Ed | Nov. 16, 2020, 9:51 p.m.
The purpose of this blog is to collate the various web applications I have developed in one place. This blog is itself a web application which I have developed using the Django web framework.
A screenshot of this blog developed using Django and Bootstrap
Many of my web apps relate to my neighbourhood-planning.co.uk website, and serve to provide information and advice on the preparation of Neighbourhood Plans. However that site is not really the place to reflect on those projects from the perspective of a web developer, in terms of their strengths and weaknesses - or in terms of the learning experience they provided.
How I got into coding
After receiving a Raspberry Pi several years ago, I decided it might be fun to teach myself Python. I spent a long time just playing - following tutorials, and creating silly games and projects just for fun, and in an attempt to impress friends. Some examples of my 'fun' projects are:
- A 'Hey Duggee' game, where the player had to help Duggee collect badges;
- I taught a robotic arm to play noughts and crosses;
- A raspberry pi which 'listened' for email commands, following which it returned info such as local weather, news headlines, performed calculations;
- Web scraping my Parkrun results to keep a local record;
- A daily email whch provided pictures and stats about a randomly selected Pokemon;
- An email client which scrambled and de-scrambled the contents of emails it sent and received;
- Send myself an email containing details of each train which passed my office window, at the moment they pass;
Eventually I realised that my Python skills could actually prove quite useful in my professional life. I used it for performing complex calculations, processing spreadsheets, and to analyse spatial data and automate map production in a GIS system.
I took an online Computer Science course from MIT to develop my skills further. Eventually I became a bit fed up with working with text-based scripts and wanted to create more applications with a user interface (I now love writing Python scripts and use them all the time!). I decided that to build some useful Python applications, I would need to harness the power of the web.
I have long been interested in neighbourhood planning, and decided to create a blog to share some useful advice and content for community groups - with the expectation I would learn a bit of html along the way.
It now feels an appropriate time to look back and reflect on some of the projects I have developed, and maintain a record of new ones as I build them.
My blog posts will likely follow a similar format - a bit of summary and reflection, followed by an app to try out. For this introduction, launching the blog feels an appropriate place to start.