I’m happy to announce that I Got Something Done (patent pending) and that a few days ago I released my first web project, HTMLify, into the world. HTMLify is quite a simple one-page web tool that lets programmers take code snippets and generate HTML segments to paste on their blog, maintaining whitespaces, escaping special HTML characters, etc.

As I stated in HTMLify’s footer, I created this project mainly for educational purposes.

Firstly, I wanted to create this as a “full stack” developer, meaning I wanted to code everything – from the request processing backend to the color of each button. It was tough at times. Backend is where I naturally see myself, as a Python programmer, and doing HTML/CSS stuff is not my forte. I threw in some AJAX into the mix to make things a little bit more interesting.Secondly, I wanted to not only experiment with different technologies; I wanted to finish stuff completely. It’s so easy to pick up an editor, try out some HTML, make a table or two and say you’ve got some experience, but it’s not until you work hard to tie up all the loose ends, that you get to know what it’s really like. I can also feel proud to show this off to you people and get some feedback, which would be pointless to do for a half-assed project.

What did I learn from this experience?

  • You should start thinking about mobile-compatibility as soon as possible. I didn’t and it was a bit of a pain. Not too much, but I only had one page, so I can only imagine what it’s like on a much bigger site.

  • I don’t like doing front-end stuff, but at least now I feel pretty comfortable with the fact that I could help out if needed, or if I don’t get good support from guys working on it.

  • UI kits are pretty cool. I think I have a good grasp on UX (I hope) and how I’d like the final layout to look like, but if I had to design every button… it’d look like a 12 year old girl’s myspace page.

  • I have never deployed a web application before. I’m using heroku for this one and it’s a breeze! Deploying via git push is such a great idea as it incorporated additional functionality into already acquired knowledge.

  • Showing your new project to HN really brings a ton of people to see your project and you can get a whole lot of feedback for it.

All in all, I had a really good time and I’m already thinking about my next project…