Side Projects

In 2020, I taught myself some basic coding and since then I've been working on side projects for my friends and family, in Django, Python, Java, and Javascript.

Aside from being a lot of fun, working on software from the ground up has given me a lot of free reign to experiment with ideas, tech stacks and audiences. Below are a few projects that I've learned a lot from.

NotaGallery.art | October 2023 - Present

My artist friends only end up showing a fraction of their work to the world, and the rest is stuck in notebooks, crawlspaces and attics. I noticed other friends filling up their apartment walls with prints and posters that they didn't care for, just to fill the space, so I put together the first issue of NotAGallery.art, a newsletter where young artists can share work that they wouldn't otherwise, at a pricepoint that makes original art way more accessible.

  • 📈 Results: I've sold 1 piece so far! This first issue was intended to validate that there's a market for this service, so I was really happy with this result!
  • 💡 Key learning: TBD
  • 🔨 Tech stack: JavaScript, HTML/CSS - switching to Django if the idea passes validation.

Tabby Cat | June 2020- Present

Tabby Cat was a gift for my wife - it's a Chrome Extension that shows a new cat picture on every new tab, pulling from an API of thousands of pictures.

  • 📈 Results: A few months after listing it on the Chrome store, I checked back and realized that hundreds of people were using the extension! It wasn't intended for anyone beyond my wife, but it found an audience and at this point has been downloaded thousands of times.
  • 💡 Key learning: Cats (and app stores) are great for no-effort distribution.
  • 🔨 Tech stack: Django, Python, JavaScript, HTML/CSS

Crumpled Resumes | Apr. 2020 - May 2020

I made Crumpled Resumes based on a throw-away comment from a friend looking for work: "I'm just applying to anything with LinkedIn Easy Apply". The goal of the browser extension is to make every job an 'Easy Apply'.

  • 📈 Results: Crumpled has spread to some other friends, friends-of-friends, and beyond, by word of mouth.
  • 💡 Key learning: If people are taking shortcuts, it's likely fertile ground for new products.
  • 🔨 Tech stack: jQuery, HTML/CSS, Chrome storage & extension tools

Absorb | February - March 2020

Absorb is a language-learning soft-keyboard I made with the intention of expanding my Arabic vocabulary while typing on my phone.

  • 📈 Results: In developing Absorb, I realized that typing speed outpaces the SQL queries used by the app, making it unsuitable for everyday use.
  • 💡 Key learning: Time is an important dimension of design.
  • 🔨 Tech stack: Java, SQL, XML