Busy Life of a Freelancer - What I've been up to
Its been a while since I've posted anything on here. Contrary to what I originally planned, I wanted to post at least 5 times a month on here. I'm working more to that goal starting with this post, but there's a good reason why I've been away. A lot of new opportunities have been popping up left and right and learning new languages.
I've been giving a ton of attention to my web app "Did You Block Me", which recently ( In the past few weeks ) has been getting way more traffic than ever since I soft launched it in January. I've been brushing up on my NodeJS and Express 3. I've bought a new VE server from Media Temple and took on the daunting task of setting up my own server for the first time. Last but not least, I got a new job.
Did You Block Me ??
So back in 2012 before Christmas, I started reading a lot on NodeJS. The best way I learn personally is by doing. When it comes to reading manuals and books on new languages, I'm very prone to getting bored or falling asleep. So I usually just create a project for myself if I can't find a client that needs work done in that particular language, hence, Did You Block Me started to form.
The premise for the app is a place to look up who has blocked you on Twitter. It seemed like a very small goal and a good way to practice Node and brush up on the Twitter API. After I got the basic skeleton up I started to add other features such as ways to manage who you've blocked in the past and the ability to block friends and followers. I didn't realize until creating this that Twitter doesn't have a place on its website where you can see who you've blocked. This is usually a void apps have filled.
Launched Did You Block Me in the beginning of January to very minimal popularity and minimal expectations honestly. Fast forward a few months, checking the analytics I've noticed a spike in usage all of a sudden, from 1 - 2 users a week ( which was probably me ) up to 40 - 50 users a day. That might not be a lot for most web apps, but this was a big deal for me. In addition the Twitter account for the app started gaining followers quickly on a daily basis. All this new traffic gave me a drive to make the app better.
[cta headline="Sign Up for Notifications" buttontext="Sign Up" buttonlink="http://eepurl.com/AK88b" ] So that's where I am now with the app, adding new features and refreshing the design for the masses. If you want to be notified for the new launch, sign up here. [/cta]
Learning NodeJS and ExpressJS
New (ve) Server from Media Temple
I've been hosting my NodeJS apps on Heroku because the (gs) servers don't allow you to host NodeJS apps ( or atleast not easily ). With the growing attention DYBM was getting, I wanted to be able to control every aspect of my server and app. So I decided to buy a (ve) server from Media Temple. I've been using MT for a few years now and its been nothing but a pleasure, but to my surprise, a dedicated server is veeeery different from a shared server. Took me a solid 4 days to get everything up and running. I'll leave the details for another post.
New Job at R/GA
Yup, I just started working here at R/GA last week as a Flash Developer. I know I know, I said the same thing "Flash?!?!?". But hopefully I can move off of Flash onto some cool UI Development stuff soon. R/GA is a pretty great place too and its HUGE!! Half the block belongs to the agency. But I'm still a newbie here, so we'll see how it goes. Hopefully it goes great!