Developers, I'd like to share a success story of using open-source technology to build a product.
I started https://archbee.io as a pet project, wanting to learn this obscure thing named SVG. I was mostly a Java backend developer at the time and thought I should step out of my comfort zone and learn to build something cool with it.
Built this thing which was a software architecture diagramming solution. Well... solution was too much to say, it was almost laughable when I launched. But somehow, a small number of people loved it and kept using it. Very small amount of traffic came everyday from me answering some Quora questions, but just enough traffic to keep me going mentally.
After I determined I could make a product people would pay for (knowledge base for dev teams), I started changing my tech options so I could peacefully work on this 10 years and even have other people contributing to this code base.
So I did it. Went with strict mode TypeScript for everything and rewrote the front-end in React and Next.js. Then I was kinda meh about MongoDB and spent another day changing it to Sequelize + PostgreSQL. I couldn’t find a good enough UI for PostgreSQL and I said let’s use MySQL & Workbench in dev and when I deploy I’ll just change the Sequelize driver back to PostgreSQL. As you can probably tell, this didn’t work so I got stuck with MySQL - that’s how I picked it :), but I’m happy it turned out this way, I like it very much. Then I realized I needed to make this whole thing realtime to offer superior user experience and I needed a Redis for PubSub and socket.io.
I realize I’m riding on open-source and sometimes I feel guilty for contributing almost nothing back. I’ve always said I love open-source but my words didn’t match my actions, and they still don’t.
Does anybody else feel this way?
Check out the latest incarnation of the product I am talking about on ProductHunt! I'd love to hear your thoughts, questions and feedback!