As a developer, sometimes it feels like there are a million new libraries, frameworks, jobs, etc., published online every single day, and it becomes impossible to stay on top of them all.
New trends are constantly 🚀 appearing in the tech World, so staying updated has become a necessity to maintain one’s competitive edge and to improve productivity.
This is why, I created “Hackertab”, a handy extension to help myself and other developers stay up to date with the latest tech happenings. It’s fully customizable, for frontend, backend, full-stack, mobile, data scientists… bref, for all developers.
In the following lines, I’ll break down the process of creating the project from ideation to execution.
I normally start my day by checking HackerNews, ProductHunt, IndieHackers… to refresh my ideas for a better overview of the market. After a while, I get overwhelmed with too many tabs, making it difficult to follow or bookmark.
That’s how I got the idea to create a one-centric tab that keeps myself and developers updated without getting distracted by checking various websites.
Usually, I build my products after conducting some research with potential customers to validate the product idea. However, in this case, I decided to proceed directly to the development phase for two reasons.
1 - I’m a developer, and I’m one of these users. If this solution works for me, it should work for other developers too.
2 - The development of this extension will take less time/effort than validating the product idea first.
🤝 Indie or Team?!
Though I could have done it on my own, I would prefer to share this experience with Abdelillah Chouikane, a friend of mine who is fantastic with Data Crawling, and having him on board is definitely a plus!
To define Hackertab’s minimal features correctly, We read many articles about how other developers stay updated and what are the main sources of information they rely on. We collected 5 important data sources:
- Github trending
- Stackoverflow Jobs
- Devto Articles
- Hacker News
- Confs.tech Tech events
We considered segregating content into types of profiles as well, like: Backend, Frontend, Mobile…But it was a poor solution, the type of a profile should not define its interests.
- Libraries (Github trending)
- Jobs (by Stackoverflow)
- News (Hackernews and DevTo)
- Events & Conferences by (Confs.tech)
As a result, the content should look more organized and the developer won’t get overwhelmed.
With a 1 week deadline, we set out to build and release an initial MVP to not lose motivation or build something unwanted. We chose passively the stack we know best to save time and work: The JAM Stack powered by ReactJs, Netlify, and NodeJs.
As planned, 1 week later, we were able to achieve:
- An operational MVP serving data from 5 sources with some basic settings.
- A data crawler that keeps refreshing every 4 hours.
- A Landing page
- 2 extensions (Chrome and Firefox) ready to be deployed
- $5 for the Chrome developer account (nothing is free with Google)
- $0 for the Firefox developer account
- $14 for the awesome domain name Hackertab.dev
And today, I and Abdel are too excited to share this with all of you: Hackertab.dev
Please don’t hesitate to share your suggestions, ideas, and comments. as they’re the fuel of our next iteration.