How I Built This

I am in no way done building this but, Wait, What Do You Do? is finally in a state that I am happy enough to share it! So, I figure it's a good time to reflect on what I've done to get here.

The Easy Part


In the day job, I'm a data engineer so this part I was most comfortable with. The stack consists of a handful of scripts ran from ✈️ Airflow ✈️ which fetch job data, process it, and load it into a Heroku hosted 🐘 Postgres database 🐘. The db is then wired up to a 🐍 Django 🐍 instance configured as a REST API.


As a data engineer, I have had approximately 0 opportunities to muck around with frontend technology so this was the most time consuming portion of the build. Luckily, there was this weird thing that happened over the last year and a half where I couldn't see my friends and family sooo I picked up ⚛️ React ⚛️ and used it for this site.

Additionally, gaining a healthy knowledge of 🕸️ HTML / CSS 🕸️ was extremely useful. I spent an embarrassing amount of time getting things to line up nicely (just use flexbox) and making things pretty.

Other Stuff

Hosting - Heroku is fantastic. Fast to setup, free options, and great docs.

Email - A primary feature of my site is a weekly email update sharing new jobs. At the moment, I am using Mailchimp to run this. I don't have too many subscribers yet so we'll see if I stick with it.

Analytics - My bread and butter. I'm using Google Analytics for no better reason than I know the platform from prior work experience.

The Hard Part

Continuous motivation.

I have worked full time the whole time I have been building this and making the time to work on this has been difficult at times. For some tasks (the ones I enjoy), it is easy to show up because I have fun; for others (the ones I don't enjoy), I could go weeks without touching them.

That said, I have landed on a 3-part system that has worked well for the past couple of months:

  1. Write down the next 5 tasks to be done.
  2. Order the tasks by importance.
  3. Do them ONE AT A TIME until you have completed them.

Overall, even if this goes nowhere, the experience of building the site to a functional state has been one of the most rewarding projects I have worked on and has given me a new respect for the amount of work it takes to get even simple products off the ground. 10/10 do recommend 👨🏻‍🍳.

Thanks for reading, feel free to ask any questions, and have a fantastic day!

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