Swizec Teller - a geek with a hatswizec.com

    Oh the things you can learn with a fun weekend hack project πŸ—

    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, πŸ“Ή YouTube, 🎨 images, and πŸ€– 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 πŸ˜›

    PS: launched on ProductHunt if you're into that sort of thing

    TechLetterApp is built with React and πŸ‘‡

    • 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. πŸ‘€


    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!


    Did you enjoy this article?

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

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