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Building MembershipNerd - Day 2

When I started working on MembershipNerd this morning I immediately realized that I had overestimated yesterday’s progress. For example, I had not verified that the app is actually using the database, because I thought my start-up script was taking care of that. (And it does, once everything is set up correctly…) Also, when I tried to log in into the django admin, I saw that the css was not loading correctly. [Read More]

Building MembershipNerd - Day 1

I started my 7-day challenge with a quick planning and task breakdown session. That took me about 10 minutes, but I felt it would be worth it. I don’t have data to confirm if this actually makes me more productive, but taking a few minutes for planning and task breakdown definitely makes me feel more productive and focused. The User Stories US1: As a website visitor I want to be able to easily and securely subscribe and unsubscribe in order to receive updates via email. [Read More]

MembershipNerd — self-hosted membership tool for nerds on a budget

Tomorrow, I will start working on MembershipNerd as a personal project for my 7-day challenge. I want to create MembershipNerd as a self-hosted alternative for newsletter-services like Mailchimp. My reasons for creating MembershipNerd is that I think almost every side-project, however small, needs a way for people to let people signup for updates via email (including the ability to unsubscribe) let you, as the project owner, manually send out updates (via email) to your “subscribers” let you, as the project owner, create and send out a series of automated messages (drip campaigns) These are the core features. [Read More]

Defining the rules for my 7-day project challenge

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I am planning a 7-day challenge to work on a personal project called MembershipNerd. The most important principle for this challenge is that I will focus on the process, the daily routine, not the outcome. The reason for this is simple: This exercise is about doing something daily, not about completing the personal project. Without further ado, here are the rules: each day, I must work at least 30 consecutive minutes on the project blogging about the project does not count as working on the project, but everything else counts Why not an hour or more? [Read More]

Starting a 7-day challenge

I have been pondering the idea of beginning a new personal project. I do have a couple of ideas, but I am hesitant to really commit to one of them. One reason for my hesitation is that none of the projects really excite me. And at this point I don’t really want to commit to a project if I am not genuinely excited. Especially, because I know from experience that I will feel bad about myself when I eventually drop those projects. [Read More]

Choosing the right tech stack

So, you are a software developer or a tech entrepreneur and want to start your next project. Sooner or later, you need to answer the question: What technology should we be using? Before you try to answer this question, ask yourself one more thing: Is this a project I will be doing primarily for profit, or this a project that I will do primarily for fun and pleasure. If your answer is “for profit”, then the following suggestions apply. [Read More]

Agile software development -- an expedition?

In yesterday’s post I used the image of going on an adventure to overcome the perceived pressure of an empty page. I find that a special type of adventure, an expedition, is also a very good metaphor for the topic of project management, especially iterative, agile project management for software development. Because a project is a team effort, the image of an expedition to unknown territory is really fitting. Like a project, you need a whole team of people for such an expedition. [Read More]

Taking a trip on a blank page

Writing is like taking a trip. What if you feel like you want to take a trip, but you don’t have a destination? If you don’t know where you want to go, how can you even get there? How do you know you are on the right path? How do you know when you have arrived? So many unsolved questions. That’s what it feels like to me when I sit in front of a blank page. [Read More]

Design your feedback loops

Once you start thinking about feedback loops, you will find them everywhere. In nature, your body, your personal life, your professional life, your neighborhood, your city. Everywhere. Feedback loops are incredibly powerful. Their main feature is the power to change the system that is receiving the feedback. A system that is receiving feedback, can and most likely will change over time. What feedback loops are in your life? Have you thought about designing your own feedback loops? [Read More]

Ten blog posts in ten days

Ten days ago I decided to challenge myself: Can I write one blog post every day for ten consecutive days? Today, the results are in. It turns out, yes, I can. But I am a little surprised how I feel today when reaching this goal. Ten days ago I expected to feel much more satisfied on day ten. I thought it would feel great to look back, and I would be proud to achieve it. [Read More]