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    Oh the things you can learn with a fun weekend hack project 🏗

    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!


    Published on November 19th, 2018 in Business, Front End, Side Projects, Technical

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    Senior Mindset Book

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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.

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