The Busy Life of a Freelancer

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 ??

freelancer 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

nodejs freelancer

Last year I began reading up on NodeJS, which is server-side Javascript language. Its still pretty brand new and still hasn't had a v1.0 release yet. All that aside its a great server-side language for real-time apps. Its also a pretty low learning curve for UI Developers who already know Javascript. I've picked it up pretty quickly, and just have been making reasons to creating apps so I can utilize it. In addition, I've been using ExpressJS which is a really small and intuitive NodeJS web framework. So far I've built "Did You Block Me" and "imkreative Portfolio".

New (ve) Server from Media Temple

freelancer 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

freelancer rga

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!

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