specifically focused on the 21-Day Coding Challenge on Oct. 16 in Vancouver.

3) Figure Out How You Work

Are you more of a morning person or more of a night owl? Do you like to start something and then come back to it if you are struggling? Or, once you start something do you need to finish it no matter what? Knowing how you work can have a big impact on how you will complete the 21-Day Coding Challenge. This is especially important to keep in mind so that you don’t fall behind on any of the challenges. Life happens and if you get sick or you have a family emergency that’s totally understandable. Binge-watching the latest season of your favourite show? That’s less of a legit excuse.

4) Plan Your Schedule

Do you know what your schedule will look like during the 21-Day Coding Challenge? Maybe you have some tight work deadlines coming up or perhaps you’re going out of town for a weekend getaway. Those are all reasonable things to have on your “to do” list, the goal is finding a time each day to make sure you complete a challenge. Consider setting aside at least half an hour each day to work on the 21-Day Coding Challenge. Times might look different for you during the week compared to the weekend. For example, you might want to work on the challenges first thing in the morning, before work on weekdays; while you want to tackle challenges in the afternoon on the weekend. That’s just an example, whatever schedule you want to keep - as long as you’re completing the daily challenges - you are on the right track!

Staying Motivated After You Sign-Up

5) Declare the 21-Day Coding Challenge to the World

Tell your friends, family, co-workers, and the internet all about the 21-Day Coding Challenge and ask them to help you keep up with it each day. There is real power in stating your intentions out loud for everyone to hear. Ok, you don’t actually have to tell everyone you know about the challenge, but sharing your goals with a few people might provide some extra motivation. And, if you do feel like sharing your progress, you can always tag Lighthouse Labs along the way by tweeting @lighthouse_labs or tagging us on Facebook or Instagram. Don't forget to use the hashtag #21DCC when posting about the challenge too!

6) Get Your Friends Involved

Just like sharing your intentions with friends can be a good motivator, actually working on the challenges WITH your friends is an even better one! Try to enlist others to complete the 21-Day Coding Challenge with you by creating or joining a Team. (The top team gets a $500 gift card towards a sweet team outing!) Having someone else to work through the challenges is great for a few reasons. First, it provides incentive to work through each challenge every day. Second, we’ve got awesome additional prizes for the team that gets the most points.

Plus, having a friend work through the 21-Day Coding Challenge with you will also provide a great person to ask for advice or help if you’re having any trouble along the way. But don’t worry, if your friends aren’t able to help, we’ve got a whole bunch of new friends - our handy Help Forum - ready to answer your questions too.

Rewards and Prizes!

7) Give Yourself Small Rewards

Hopefully you won’t need daily rewards for completing the challenge - because working on the challenge and becoming a better coder is a reward in itself. OK, fine, let’s be realistic and set yourself up for a reward for each week that you complete of the 21-Day Coding Challenge. Go out for a nice meal, spend hours playing that video game you love, take a hike and leave your phone behind. Whatever makes you happy and provides that little extra incentive is the perfect reward to help you stay motivated.

8) Reminder: Lighthouse Labs is Giving Out Prizes

Yes, there will be prizes! Everyone who enters the 21-Day Coding Challenge will be automatically entered into our for a grand prize trip to San Francisco for three nights including a tour of Silicon Valley! Other fabulous prizes include a MacBook Air, Google Alexa, VR Headset, and much more!

Lighthouse Labs challenges you, regardless of your coding level, to spend 15 to 30 minutes a day learning JavaScript - the most widely-used coding language in the world. Enter the 21-Day Coding Challenge and learn how to code in a fun, free, and social way for a chance to win amazing prizes, including a three-night trip to San Francisco (for two) including a tour of Silicon Valley!