Inspiration

I'm currently studying Computer Science in college and am about to graduate. But as the years of menially studying different data structures, systems designs, and languages have passed by, I've become less interested in coding and don't see any fulfillment in it. I don't see any reason I should be pursuing a field like this besides getting a job that will make lots of money. I don't have the same bright, eye-lit spirit as I did when I saw the Computer Science field for the first time and said: "That's awesome, I want to do that." I've lost motivation to be a coder.

I built this extension to hopefully motivate not just me, but students who are learning Computer Science for the first time as well to make something cool. There is a lot of menial work that software developers have to do in this industry, and it is discouraging to see all those logic and syntax errors pop up when the program runs/compiles. Students are bound to making these errors at least once, so they will feel deterred if they are having difficulty figuring out what is causing the problem. I want this extension to keep all kinds of software developers engaged in what they are doing, especially students so that they can create awesome products just like us hackers.

What it does

At the start of activation, and every 15 minutes, it will send a random motivational message to the user. The user activates the extension by typing Whycode in the text line that appears after hitting Ctrl+Shift+P in the VS Code window.

How I built it

I used VS Code to develop and debug this code. I made two arrays: one for the start motivational message and one for the message sent on intervals because the contexts of each message vary with the amount of time the user has started working. Certain messages are more applicable at the start of work rather than 15 minutes into the work. I essentially kept the starting template the same but changed the callback function in registerCommand().

Challenges I ran into

I took a break from this project but ended up procrastinating on it, and my current disinterest in coding was deterring me from continuing it. Luckily, I wanted to at least demo something to the judges, so that's how I was able to get it done.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Making my own VS Code Extension for the first time

What I learned

I'm currently 21 years old, which is an age where people are still trying to figure out their purpose in life. I learned that I don't have to commit to being a coder my whole life, but I can still use the skills I've acquired to change others' lives for the better.

Money or prizes don't bring happiness. While we are currently revolutionizing the way we work in the world by pouring out new technology every day, it's important to always be grateful for the things that we have, the values that we live by today. Knowing these attributes fulfill our lives every day makes us happy.

What's next for Whycode

  • Allow user configuration for how often you want to be "motivated"
  • Allow user to deactivate/reactivate Whycode; send a message upon deactivation/reactivation
  • On detection of errors, encourage the user to figure out what the error might be
  • Custom motivational messages
  • Make it a passive extension: no more manually entering "Whycode" to activate
  • Allow for jokes
  • For statistical purposes, collect info on the user's current attitude: ask the user if they would like to share how they are feeling about what they are doing and record the info in a database.
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