16 hour side-projects

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2024-04-01 20:30:07

Some years ago I found myself desiring a note-taking application with a feature set that seemingly no piece of software satisfied. At this point, I had developed some minor web development skills at work, so I got the sudden idea to build it myself. While obvious to others, I was mainly dabbling in small command line utilities and graphical simulations prior, I wasn't used to the idea of making useful software for myself. Against better judgement, I jumped in and started building fieldnotes.land.

What followed was a year-long, on-and-off odyssey that included 3 complete rewrites. At one point I started hallucinating a path to commercialization. Ultimately, I used 2 different backend languages, 3 databases, 1 frontend framework with 3 different state management solutions. Not to mention the radical deployment changes: Raspberry Pi in a shoebox to VPS in a datacenter.

It was an incredibly educational experience, but also a chaotic, unstructured one. I did not sit down and think about a feature set, a UI concept or anything of the like, I just started building. I never reflected on my time management and bike-shedding.

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