10 Web Applications in 1 Year - The First Deployment

At the tail end of last month, I announced that I was embarking on a journey to get better at releasing web applications publicly. When I first started mulling over my approach, I knew I should probably start small. No authentication, no payment processing and a very limited back end. I knew exactly what I needed to start with: a personal landing page.

My requirements for the initial version of this were simple: I want to have a place where people can land and see what projects I've worked on, learn more about my work and approach and visit links to my social media pages. I also wanted a form that folks could use to contact me for freelancing and consulting jobs, which would give me a good chance to add in a back end.

I landed on NextJS+Tailwind+Prisma on Vercel with Vercel's PostGreSQL database-as-a-service as my stack. My reasoning is this: I'm trying to launch quickly, efficiently and securely on an easy stack. I don't want to fight with AWS infrastructure and try to learn 30 different microservices, I don't want to have to learn 30 different new technologies just because an influencer told me to. I've built with NextJS before, and frankly it's easy having your back end and front end in the same codebase.

I quickly built out an ugly hero section before moving on to the contact form.

graphic design is not my passion

Yes, it's ugly. Yes, only 1/2 of the 2 buttons actually does anything. My approach right now is to launch fast and tweak frequently, which is also why the contact form I built out is just as ugly.

This is not the finished product. This is the start of a playground of sorts. I plan to use my personal landing page not just as a running resume but as a place to experiment and host those experiments, and to link out to other things I'm working on as well. I'm going to move on to the next project (more on that later) but I'll be continuously tweaking valhallaresearch.net as well.

I'm also planning to write some blogs (and make some YouTube videos) about the journey and some specific things I've learned. I started with a blog about CAPTCHA which I implemented on my contact form, and I have a few more cooking on Vercel coming up soon as well.

Watch this space and subscribe on Ghost if you want an email every time I release a new article!