Last year, I embarked on trying to develop a simple web app on 6 different single page web frameworks. In the last half of the year, I detoured to spend my waking hours on a super aggressive project at my job that showcased some ideas I had around the web space. With the new year and things settling at work, I'm re-invigorated on exploring some different web technologies. Having the advantage of some hindsight on the start of last year's effort, I've decided to approach my tour of web frameworks slightly differently this time around.
Going From Useless to Useful
In my initial foray into the topic, I used a basic grid/form combination as my single page app to try to showcase a typical web application. Since then I've thought of a couple of apps I'd like to write, so I decided to combine the 2 interests. Each of the web frameworks will be put to use to create a simple app. Here's what I know that I want to do:
- A Strength Training Tracker App
- A Nonprofit youth outreach tracker
- A Lawyer-Client Case work tracker (wife works for a law firm)
- ? TBD for the rest, but I know I'll have more project ideas by the time I need them
Keeping it Simple
For each one of these apps I want to get a minimal set of features going. Each of these apps can easily suck up months and even years of my time depending on the bells and whistles, but that's not my initial goal.
Completing the Stack
Last year, I just wanted to keep things on the client. It was solely an exercise to get an idea about the frameworks. This year in my chance to redo, I'd like to get more some server side coding under my belt, and expose myself to the backend technologies, such as node.js and mongodb. Since I'm doing more fully functional apps, I'll have the opportunity.
Since this is an extracurricular activity for me, its going to fall behind my family and my paying job in my list of priorities (note I dropped the monthly progress goal I had last year). This is going to happen when it happens, though I am motivated for the following reasons:
- I enjoy it
- It helps where I want to go in my career
- I like finished projects
That said, I know I'm going to be more like that tortoise than the hare on this thing. At the same time, there is possibly some work around executable spec driven UIs that I want to put out this year as well, which could slow this effort down.
I'd like all this stuff to be open source and on github. I've created a github private account to start with, but as content gets built, I'll transition my projects public. The thought is that these projects will benefit me as the start a code portfolio, showing some of my work. It will also open them up for others to join in case any of these get any traction.
I'd also like to continue my commitment to writing, so I'll post here as I go on these things, keeping updates on what I'm currently working on.
Here we go...
So that's my plan. I don't plan on any crazy commitments at work this year. I believe a consistent drumbeat of quality code output, investment in some fellow developers, and in changing the way my team works will serve my company and my family life better. This balance should give me some time for some larger career goals.
In the end, I guess the major shift here is one of intent. My goal is not to provide content to readers, its to share what I'm doing and finding interesting, and to grow as a developer, which is one of my loves. If that happens to catch anyone's interest, all the better ;-)