- idea to solve own problems
- build MVP to test whether other people have the same problem and whether your solution helps them and whether they are ready to pay for the solution
- if MVP get’s traction/positive feedback: actually build it and/or refine it
Building an MVP in Practice
- scribble frontend idea (pen and paper)
- build idea in photoshop
- build idea (based on PS template) as frontend website
- add backend to frontend website
- backend mostly PHP (maybe some Node.JS)
- SQLite database
- Linode (one virtual private server)
- Ubuntu LTS (long-term support)
- Nginx server with PHP-FPM gateway („Nginx = very maintenance free, crazy fast out of the box“)
- NameCheap for domain registration (FreeDNS -> add DNS entries to point to Linode VPS IP address)
Development Approaches / Coding Style
- doesn’t use frameworks (except for jQuery) – because often „they just make things more complex“
- keep things clean and fast
- DRY KISS (Don’t Repeat Yourself + Keep It Stupid Simple)
- developed certain clear repeatable steps to setup new projects based on the same techstack („it’s hard to switch engrained habits“)
- enables him to setup projects fast and confidently
- copies code from past projects to use it in new ones
- has certain, similar folder structure for all projects
Opinions on Tech (Stack)
- Rather rely on yourself and what you have or will have built (aka. be the master of your empire🏰)
- rather use your own server setup and controll/manage your linux server yourself then relying on a provider who eventually fucks it up (without you having the opportunity fix the issue or even knowing what’s going on)
- Doesn’t like AWS – to complicated
- deploys fast using above described techstack by adjusting existing nginx.conf file (from past project) and uploading it for new project
- „SSH-ing into a server is definitely superior to a web panel.“
- knows that he’s probably not following best practices – but(!) actually ships products❗
- „doesn’t really matter how people do things“ -> „It’s really about what you’re best, quickest and most comfortable with.“❗
Work Ethic + Project and Time Management
- doesn’t think of himself as a programmer (rather creator and maker)
- working hard
- focus on one project at a time
- after finishing one project respectively before starting a new project: automate the past projects to run without much maintenance
- use Trello to organize daily, weekly and monthly work
- focus hardcore without distractions
- save a lot, early (compound interest) and keep it up
- invest in „market tracking ETF by Vanguard“
View on the World
- refuses to work employed (for the capitalistic machine(?))
- strong entrepreneurship mindset and dedication
- believes in highly increasing unequality within the society
Further Knowledge and Qualifications
- business studies (MBA)
- impressive knowledge about and ability to explain macro- and micro-economic topics (financial market, inflation, …)
- Does explicitly recommend not to spend time and money for an MBA
Regarding Pieter Levels
- Is nomadlist still working with vanilla code (HTML/CSS, JS, jQuery, PHP)?
- Where/How did you learn to code?
- When did you start to learn coding?
- Why do so many people with an MBA recommend not to get an MBA?🤔
- Is it potentially hard for people with an MBA to recognize the gap between their huge economic knowledge compared to that of other people?
Regarding Tech Stack
- Why do people use so many frameworks? Is it an excuse to be mediocre in actual programming? Why use frameworks if great projects like nomadlist are build on vanilla code?
- Seems to align with @adamchainz’s suggestion of resource where author advocates opinion that one shouldn’t learn the „API language and approach to solve problems which are prescribed by frameworks“ (like Django) – but rather master vanilla code to be able to solve everything yourself (and to stay creative eventually)!
- Why do people learn frameworks if impressive projects like nomadlist don’t even use a database (but json files instead) and uses vanilla code (HTML/CSS, JS, jQuery, PHP)?
- Does it even make sense to use Python for web development if we can build incredibly creative and innovative projects like nomadlist and hoodmaps with vanilla code (HTML/CSS, JS, jQuery, PHP)?
- Are Node.js, PHP and Django all options to build backends for web applications?
aha experience / confirmation
- If plain vanilla code is able to make a website and profit like Nomadlist, than we may rather focus on vanilla then learning the prescribed way which frameworks dictate…🤔