We’ve made it to October so let’s recap last month and catch up. Here’s a quick story I wanted to share with you about my first coding competition. Disclaimer, you’ve received this newsletter as you subscribed to Mr Ash .co. Note, the August newsletter wasn’t published via email but is now live.

I Won My First Coding Competition

It’s early July and I’m scrolling Discord where I find myself on the W3Schools server. There’s a lot of new coders asking questions about Python, JavaScript and so on. But the event channel caught my eye, for the month of July there’s a Summer Event. All I have to do is make an open-source app and submit it.

Lucky for me I just finished CS50P and started a small series of web apps. I tried smaller scripts like Cowsays What CTF, but nothing that felt like an app. Basically, I want to build something that solves a problem.

First was Mailto Me which is a way to automate templates within a link, it’s something that we needed at work. Then LightShot Leaks was less about solving a problem and more about shedding light on a privacy issue. But then I made I Was There which actually does solve a big issue in education, easily generated event certificates.

‘I Was There’ became my submission which landed me in second place. I won 3 free courses including Python, PHP and JavaScript exams to get certified, plus 6 months of their premium service.

The takeaway, competitions are awesome and you should enter more.

I’ve never got involved in time-based comps, but now I’m looking at live cyber-based CTFs. I’d love to win some prizes to get certified in pen testing and who knows what else!


Months Memories

  • We got away on a holiday in North Queensland. I highly recommend Port Douglass, Mossman Gorge, Green Island and Skyrail/Train around Cairns.
  • Sold my car, and now my wife and I are down to a single mode of transportation… a mid-sized SUV to fit the imaginary kids.
  • My wife and I are working on our morning routine which involves getting up earlier, walking together and focusing on our shared mental health. It’s been really nice forming better habits together.
  • Struggled with video game addiction again and ended up uninstalling one problematic game. Sometimes cutting off a bad habit is the only way forward.
  • Published 1) Crack The Hash LIVE! with a written write-up coming soon. And 2) AFK • Aug 22, the forgotten newsletter.

Key Point Indicators (KPIs)

  • Newsletter friends: 231 (+6%)
  • YouTube subscribers: 707 (+11%)
  • Blog views, visitors: 1429 (+14%), 926 (+16%)

Next Month: Focus on queuing YouTube videos.

September was a great ‘break month’ leaving me feeling refreshed and optimistic for October. Big shout out to a past YouTuber Travis from DevTips for this video. Keep to your course.