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I used my own app for a month and here is what I learned

I always wondered, I have written so many software solutions for others but I never developed anything for myself. So I decided to build something and use it every day.

What to build 馃

So the immediate question was what can I build. After spending few days thinking here is what I came up with

Being a developer, I keep exploring the buzz around technology. I explore following things

  • Trending repositories
  • Latest dev blogs
  • Discussions about different topics

I had to hop around multiple sites to do this e.g. GitHub, reddit, dev blog etc. I decided to bring them all together in one place for overview and deep link to the original sites for detailed reading.


If you are in hurry, here is a screenshot and link of what I developed

Technology stack

  • Scrapper using nodejs and scrapeit
  • Rest APIs using express (And GraphQL as well because why not!! 馃槢)
  • Host backend on Heroku
  • PWA Website using React
  • Firebase for Hosting PWA

And thats it, the PWA was up. This was easy but the real learning began when I started to use the app every day

Adding Animations

The site was fast, but still it felt like a website and not like an app. So I decided to add animations. Adding transitions and other effects using Framer Motion (Great library BTW 馃挆) made really big difference. I started to get sense of satisfaction with smooth UI.

Initial load time

Heroku is a great platform for free hosting, however after 30 minutes of inactivity the dyno goes to sleep and for any request it takes a while (30 seconds) to show response.
Now this would not be a big deal if it was a POC or tutorial app. But the extra waiting started to annoy me. One of my colleague also mentioned that he abandoned the app because of this.

setInterval(async () => {
await fetch("")
}, 1140000)

With this single line I was able to fix it, around every 20 mins mark I make a call to API, this keeps dyno awake. (It does restart once in 24 hours but because of this code it is up again)

The Bookmarks

One of my friend who was using this app said that the information keeps updating and there is no way to see a repository (or article, discussion) again if it is gone.
To fix this I added the bookmark feature which uses local storage but it turned out tobe really helpful

PWA Store

After adding all the necessary features, I decided to add the app to PWA Store
To my surprise they added the to Editors Choice list

Alt Text

After 2 months more than 30 people are using this application and I am getting lot of feedback about how it can be improved even further.


It is an awesome feeling to use application created by yourself, but it is more awesome when others are using it as well

Top comments (18)

mersadajan profile image
Mersad Ajanovic

I feel like this is the greatest way to create software! Create it for yourself, implement feature your want and need. Show it to others who might like it as well and get inspired by feedback. I would love to make something for myself.

mathan26 profile image

Great work!

vivekkosare profile image
Vivek Kosare

Nice work. I like it :)

trivectorx profile image

Great idea and very handy tool for Devs to kick off the day :)

ahmedgmurtaza profile image
Ahmed Murtaza

Great effort and the app idea too! ;)

larrykoch680 profile image

Great idea and very handy tool for

jakeerc profile image

Salam , may god reward you

fayaz profile image
Fayaz Ahmed

Good work, I would suggest you use the api's instead of writing a scraper.

I had used the trending api for
For they have an official api

d3mn8 profile image

Yes and it is super convenient as well. I am already using it for and

merichard123 profile image

Awesome app! I love you solution to bypass the heroku sleep time. I'm going to bookmark this. That snippet may be useful in the future. 馃槉

d3mn8 profile image

Thank you !!
Yup 馃槃

maxdevjs profile image

Great insights!

igomezal profile image
Iv谩n G贸mez Alonso

That's awesome. Good job!

andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden

I am going to try this but I will use Electron to create a desktop app. If you know HTML, CSS and Javascript then you can create desktop apps.

d3mn8 profile image

Thank you!!
Yes, as long as the number of requests are within threshold. But frankly I would move to paid hosting for larger userbase.

teooliver profile image
Teo Oliver

Wow! I was happily surprised with the PWA store screenshot. Im the guy behind Habit Grid. :)

d3mn8 profile image

Thank you :)
I liked the concept for Habit Grid !!!