Monkey Do

Trying Before Buying (or: Testing the Tech Before Committing)

Mike and I recently had an idea for a web application we’d like to build. It would need to handle a lot of things that we haven’t necessarily implemented on our own yet, including public user profiles, storing favorites and bookmarks, and using social networks to allow account creation (social sign-on).

As it happens, these features are also coming up in a client project we’re working on, so we knew we’d have to become familiar with the tech sooner rather than later.

The thing is, it’s not always ideal to use your client projects as testing grounds for new tech. In some cases it’s perfectly appropriate, but not every project has the budget or the schedule required if you’re bringing new tech to the table. If the tech doesn’t work as expected, you need the option of going back to the drawing board.

With this in mind, we came up with an idea for a different web app, one that — while much, much simpler than the project we will eventually build — incorporates the new features that we haven’t had much experience with yet, namely social sign-on and storing user data.

So, taking two days for design, one day for HTML/CSS/JS, and one day for setting up the backend (and a week of fiddling around with details, like responsive break points), we present to you our application: Got a few minutes?

Got a Few Minutes is for when you have a spare moment in your day and are looking for something better to do than watch YouTube videos. You can create an account using Facebook or Twitter, save your favorite ideas to a task list, and contribute your own ideas.

Is it going to change the world? No. Has it succeeded in leveling up our arsenal of tools as web developers? Yup.