Beginners have a huge advantage over experts: the ability to imagine without the burden of experience limiting that imagination. My first week of development is proof that beginners can be formidable.

Dev began this week. I decided to start with the browser extension because it’s the lynchpin: if I can record edits made in devtools, Mod&Dot can work. if I can’t, the whole product is dead. So I need to build this first.

What I built in the first week

  • Extension popup UI in a Vue.js app with pages, routes, and Vuex state management
  • Sync entire state to local storage since popup loses all data and state when it closes
  • Created listeners for HTML and CSS edits to the webpage, successfully sent raw data (the differences aren’t being calculated yet)
  • Button to toggle document.designMode on and off
  • Button to pause Javascript execution in the page while recording edits

This isn’t a product demo, but just a quick video showing part of the extension working. You can see that the extension can open, listen for edits, and enable/disable both Javascript and designMode. The console messages in the lower right corner show the extension receiving events when the html and css change.

Learning to build an app is not too hard

This week, I don’t have a lesson for you, just an example I hope you can still learn from.

Everyone says that building software is too hard. As a solo founder or small team, it’s a huge risk. Learning to code is too much. Software takes too long.

But here I am, just 2 weeks into development and 5 weeks in total, making real progress.

I’ve been kind of angry at advice against software in the past, and right now I feel vindicated that this is possible and it’s not too hard. I know I’m going to hit points where it gets harder. But right now, I know I can build this, and it’s a pretty great feeling.

I hope my progress so far is proof to you that you can take the leap and make software too. Yes, this product might still fail. But even this much progress is enough to show there is a reasonable chance for success, and I think that’s something every founder needs to remember.

Week 5 was: satisfying

There’s a lot left to do, but it’s pretty awesome that in just 1 week of coding I already have something that’s partially functioning.

I feel that all my work, planning, and learning is coming together to make a real product. I’m really pumped to keep building it.