The Summer Programming Challenge

I have a simple web application that I want to build (don’t we all?) but I run into the familiar problems of having a day job, not being sure what language or platform to build it in, and carving out the time for myself to actually build the thing.

The application itself is nothing world changing. Elevator pitch: it’s a session time tracking, budgeting, invoicing helper for my wife’s private practice therapy business with a few personlized features that would make it extra valuable to her.

So then I sit there and in my precious few moments between working with a software team during the day and putting the kids to bed at night I twiddle my thumbs reading Hacker News or other gossip rags about that latest and greatest Javascript framework or Google’s newest coding language that’s going to change the world guaranteed.

Well, that indecisive waffling ends here today. I’m going to build that app. Actually, I’m going to build that app THREE times. Enter the Three Month App Challenge. Each month I will put code to paper and write the application from the ground up using a different backend-frontend pairing.

If it sounds ridiculous, that’s because it probably is. There’s no sound business sense in doing things three different times three different ways and having roughly the same thing to show for it. But what it will do is force me outside of my comfort zone to learn new ways of programming, with no mindset other than “execute and deliver”.

The Challenge:

Build one web application three different times using three different languages/frameworks/methodologies over three months.

Candidate Backend Languages:

Candidate Frontend Javascript Frameworks:

This sounds great. I’ve got myself all amped up and ready to rock and roll. But it doesn’t solve one primary trouble – the time, energy, and motivation factor. Changing habits is hard. Really, truly difficult. And that’s why I’ve got a secret plan up my sleeve this time!

I’ll see you at the starting line next week.


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