When you’re a web developer

Desk, laptop and keyboard

I’m a Web Developer, specifically a Frontend Web Developer. So I enjoy building web applications and sites in general. Because I’m in this business I get easily annoyed when a website do not deliver the experience I was hoping for. Either if it’s too slow, too ugly, too cluttered with ads or lacks certain features.
Here’s three examples where I went ahead and coded myself a solution instead to ease my pain.

Tracking assistance

In my Haidong Gumdo classes I wanted to start tracking the students assistance. It has gotten to a point where I can’t track it mentally and having it written then helps me when it comes to belt promotions.

My first thought was like when I was in school, the old paper and pen. That was a no-go, what if I lose that notebook? All the data would be lost.

My second thought was to use Google Spreadsheets to store a table with information. Which I discarded simply because it was going to be too much effort, each class day in columns, etc.

In the end I ended up creating myself a web app that would fit my needs. It allows me to store assistance for everybody dynamically, password protected, can be accessed via mobile or desktop computer and hosted in the cloud. It looks like this:

Todo list

I needed an application to save a todo list. A hard requirement was I needed to be able to use it on a mobile and a desktop computer, sharing the information.

There must be hundreds of todo apps for Android and iOS that do todo lists. A good portion of them can be accessed via mobile and desktop but still… I did not want to install anything on my phone, I wanted it to be a web application (a website) where it would take no size on my phone.

So I ended building my own solution. I did not start from scratch, I just added login and cloud storage functionality to an existing open source todo web app.

Hosted in the cloud I can now access my list from anywhere.

Chrome Extension to reload the page

I was waiting for 2 packages to arrive the other day. Usually the delivery companies have tracking numbers that you can enter in their website and the status will be shown.

The problem with these websites is that they don’t self update if you have them open. So you have to manually reload the page to see the changes.

Tired of refreshing the page every few minutes to see if my package was out for delivery I build a Chrome Extension. With just 3 lines I could add a code to reload the page in a custom interval. Easy after installing my custom extension to my Chrome browser now the tracking page was being refreshed without me doing anything. Magic.


That’s it, this is the web developer approach to web problems outside work. Fun times indeed.


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