“Give someone a goal and a goal-minded community, and miracles are bound to happen.” That was the thought process behind National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), according to its website. Starting each year on Nov. 1, NaNoWriMo participants begin the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 30.

But why should literary writers have all the fun?

This year, for the first time, writers who prefer to write in code rather than words can participate in a challenge of their own: Progvember.

Andy Still, a computer programmer from the United Kingdom, created Progvember after coming across the NaNoWriMo website.

“What I liked about the NaNoWriMo idea was that it gave me a focus,” he said. “Like a lot of people, I need to have a deadline to work toward, otherwise I never get around to completing things.”

Progvember, like NaNoWriMo, runs from Nov. 1 to Nov. 30. Participants from all around the world can sign up and challenge themselves to create a computer program within a month. It can be an app, a website, a utility, a framework, a programming language or an operating system.

Participants can work alone, collaborate with friends or search the Progvember website for others to work with.

“If you have a project that you need help on, it does aim to provide an environment where you can meet like-minded people looking for a project,” said Still.

About Christina Mulligan

Christina is the Online & Social Media Editor of SD Times. She is a 2012 graduate of Stony Brook University’s School of Journalism, graduating with a Bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism and a concentration in public affairs. She has interned at WNET Metrofocus, WABC Eyewitness News and Newsday. Follow her on twitter at @MulliganSDTimes!