While my hyperbole is a bit much, I have a couple of fun side projects that I’ll put out for your enjoyment in the coming days, and I think they’ll make a pretty big splash.
I do these sorts of things to scratch a motivational itch: One of the biggest downsides of the sort of work that I do is that the vast majority of it is, effectively, “secret”, with an audience pool that will forever remain small. One of the greatest rewards is bringing joy to lots of users (though I will unabashedly and crassly say that for me financial rewards remains the #1 motivator, which I state given that so many try to diminish monetary rewards), which is why I’ve always done odd side projects such as color mixers, EXIF filters, and domain analysis.
Just little things to appeal to a larger audience than I professionally cater to.
The first project scratches a curiosity I had about social trends, where building a visualization tool of a century of data was the only real way to essentially gain some understanding about the virality of certain surprisingly important aspects of society.
You will find it informative and entertaining. I promise. v0.1 will hit the tubes in days.
The other project I’ll be less coy about: It’s a tool explaining and demonstrating American Football for nerds (such as myself). This is a sport that, as an intellectual, I was taught to hold in low repute, but on learning the nuances a few years back I now appreciate as one of the most incredibly strategic, chess-like pursuits going. If you guffawed in response to that, please open your mind and give it a chance.
For me, learning the game really has been a multi-year adventure given that much of the nomenclature and assumptions seem rooted in the notion that a thorough grounding of the game came in elementary school. So I’ve put together a rich, interactive tool that will greatly shorten the journey for nerds like myself, and hopefully add some context for inevitable watercooler conversation, especially given that we’re halfway through the regular season and the post-season isn’t too far off.
Both projects are built using the web, of course, heavily leveraging SVG. On the server-side, Go and nginx reign supreme. Despite the first project being essentially a data viewer, there is no traditional database, and instead some high performance Go constructs are used, to great effect.