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My first ever app — JiffyCV — is now live! Here’s the story about how it came to be, the approach I took to make it and what I learned along the way.

You find out more about the app on our website https://jiffycv.com or find it in the app store and play :

The imaginative spark

I originally started looking at building some form of tool to assist job hunting in 2016, after the startup I was part of closed down and I found myself struggling to remember what I’d done in the last five years and what…


Photo by Dave Webb on Unsplash

For the last couple of months I’ve been working on my second product — Reciprocal.dev — An interactive user journey mapping tool that aims to help product teams build shared understanding easier by being able to see the big picture, while focusing on the deliverable work.

My first foray into entrepreneurship — JiffyCV — didn’t go so well, I took so long to validate the idea and burned myself out in the process of delivering the MVP that I lost interest, so I was keen to avoid making this same mistake with Reciprocal.dev.

The main reason why I think JiffyCV…


Pokemon Snap is coming out tomorrow so figured I’d document what I was doing before I get lost in that.

Conducted lots of user interviews

I had some time off at the start of the month as I was taking advantage of a double Bank Holiday we had in the UK so I managed to get almost two weeks off work from five days of holiday allowance.

During that time I spent a lot of time with potential users of Reciprocal.dev


Photo by Matthew Kalapuch on Unsplash

Things have been going well in my new venture — Reciprocal.dev, we’ve been able to pull together a prototype map and based on the feedback from that, decided to start creating a company.

Aside from developing the prototype I also started conducting user interviews. This was something I had attempted before with JiffyCV but I did those interviews badly and as a result there wasn’t much insight to be had.

Since JiffyCV though I had read ‘The Mom Test’ and I really wanted to see if I could apply the approach I had learned from the book and get much…


Photo by Daniel on Unsplash

A couple of months ago I was browsing HackerNews and came across a post about the Johnny Decimal system — A means of organising projects in a manner to how the Dewey Decimal system organises libraries.

This appealed to me as I have way too many projects on the go, split across multiple devices (six at last count), multiple cloud offerings (Dropbox, Google, iCloud) and multiple external drives, so being able to consolidate these and retain easy access was a strong selling point (as it’s often hard to find files when you don’t know what combination of machine and drive…


On the 1st of April Spotify launched their ‘new Desktop Experience’ and I really wish it was an April Fools joke, but unfortunately it looks like it’s here to stay.

To understand why it’s such a bad experience for me you need to first understand how I listen to music.

I like to listen to an artist’s albums and EPs back to back (ideally from first release to last, although Spotify never supported this) and the artist that I choose to listen to during a session will usually be determined by the type of activity I’m doing while listening.

An…


It’s been a year since lockdown hit the UK and I started working from home. I think I’ve made the most of a bad situation though.

Built the Reciprocal.dev MVP map

As of today I’ve finally finished that last bit of feature development needed for https://examples.reciprocal.dev to align with the MVP I wanted to create in order to validate the idea.

I’m really happy with how this has developed as I feel like I’ve learned a lot about the structures and ideas I’ll need to implement into the proper app should it turn out people want to use it.

The feature set includes:

  • Two versions…


By adding a mini-map to reciprocal.dev users are now able to navigate across their user journey maps easier

As part of building reciprocal.dev I’ve been working with Konva (and react-konva) to create an MVP of the user journey mapping tools in order to validate the idea.

Over time, the example map that I’ve built at examples.reciprocal.dev has become larger than the browser window and I’ve needed to introduce panning and zooming to allow the user to navigate this larger map.

With the introduction of moving the map it became crucial to give the user a means to locate themselves within the full map. To solve this problem I decided to include a mini-map.

The mini-map shows the entire…


Photo by Evie S. on Unsplash

I’ve recently picked up a project which has been written in Vue 2 & Nuxt and I thought I’d document my initial impressions in the hope of doing a follow up in a couple of months time to see if my gut feeling holds true.

For context, I’ve got about 4 years of working with React and React Native in various different professional and personal capacities so this does influence how I feel somewhat.

I’ll try to stop this post from becoming a Vue vs React one but I won’t deny that some of my love of more immutable &…


The shared state means that the changes in the left hand menu can update the data used to render the screen components in the user journey map

Following on from my post on using react-konva as part of reciprocal.dev to build a User Journey Map and then adding zoom and panning to said map I decided to add some enhancements to change properties of components rendered on the canvas from outside the canvas.

In order to implement this enhancement I needed to introduce an app-wide state so I could track both the interaction in the non-canvas UI and update the value in the canvas components.

To do this I started by building a context that I could then access, using the useContext hook in the components that…

Colin Wren

Technical Lead at BJSS. Interested in Automated Testing, Dev practises, Metal, Chiptune. All views my own.

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