Monday, April 9, 2012

Keep Calm and Code On

I love running.  That said, I am often frustrated that I am only a beginner and I have days where I just suck or moments where I can't even get motivated to get out the door.  In these moments, I often look to my community of peers for support. Sometimes, and this is possibly a running nerd confession of some sort- I look to Pinterest.  There's a plethora of inspirational quotes, photos, posters etc for runners- and runners constantly are posting this kind of stuff around them to get inspired. Things like:


Yes, they are a bit cheesy- but in a very real way they are motivating me to go out and run. I think part of it is that a poster on some level is a form of establishing your identity. I put a running poster up- all of a sudden, I'm the real deal- someone who cares about running. On another level, it truly is a constant reminder to stay focused and not lose faith in what I want to do.

I got to thinking a bit about how this same motivational strategy could be applied to webmaking and people who are learning code. Frankly, I made this connection because despite what I say, learning how to design and program for the web is new and can be hard to do. Sometimes, you just need that little dose of inspiration. I wonder, what motivational sayings we could dish out to the newbie webmaker, to keep them motivated while simultaneously allowing them to self identify as webmakers:


Obviously I'm joking around on some level- but I do think that this relates to the work that we are doing on integrating badges into projects like the Missions that I wrote about earlier. I think that we need to develop a community of webmakers, and doing this means elevating role models who users can identify with,  establishing a language around the work that we do- Keep calm and code on, and as always, integrate play into our programs and initiatives.

* note: thanks to Charley Miller for wordsmithing the Keep Calm Code On poster


Caspy7 said...

You do know the story behind that last pic right (those fellows aren't just giving that girl a push).

Jess said...

of course! It's Kathrine Switzer, the first female marathoner- in the famous/infamous Boston marathon where the race organizer was literally trying to push her out of the race. I think that it's inspiring - it motivates me. I don't take for granted women's roles and potential in the sport of running.