Help Me Ship in 2016

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Justin Jackson is quite possibly a mad man.

This week, I noticed he made a bold claim – he was going to launch 100 things in 2016.

Justin is no stranger to launching projects. He ran a podcast this year called Build and Launch, which detailed a new project he was working on and launching every week.

The best part about Justin’s new challenge – he invited everyone to join him in launching stuff in the new year. The result, the MegaMaker Challenge, already has over 120 participants.

I am one of those participants.

I’ll be doing a full recap of 2015 in a few days, but I would label it “The Year of Growth.” Specifically, I learned an immense amount about web development, leadership, and the nonprofit sector.

2016 will be my year to ship projects.

I want to put all of that new knowledge to the test and actually ship things that the world can use, critique, examine, and explore. The MegaMaker Challenge is right up my alley.

What am I going to ship?

Great question! Here’s the tentative list. Justin’s goal is 100 items. I’m setting my sights at five projects. I’m hoping to focus on each project for two months and make it spectacular (leaving me an extra two months of breathing room). I’m also trying desparately to keep this in mind:

Two notes: 1. All of these things will be free and open sourced wherever applicable. 2. These are still fluid. Suggestions are more than welcome.

If you’re reading this and thinking “Hey! That already exists,” please let me know in the comments!

Update: I revamped this list in January of 2016.

Project #1: BeginnerDevs – A Resource for New Developers

There are a ton of online communities out there. Trust me, I looked. One population that might be overlooked – new developers. I’m thinking about those people that might be too intimidated to post to StackOverflow or ask questions in a public forum. The person that’s just getting started. Maybe a version of this?

The initial idea for BeginnerDevs was to have a simple Slack group where people could ask questions and chat about what they’re building and learning. It would be a no judgement zone where you could ask any question without feeling like it was silly. It would break the barrier between learning platforms. If you were learning on Udemy vs. Treehouse vs. Udacity vs. Codecademy – it wouldn’t matter.

That’s the starting point. I have some ideas of how it could evolve. Maybe we could tackle open source projects together (a collaborative version of Code Traige) or have AMAs with experienced developers.

Who knows what it could become. I just know there are a lot of silo’d individuals working on similar things that could feed off the enthusiasm of a group.

Project #2: Theodoro – A Pomodoro Timer in React

I’m a huge fan of the Pomodoro technique. Currently, I use the Pomodoro One Mac app. It works really well, but I wish a timer existed that combined my to-do list alongside the work/rest interface. My idea is to fuse the two.

The right-hand side will work like a to-do list where you can enter items. The left-hand side will collect items when you check them off and group them according to when they were completed. The top of the page will act as the timer and count work periods. This will just work in-browser and probably rely on browser storage for storing the tasks.

Project #3: An Improved Reading List Plugin for WordPress

I’m currently using Andrew Spittle’s Reading List plugin to generate my bookshelf page on this site. I have a few improvements I would like to try on my own version.

First, I think it would be cool to have some built-in stats for the plugin that are available in the Dashboard. It would have stuff like number of pages read this year or this month.

Second, a built-in rating system would be neat. I would like readers to know which books I recommend at a glance.

Lastly, for those that want to use Amazon affiliate links, I think building a spot for that into the interface would be cool. You’ll have to go get and paste in the link yourself, but perhaps having a link there would automatically generate a “Buy this book on Amazon” link in the actual post. Just a thought.

Project #4: OneIdea.Today

I’m a big believer in sharing ideas out in the open to encourage collaboration and inspire others. Great discoveries don’t happen in isolation. They’re the result of idea collision – dozens of similar ideas bumping together to create something new.

I have an idea to build a website where people could submit one idea each day (for a product, service, organization, etc). Then, there would be a page called “Collision” that would aggregate suggestions around similar topics. The domain just happened to be available so I’ll give this a shot!

Other potentials:

Non-Profit in a Box

This year, I helped to start Drink for Pink, but I also worked closely with Cancer Leage of Colorado and chatted with some non-profits on Website design is a topic that comes up quite often. The organizers know that having a functioning website is important, but they might not know how to build one themselves and paying a web developer can get pricey.

Obviously, they should build their site on WordPress. My goal is to build an online resource detailing exactly what you would need to start a website tailoring to a few specific goals. I’ll highlight a select group of themes and frameworks to choose from along with plugin recommendations for things like eCommerce (hint: it’s going to be WooCommerce).

Over to you

Is this crazy? Would you like to collaborate on any of the above? What are you going to ship in 2016?

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