Choosing a software project

After a busy summer of moving house and frantically developing software for a struggling (now failed) technology start-up company, I was made redundant. I suddenly had some free time to work on my own software project. But what should I make?

Goals of the project:

  1. Showcase my technical skills to future employers
  2. Learn new technology
  3. Make some software that I’m going to enjoy building
  4. Build a website and app using the same codebase
  5. [optional] Make something people want, and will pay for

I spent ages trying to think of a thing that people want. Most of my ideas had already been done e.g. The Great British Toilet Map. After a lot of research into start-ups over the years including recently seeing serial tech investor Andrew Lockley, tearing apart business ideas in a Dragon’s Den (or Shark Tank) style at the ‘London Tech Day’ and reading Lockley’s blog post Top 10 reasons why your business plan is pants I came to the conclusion that, at least for now, I’m better off making a personal portfolio project that will be enjoyable to make, rather than trying to create a profitable product.

However, I took away one bit of advice from Lockley: you need to know your domain. Your domain is your specialist subject, the area of knowledge where you have a competitive advantage, and aren’t just winging it on optimism bias and wishful thinking.

Hopeful start-ups vying for each other's attention at London Tech Day
London Tech Day: Hopeful start-ups vying for each other’s (not customers’) attention.

What do I know about?…

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If you were to start React all over again what would you do? [NSFW]

TLDR; If you are looking for a quick list of things to do, to start with React, go to the end of this blog post.

React is a technology created by Facebook for building websites (and for building apps using React Native.)

If you don’t know what that sentence means, probably stop reading now.

This post is going to get technical. I’m aiming this blog post at Alvin. A software tester, wannabie junior software developer, who has studied the basics of coding including HTML, CSS and Javascript. If that doesn’t sound like you, go do something more important, like having lunch or caring for the people around you.

Still, here?

Great. Let’s begin…

If you were to start react all over again what would you do?

This was a text sent to me by Alvin (not his real name.) For more about Alvin, and whether you should attempt to learn to code, see my previous blog post. Now that I’ve procrastinated enough writing the previous blog posts in the Winter 2018 Series, it’s time to answer that question.

Dear Alvin and Dear reader, here is my answer…

Continue reading If you were to start React all over again what would you do? [NSFW]