After plenty of blood, sweat, and tears, 1.0 has finally went live. Since this is my first web project that I’ve built front to back and had a significant hand in design, I’m extremely ecstatic that I got to finally launch this web app. Let’s take a look at what I’ve learned in the past month and a half so far:

  • Design – I learned to quickly mock up designs in Balsamiq and work with a designer to refine the look of the web app before it is even built. I had tremendous help from Ian Main and Jason Collins, who refined my designs and made everything look beautiful in Photoshop.
  • Front-end: HTML/CSS/Javascript/jQuery – All of this front-end stuff is completely new to me. I was lucky enough to have an all-star front-end engineer and designer, Derek Collins, quickly teach me front-end and translate the amazing photoshop designs we had into HTML/CSS.
  • Back-end: Ruby/Rails/Sinatra – Although I had to scrap 3 weeks worth of overly complicated Rails source code, I learned a ton. The main lesson that I learned is that Rails will burn you if you don’t understand and follow all of its conventions. It’s great when it works, but good luck debugging it if you haven’t mastered Rails conventions. I chose to rewrite the code in Sinatra (a lighter, simpler ruby framework) and will eventually get back to Rails once I become a better ruby engineer and have a better understanding of the magic behind Rails.
  • Marketing and Customer Interaction: After launch, I learned how to optimize email subject lines using A/B tests and respond to feedback from users. There’s still plenty more to learn as I start getting to SEO, conversion optimization, virality optimization, and more!
The breadth and even depth of my experience at KISSmetrics so far has exceeded my expectations and I’m looking forward to finishing this site and making it a success.