Learning Software Development

23rd March 2020 in Portfolio

What Did I Learn?

The core principle of software is agility and scale at low cost. There are 3 parts to this:

  1. Agility - Leverage existing technology to build rapidly.
  2. Scale - Everyone on the internet is your audience.
  3. Cost - Marginal spend in serving more users.
CuppedCoffee Marketplace

CuppedCoffee was the first project I built. It helped specialty coffee enthusiasts discover micro roasters.

CuppedCoffee Airtable Backend

Underneath the hood is an Airtable spreadsheet connected to Gatsby.js, a static website generator which built all the pages.

It's amazing how basic coding allows you to easily validate a product or service. Don't reinvent the wheel!

Within a week, CuppedCoffee was live to the world. The cost? $0. Airtable has a generous free tier and Gatsby is open source.

CuppedCoffee Active Users

At first, a $30 ad budget boosted traffic. But after stopping, signups still continued as my content began ranking on Google search.

Even before using Gatsby, there are ways test faster. I initially launched a version created on Webflow in under a day.

As my knowledge strengthened, I paired React with Google Firebase to gain flexibility in development and run more experiments.

GoClimb and Augustus React Apps

This led to piloting GoClimb for budding indoor rock climbers and Augustus for cash strapped micro businesses in February 2020.

Unfortunately, working with Python, R, and SQL for data analysis before lent little support to these projects.

Node.js and React Udemy Courses

To focus my attention, I took up Udemy courses on Node.js and React.

In hindsight, working the projects alongside lessons facilitated my learning the most.

Why Did I Learn It?

Trying to start my own business in 2019 Q4 taught me that having momentum is critical.

At the beginning, it's hard to convince others to jump onboard until there is good traction.

There are 2 options to prevent stalling:

  1. Find a way to outsource work
  2. Learn how to do a bit of everything

I prefer (2) because it empowers you to parallelize experiments and pivot quickly until there is product-market fit.

Keen To Learn More?

If you want to hear more about this story and where it has led me, drop me a message below๐Ÿ‘‡