Sunday, November 24, 2019

I built my dream app, and this is what happened

It took me two years of work to create my dream app. It's on the Google Play Store here, for now at least. The vision was clear, as were the motivations. To create an app that allows a userbase to predict the final score of a sports game, on an active "leaderboard" type of "Buddy List." This way, you could interact with friends in a light-hearted way in terms of who really knows what they're talking about before Sunday's Bears-Packers game.


I completed all work by myself, without help from anyone else. The first step was to create an LLC, just incase I were to receive investor interest. Then I weighed options to host the web application.

Over the two years it took to complete the app, I used Bluehost and BuyVM. Bluehost is helpful for a beginner, because they lay out the backend architecture of your site with a friendly GUI and set of menus. BuyVM requires more know-how and I wouldn't have been able to complete the setup without the knowledge I gained over the course of my tenure as a sys admin/ web app dev at a University.

In terms of the actual code writing, the most difficult aspects were the front-end interface and UX, the Leaderboard, the login mechanisms, and the overall design. I went through several iterations of the forward-facing markup before I settled on the W3.css I used for the PWA version of the app.

The backend scripting was all just written freestyle. The Leaderboard was the most challenging aspect and I actually legitimately failed trying to write it once. After a took a couple of months off I returned with a clearer vision for the Leaderboard and was able to complete it.

The app is heavily automated and updates on a single script execution that I do manually. The app would be fully automated if I were to pay for a service to put the final scores into a text file for me, but for now I do it myself. Once the scores are in the text file I just execute a single script and that updates the Leaderboard. As for building the app, it's also just a single script that completes that based off of the NFL Schedule as stored in a CSV.

I guess this puts a nail in the coffin into any conversations about, "I will create an app and become a millionaire." Hardly. I lost money making this. This should also put nails into the coffin on "portability." I wrote this app and ported it everywhere, from Ubuntu to Mac to Windows 10 to CentOS, building on production servers, and local machines regularly.

The two years I spent building this free application wasn't a total waste of my time. Over the course of creating the pages I studied Linear Algebra by myself and came to understand n-dimensionality in a proper fashion. I used a book I'd highly recommend by I.M. Gel'fand called "Lectures on Linear Algebra" and found it was quite useful and relevant to the idea of manipulating a creative idea in hyperspace. Had I not challenged myself, I would be less enriched.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Classic VHS Review: Interview with a Vampire

I first heard about this movie when Richard Christy (Howard Stern) talked about it on the radio and how he had a "moment" with ano...