We sat down to pick the brain of Erik Richter, one of our students here at devCodeCamp. Erik was about half way through his 12-week Immersive program when creating ThisIsPrettyNeat.com as part of one of his projects here at devCodeCamp. Erik came into the camp with no coding experience, in fact, his previous profession was as a pilot for private airlines. Check out what Erik has to say about the process of this project:
Erik Richter on the Process
News reports always seem to be so negative in nature and I found myself asking “Why is bad the only news that gets reported?” PrettyNeat was inspired by my desire to have a place to find stories and articles that do not focus on the bad. There are so many good things going on out there and I feel those should get reported as well. That, to me, is PrettyNeat.
This project introduced me to something called a Minimum Viable Product. When writing out my plans for the site, I had a very long list of tasks I wanted to complete. But given a finite launch date, I needed to have something ready that had, minimally, those core features that allowed the product to be deployed…above everything else, it needed to work at launch. That is expected by anyprettyneat client. If I finished those core features before the launch, I could implement more, then and only then, if I wanted. With the MVP concept in mind, I needed to define what my project was supposed to accomplish and give primacy to those tasks that were relevant only to that goal. Because I am somewhat of a perfectionist, this concept was the most helpful thing I took away from this project.
Plans for the Future
Before starting this class, I was unaware of what computers were capable of doing. I knew they made our lives easier and helped us do things faster, but I never really gave thought to how I could use that to my advantage…because other people were already doing it for me. Now, as a developer, I am one of those people and I think that is so cool! It has taken me a while to fully understand that new concept, but ideas that I never would have thought about now come to me more frequently. Of these, my favorite has been the idea for an app that, when a user is placed on hold or in a wait queue by customer service, the user can put the phone down and the app will notify the user when someone is on the other end of the line. This would eliminate someone being trapped by a phone when he or she could be doing other things. Efficiency…that, to me, is what computers are for!
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