A fun weekend project can be one of the best ways to learn new tech and accelerate your career.
You pick a problem, no matter how small, trivial, silly, or already-solved-before. You clear some time in your day. You sit down and you hack away until you've solved it.
🐦 Tweets, 📹 YouTube, 🎨 images, and 🤖 code turn into thumbnails. Saves 15+ minutes per email 🤘
I built TechLetterApp because I love writing these newsletters but I hate making those screenshots, ensuring images are small enough, pasting code into carbon.now.sh, … it's a huge time sink and super hard to get just right.
Been wanting a service that does it for me and nobody was building one. So I did 😛
PS: launched on ProductHunt if you're into that sort of thing
TechLetterApp is built with React and 👇
- reactbulma for layout and basic styling
- showdown for markdown parsing
- Zeit for hosting
- a single AWS Lambda function for screenshots
- an AWS API Gateway to give the Lambda a REST API
- it Chrome Headless to render & screenshot pages
- Chrome Puppeteer to drive the virtual browser
- GraphicsMagick to resize and optimize images
- uploads all images to S3
- click to copyToClipboard method from a hackernoon article
- a hack to push code into carbon.now.sh from a random gist
- Serverless framework to drive AWS deploys and packages
- uses CheckoutPage to collect optional $2/export payments because I didn't want to faff around with Stripe myself
- I used https://megatags.co/ to generate social sharing tags
- and I tried and abandoned a bunch of other libraries on the way
Truly this project is a testament to how far The Web Platform has come that a single person with a little help from the audience can build something like this in just 17 hours. You can watch the first 12 of my stream on YouTube. 👀
The rest is on Twitch. I haven't added Twitch to TechLetterApp yet :P
But here's the real kicker:
Before Saturday morning I didn't know any of those technologies and tools except React and Zeit. The rest I learned on the go.
Now I get to say I've shipped functioning working code with all of those. That looks great to a potential employer, client, or boss.
Oh you can build Serverless code to solve business problems fast? Hired!
I write mindblowing emails with real insight into the career and skills of a modern software engineer. "Raw and honest from the heart!" as one reader described them. Fueled by lessons learned over 20 years of building production code for side-projects, small businesses, and hyper growth startups. Both successful and not.
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Have a burning question that you think I can answer? Hit me up on twitter and I'll do my best.
Who am I and who do I help? I'm Swizec Teller and I turn coders into engineers with "Raw and honest from the heart!" writing. No bullshit. Real insights into the career and skills of a modern software engineer.
Want to become a true senior engineer? Take ownership, have autonomy, and be a force multiplier on your team. The Senior Engineer Mindset ebook can help 👉 swizec.com/senior-mindset. These are the shifts in mindset that unlocked my career.
Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, for frontend engineers 👉 ServerlessHandbook.dev
Want to Stop copy pasting D3 examples and create data visualizations of your own? Learn how to build scalable dataviz React components your whole team can understand with React for Data Visualization
Did someone amazing share this letter with you? Wonderful! You can sign up for my weekly letters for software engineers on their path to greatness, here: swizec.com/blog
By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you are ❤️