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Improving Side Projects For Others to Use

nbull92 profile image NBull92 ・2 min read

I'm a previous post I talked about ImprezGarage, a petrol expense and vehicle maintenance tracker application, that I started working on a few years ago to showcase what I can do. This is so that any potential jobs I applied for, the hiring managers and recruiters could actually see what my code is like.

At the start of 2020 I felt that it was time to actually put myself and it, out there. Not just on my portfolio site, or resume, but to the world.

This first started with a major UI update. The original UI I had done, was intended to look like an all in one dashboard with sections. This would allow the user to see their petrol expenses and the maintenance history in one clean view.

However, I was never really happy and I felt it looked very amateurish. Therefore, I started using Pinterest to get inspirations and create boards of ideas and colour palettes. I eventually stumbled across a few designs and put them together to create a better interface. One which I am so much more happier with.

Another side to improving the application was to work on its stability. Now at work this isn't a problem, you make quality work that performs well and handles any errors or crashes well, if they happen at all.

However, I hadn't done this here. ImprezGarage was crashing constantly and I use it myself to help keep track of how much I am spending on the car. So even I was irritated by it. After sorting out the UI, I started working through using it as a new user and creating bug reports for myself, just like my days as a QA Tester. Each of these got placed into my Todoist project and I slowly worked through them.

Once the major ones were out of the way I published the application, and setup the website to showcase the app to the world (www.imprezgarage.com).

One of the biggest things I've done recently is upgrade from .Net Framework 4.6.1 to 4.8, so that I can make use of more up to date features that Microsoft bring in. Doing this will also allow me to potentially move over to .Net Core and eventually .Net 5.

I also make use of the Prism library, I think it's an amazing library that helped me learn to break up code more and also make use of design patterns, when I first got into software development as a profession and not just a hobby. I've used it at work and on ImprezGarage. However, I was still using a much older version of that too. Therefore, now I have upgraded to their latest version and I intend on keeping up to date more often with that going forward.

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