Conceiving, Building and Launching an app in just 2 days.

Part 1 — The Plan


Written by: Alan Downie — CEO and Co-Founder of Macropod

Gitr has been released! Read more about the release here.

Like all great ideas, this one involved the annual staff Christmas party and some beer… and cider… and probably some hurricanes… I don’t honestly know.

Le Bon Ton, Collingwood — much beer, many hurricanes

What I do recall, is that we’d been reminiscing about the early days of BugHerd and some of the ideas we’d had over the years that we’d never quite gotten around to building. A few of these were garbage, but a few generated a little excitement from some of the newer members of the team that hadn’t heard of them before. There were also a bunch of new things, new ideas, new crazy stuff that has nothing to do with what we do at Macropod. We disagreed a lot on what was good and bad, but the one thing we all agreed on was that it’s a real shame that we never get around to working on any of these amazing ideas!

James is already hard at work creating the swiping code for liking

Then came the realisation that half of our staff were taking the week before Christmas off….hrmm… ‘free time’ you say?

The rest of us could’ve kept working on our usual projects, but honestly there was a fairly good chance we’d end up playing Mario Kart, Smash Bros and Minecraft. So I suggested to the team that we make a challenge for ourselves to build and launch an app in just the 2 days before Christmas Eve. Sounds impossible! Probably is! Let’s do it anyway! If it all goes pear shaped, we’ll likely be drunk the next day anyway!

The challenge we’ve set for ourselves? Starting from scratch, we will conceive, build, test and release an app, complete with website and marketing in just 2 days.

With a designer, 2 front-end devs, a back-end dev, a marketer and that grumpy CEO guy… surely we have enough talent to get the job done! The bigger question is can we focus, and deliver a refined product in such a short space of time?

We’ve had quite a few good ideas, but most were too complex to build and release with such a short turnaround. It had to be something easily explained, quickly produced and that created real value. After all, we didn’t want to be completely wasting our time! We would need to leverage some of our own existing work, but also make creative use of existing open source projects and libraries to enable us to get something out as soon as humanly possible.

When we’re done, we hope that we’ll have a fun app for you to try out, but we’ll also be releasing the whole lot as open source for others to hack on. In fact, the two GitHub repos are there right now for you to look at our work in progress, https://github.com/macropodhq.

So what are we building?

30 second landing page! (work in progress)

The idea is to create a nifty little community app for GitHub. Users can sign up, see profiles and repos of other similar GitHub users and swipe left/right to signal their interest in that user’s work. If both folks are interested in each other’s work, we’ll set up a chat (yes, just like Tinder, but purely business here thanks!)

It’ll be a great way to meet people with similar interests, get involved in new projects and maybe even learn a thing or two along the way.

Tomorrow, I’ll share an update on how the project is going, along with screenshots of our progress and links to anything interesting we’ve been working on in the process. For now we’re busy planning, putting together servers and designing like mad! Stay tuned on our twitter page @MacropodHQ for more, and if you’re interested in seeing how we’re progressing, head over to GitHub for a look: https://github.com/macropodhq

Part 2 is now up, read on!