Summer of React, Flask and Airflow

This Summer won’t be about Ham Radio so much – but I will be building little fun “experimental” circuits with the Maker-Ham components that I have – along the lines of that WiFi Field Strength Meter idea. No antenna building, and no DXCC chasing.

I am now becoming a serious React and Flask (“full stack”) developer. It happened by accident – I was supposed to be teamed with a React web app developer who would build the front end web app and I would build the back end database REST API – in Python / Flask.

I completed my part of the deal – and waited. And waited. And waited. When we hit the half way mark of this quarter, I realized it was time to jump in and BE that front end web app developer. I did make one attempt last year when I built a web app using React, but that fell by the wayside, and I thought that was it for me as far as React goes. This time, I dove in head first and full force and wanted to really understand how React worked. Last Summer I hacked an online class React app and made it work, but I really didn’t understand how React worked. And React has a steep learning curve. In fact, I almost caved and went with Vue.js or PHP.

The reason I couldn’t find anyone to help me is that React developers (actually “full stack” developers) are all the rage these days. Anyone who has this skill set is being snapped up perhaps faster than anyone else in the IT industry. Forget about “Data Scientists” – that was yesterdays big deal. Even “Big Data” is not the big deal it was a few years ago.

React was designed by Facebook, and its very interesting technology. At first it seems really bizarre and convoluted – but that is because they have managed to work around the fact that HTML and the web were meant to be stateless web page apps – and not a full on event driven, state full app platform. In the back end – I use Airflow – a Python scheduler and ETL / Data Pipeline technology designed by Air BNB.

I’m not giving anything away here – my LinkedIn profile has all of this listed:

Anyway, what is interesting is that I feel like what I am building is as interesting as what I do in the ham shack. Every now and then work feels a lot like designing and building antennas or building my station / shack. Right now – that’s how it feels – and its a great feeling. I go to work at what is the best place I’ve ever worked (Credit Karma) every day with a spring in my step – and it just doesn’t get any better than this.

One of the things I might try is to build a web app that interfaces with the Raspberry Pi or Arduino experiments – a sort of web meets maker meets ham mash up. That could be a lot of fun.

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