February 1, 2020•
5 minute read
A quick announcement of a new educational and mental-health focused project. Join the team, it's fun!
It’s Saturday, and I’m at work. I worked last Saturday as well and will be working tomorrow too. I do this 100% voluntarily, because believe it or not, I enjoy my job. I don’t have to be here, I don’t have to come to the office every day or even most days, but I do nonetheless. Because I like it, it brings me joy, I have fun, I learn, my team is awesome, and I get free granola and coffee :)
However, I’m old enough to realize that this sort of pace is not sustainable long-term. People get burnt out at the most fantastic dream jobs; their families suffer, friendships fall apart, even while their careers soar and they enjoy every moment of their work life. We all need breaks, even from the most fulfilling activities.
So… Breaks, huh? Something to take your mind off work, daily tasks, goals, OKRs, KPIs, or what have you. People do all sorts of different things: they hike, they travel, read books at their favorite coffee shops, hang out with friends, watch TV, eat out, draw, make podcasts, brew beer, learn pottery, or how to fly an airplane. The list is endless, and most people find something enjoyable to do besides work.
I’d most definitely go on an overnight solo hike this summer. I will absolutely fly a helicopter this summer at least once. It’s very likely that I’m going to visit friends in Portland in late July or August. I have a list of books I want to read, and I most certainly will.
As fun as they are, these activities are not of the “all-consuming” kind. They are a bunch of events, not a continuous process. Even though you could fill your life with these activities, they are fleeting. That’s why I’m embarking on this project I want to talk about.
You may or may not have heard about
I want to build a service where I can vent, rant, or just let my thoughts flow freely. I want this service to help me understand where I am, how I actually feel, and be an outlet for my emotions. I also want this service to be an educational project, that would occupy me outside my work and provide new skills, entertainment, and something exciting to do.
The app I will be building will be focused on mental health, healthy coping mechanisms, gratitude, and self-care. To make it more fun, it will have all sorts of stats, graphs, and charts, sentiment analysis, badges, and more. I’m still defining requirements, so it’s all fluid.
In a nutshell, I’ll be building a note-taking web application (React or Svelte) powered by serverless functions and a cloud database, and GraphQL. Notes will be encrypted at rest, and there will be a machine learning component for sentiment analysis. I’ve got a bunch of extra point ideas (AI-generated background music for the file you type your notes, live stats, voice notes made with a mobile app automatically transcribed, and so on).
I know very little about the technologies this project involves. I mean, I’ve done at least a “hello world” in all of them, but I don’t know enough to just sit down and build this all. So my objectives for this project are in no particular order:
At this time, I’ve only set up a