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.
I did that for the 24hrstartup challenge this weekend and built techletter.app. A service that takes markdown and spits out these newsletters.
🐦 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!
Learned something new?
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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.
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Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, for frontend engineers 👉 ServerlessHandbook.dev
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