In February this year, I decided I won’t be continuing on the path I was on (my next step should have been getting a research fellowship abroad). In April, I started to learn web development because I thought I’d be building a web-based sewing pattern design software.
Then, I discovered that a lot of people seem to ask for a “Ravelry for sewing” while at the same time there wasn’t overly much resonance towards my original idea. I went to check out Ravelry. Being a beginner sewist myself, I found I couldn’t go back the ordinary Internet after having seen how useful it is. So I’m now working on something that I hope will provide some of the features of Ravelry - for the dressmaking niche. Obviously, as long as Casey keeps improving the site, I’ll never catch up, but I don’t need to: I just need to be significantly better than the existing sewing communities.
I have a computer science background but no “real job experience” - all I got is experience from small private projects and contributing a bit to a MUD. I think I’m not employable because I always keep discovering how things could be better - and I hate to do things “the way it’s always done”, just because. I’ve always been some kind of a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none - so I’m learning all kinds of things as I go.
All I’m hoping for is that I can build something that is useful to people - ideally in a way that I won’t have to take on a normal job in the long run. After weighing the options, I came to the conclusion that bootstrapping is the right way to go. I’m trying to follow the exact example of Ravelry here - build something that’s useful for so many people that selling affordable ad space to small sewing businesses becomes viable.
I’ve been coding using Python/Django, making use of existing packages wherever I could. I hate reinventing the wheel when someone else made something that works perfectly fine - though often, the use cases of the packages I find are somewhat different from mine and it takes time to weed through the available options to find something that works.
There’s really a lot of areas where I need to improve in order to make it, e.g. design, marketing, server administration, programming - to name a few. It’s definitely been an interesting journey so far.