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In the last couple of months, I have been happy with the technology stack I’ve been using and doubled down on understanding Next.js, Node.js, WordPress, WooCommerce and Stripe.

I built out a new e-commerce platform for a clothing company and gained another client interested in my restaurant platform. I could have pretty much copy and pasted the code but I refactored, refactored, refactored and came out with a more refined app. I adopted a mobile first approach when designing the app and made better use of media queries to make it nice and responsive. Data fetching was more efficient, business…


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It was time. I had spent the best part of two months working on my app and I was ready to deploy and get it live on the internet. I procrastinated over doing this step for at least a couple of weeks because I felt out of my depth and didn’t know enough about web hosting. There were so many angles to consider and I wasn’t quite ready to get stuck into the weeds again — but I had to.

Hosting Headless WordPress

So far, my WordPress was in the form of a local development site so I needed to get that hosted…


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My projects had moved on from the UI challenges I had set myself—they were excellent for practising HTML and CSS — but I became more interested in apps that could have a real-world impact. By now, some friends of mine were showing a keen interest in what I was doing and I had shifted my focus to creating websites that they could use. …


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My coding journey started in March 2020 and at this point in my story it is September 2020 and I have been fully immersed for 6 months. For the first two months I had learned Dart and Flutter. The next four months thereafter I had covered HTML, CSS and Javascript to use within React and Node.js. I was getting jaded and a little weary with the chopping and changing and not settling on a solution or stack that worked for me.

Server-side rendering and Next.js was the latest tech that had piqued my interest and forced me to consider whether…


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My React apps were taking shape and I was ticking off more and more UI challenges I had set myself and was experimenting with different APIs, in particular having fun with Google Maps.

In my freeCodeCamp course I had learned how to create React components as class components and functional components. There were distinctions in stateless and stateful components and an overview on lifecycle methods (e.g. componentDidMount ). All of this was super helpful and it works. However, when I got stuck and needed guidance from the internet I got confused because other developers were using React Hooks in their…


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After installing VS Code and Node.js and getting the bones of a React app by using Create-React-App, I was finally ready to start coding. It felt like a slog even getting to the point where I could put my learning from freeCodeCamp into practice.

Even when you are ready to begin coding there is still the question of what to code. I found it helpful to choose existing websites and give myself the challenge of recreating it to the best of my abilities. At the beginning I wasn’t making dynamic pages with real data, it was more of a UI…


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Two months into my coding journey and I had built several apps using Flutter and was getting more comfortable with how to build mobile apps. However, I felt there was still a space for modern-day websites to thrive and, in particular, the term PWA caught my attention. It stands for Progressive Web App and essentially turns your website into an app that people can use on their phones. It has its own icon on your phone and works in full screen yet you don’t need to install it like an app — it’s basically an enhanced shortcut, although that’s doing…


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Flutter is pretty impressive, I must say. You can create a reasonably good looking app with minimal effort thanks to Material Design. My first ‘big win’ was to create an app that allowed me to search through Brewdog beers and check out the recipe and brewing methods for each one. Generously, Brewdog release the recipes for all their beers in a free-to-download PDF that Sam Mason has used to offer an open source API — providing me with the data I needed to create my app. But let’s start from the beginning.

I knew Flutter used Dart as its main…


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In March 2020, the pandemic had sunk in as the reality that we were all forced to face and the UK government had announced we were to enter lockdown and stay at home. Given the fear and uncertainties around the pandemic there was no telling how long the lockdown would last and with this enforced period of time at home I decided to take the opportunity to learn how to code.

My interest stemmed from mobile apps. There are a ton of apps for anything and everything and it’s impressive how popular and relevant they have become. But how on…

Leo Chan

Lockdown coder: transformation from non-coder to coder in under 12 months…complete-ish.

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