Do long streaks make sense?

Against best practice and science approved evidence and practical knowledge, working without 1-2 day breaks/days off every week does not pay off in the long run.
So why freeCodeCamp is pushing/honoring a habbit that hurts the long-term learning and motivational success ?
I mean, if you do sports like for instance push-ups - long streaks are ok.
But we must not be forced to stick to a computer or a mobile device whilst on holidays, visiting friends or just doing something that is more important than coding.

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Don’t think too much about it, do what’s best for you and what works for you, motivation for success is up to the individual. If taking a break works for you then do it. I think the main problem with most people is bad habits and distractions, not having motivation …If you want to have some quality time go for it, if it’s not quality time, why would you waste your time? but finally, it’s your time, yo can do whatever you want with it.
I personally prefer 30 min break every 2 hours or 1 and a half hour, if you want two days to rest do it, if you don’t you will end up disliking what you are doing while being in that mood!


I think there is a case to be made, though, for pushing through for a certain period, even if it is difficult and exhausting sometimes.
No one is asking you to spend 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, just learning.
But most people who are on FCC or otherwise in the process of learning the craft, will only have on average an hour or two in the evenings anyway, and doing that every day of the week, isn’t really that much of an ask - especially considering that the person is trying to train up for a new job / career in their spare time.

That being said, like @angelojulioth mentions, everyone has their own preferences and priorities. You don’t take away any severe penalties for not spending a few minutes every day trying to solve a coding challenge. You just take it as you can.


Nobody is forcing you. If you were in a college course, you’d be expected to do homework at times when you’d rather be doing something else, so I wouldn’t be too hard on FCC.

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My longest streak is 5 days. I am coding almost every day, but it often has nothing to do with fCC. Oh well.

I do think there should always be the option to disable streaks whenever a program uses them, though. For some people, it’s not so easy to just ignore these motivators, and it can turn into an unhealthy compulsion.

I don’t pay too much attention to it really (I monitor my own work habits through other means) - but I do have a little niggle that I can spend days at a time working on an FCC project in Codepen and nothing will appear on the streak for that day. Maybe it would be worth allowing users to upload ‘forward progress’ on projects to FCC so that progressing on unfinished projects shows up as part of a streak?

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Hi guys,
Thanks for your feedback.
I see there is a lot of defending the status quo and voices that say that all this is feasable and normal.
BUT guys, this is not my point.
Just because you can do it, it does not say that it is the right thing to do.
Science has proven over and over again that you have to switch off COMPLETLY from your working patterns for 1-2 days to become fully receptive and productive afterwards to learn more in less time and keep it longer than following the same work patterns day after day.
For me the question is not whether I can do it. I could, no problem. BUT I am convinced that this is not the best way in the long run and therefore I will not do it.
So I am “punished” by the system doing it the right way (science shows, that COMPLETLY stepping away from routine work patterns is good for EVERYONE - so personal style and work-patterns do not matter - given you are free to chose).
Or the other way round: The system is motivating people into non-effective work patterns!
For me, this is not ok.

I’d wager only about 5% of campers have even heard of streaks, and probably 5% of those actually care. You’re only “punished” if you assigned any value to streaks in the first place. Maybe your goal should be to ensure your current streak stays below your chosen target?

again, I think you and me are adressing different things. It’s ok for me.
Maybe I am coming from a different angle. I am thinking brains, and how brains work. They are not built for nor do they work best on long streaks.
Regardless of percentage or how you organize your time: From physiologial and psychologial aspects long streaks are bad and this system motivates you to do bad things.
Maybe it does not matter. But it is there.
So what is wrong to get a system near perfect ?

I agree with you on the aquisition of habits.
But there is no evidence that thos habits are learned less effectivly with planned pauses either.
As a project manager and company owner the most important thing is to get staff productive as fast as possible. So what matters most here, is that people may learn as much as possilbe for a certain time given.
Praxical experience and scientific research show that people learn more and keep things better in their brains when they - from 4 weeks onwards when they have regular days off - than people who stick to routines.
But yes, not everybody runs a company and takes responsibility for maximizing output. When time is of no esssence, than everything goes. But when it is, long streaks are bad.

Could you link to a paper that says this, or just name the authors and date? I’d like to read it.

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Here is a good article with many references to deep study etc.

Maybe a little bit off topic:
The initial question here is "Do long streaks make sense?"
Many replies are not answering THIS question but refere to the “How to make streaks” or whether we should care about, etc.
Maybe THIS inability to recognize the meaning and purpose of a question, maybe shows, how much some days off are needed :wink:
Maybe it shows also that some people never have really discussed best practice working and learning habits at school or are just not following them.
So my conclusion here is, that when this platform’s goal is to bring more people into work, focus must not be on skills only. To get life-time employment and -value, it is important to teach meta-skills as well.
Being a coder is not enough. Especially if you want to work as a freelancer, you have to develop habits of taking time off. Otherwise your life will become a mess. Here I am 100% sure!

I think it makes sense in a way, that you push through the challenges to get to the projects. You will learn more by actually coding than the practise exercises. Although I wouldn’t do more than 2 days off as personally I lose motivation quickly if I don’t do something regularly.
Breaks are essential I agree and time management. Visiting friends? Hm, Depends.


I totally agree with this.
Especially when you start you may work 10-20 days in a row as long motiavtion is high and the brain is getting something new. But after 20 days you (and maybe your family, friends, etc. ) need some days off so that thy synapses can heal and new associativ paths can be found and built into your brain.
I think, the difference between letting go and real learning habits is planning. When days off are PLANNED then, they must be considered part of the streak. So streak should be the amount of continous days in a row that are planned for focused work or breaks.
The other point what is missing here are goals. Streaks must be linked to goals. Or what kind of sense does it make to repeatedly doing things withoug knowing what for ?

10-20 days in a row? Hell No! I have one day a week planned as day off when I do not do anything computer-related, ideally I turn it off completely.
Refreshing your brain regularly is the key for the long term success. At least for me.

Refreshing your brain regularly is the key for the long term success FOR EVERYBODY :wink:
10-20 days must not be the norm, but it is what research has found to be the maximum length of streaks till overall productivity declines in the long run.
Especially when freelancers have to engage on a new (failing) project, there is sometimes no way to take breakes till things run smoothly again. Here I will sacrificy (and justify) my own productivity in favour of increasing the productivity of others. But this is another topic.

Well if you really care that much I encourage you to leave the thread and open an issue on the repo so the people that can actually do something about it have this chat with you and maybe even implement it.

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Maybe you shouldn’t ask a question when you feel you already have the answer and merely want to preach to people. Have you considered that you’re the one not understanding other people’s points?

This is a non-issue. Don’t like streaks? Don’t do them. Do they make sense? That’s up to each person - I take breaks every day and can happily code for weeks.


Do you refer to something in particular? In general I have the feeling that FCC encourages the people to study at their own pace.