I’ve been into film photography since I was about 17 but it wasn’t until 2019 I started developing and scanning my own film at home. As I only tend to shoot a few rolls of film a month, it made sense to get the equipment that I’d spent money on to start earning its keep.
I initially offered developing and scanning services on eBay, where a user would make a purchase, send me their film in the post along with their email address and I would develop, scan and email their positives back to them. After about 15 successful orders I realised I could cut out the middleman and set up a website myself.
While there are hundreds of website builders online I thought I could create something cheaper myself. I bought the domain (you can tell I spent about 5 seconds thinking about the name) and got to work on another weekend project.
The site uses Angular on the frontend with a Serverless API connected to DynamoDB on the backend. I have a blog post coming soon that covers the development, which I will link to here
I’m not sure I’d go as far as calling it a side hustle, but it definitely became a way to have a hobby that could pay for itself
As like many people in April 2020, I had very little to do during the weekends, so I decided to spend a bit of time working on something that might actually be useful. The aim of chaffinch.io was to allow local delivery drivers who did not have fancy routing software to make deliveries in the most efficient way possible. I thought this could be a useful tool for small businesses who had suddenly found themselves in mid 2020 with lots of deliveries to make…
To use the tool a user enters a list of drop off locations, and starts the route. chaffinch will then decide on the best order to make each dropoff, depending on distance and traffic conditions. At each stop the user can tap a button which opens up Google Maps navigation to each destination.
At the heart of this web app was the Mapbox routing API, which handled the route ordering. I created an API which accepts a list of destinations the user fills out and then responds with them in the correct order.
Sadly no one really ended up using the tool, but it was a good opportunity to mess around with a third party API and limit myself by not using any JS frameworks.
Trimm.link is hands down my most successful tool. Don’t get me wrong it’s no Facebook but when people in your office ask someone to ‘trimm link’ a website, it does give me a fuzzy feeling inside.
Trimm.link is a URL shortener but instead of it giving you a unique ID, it picks from a list of the top 1000 most commonly used english words that are under 5 characters long. The URLs also only last for 24 hours, so the words replenish themselves constantly.
I built this using Claudia.js with a DynamoDB table to store the words and harnessed the TTL capabilities to renew the links after 24 hours.
In my younger years I made many attempts at creating personal and portfolio websites for my design work, however none really stuck around for very long as I wasn't totally happy with them.
While looking for my first job coming out of university I decided to dedicate some time to making an interesting website. I spent a few solid days and nights working on a game to embed into the site itself using jQuery.
The game was an Asteroids clone, with a bunch of emoji thrown in (I still like the odd emoji 🥦). The purpose of that site was to get me my first developer job back in 2017, past that I only updated it when I built a new project and wanted to reference it.
One thing I always disliked about the website was that the game didn't work on mobile, so people would often miss the part I spent most of my time on. In 2021 I archived it and brought out my new site along with my first blog.