Photo by imgix on Unsplash

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 :

iOS: https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/jiffycv/id1542050610#?platform=iphone

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.jiffycv.jiffycv

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…


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…


My prize for completing my Pokedex

One of my yearly goals for 2021 was to complete my Pokedex in Pokemon Home. In order to complete this goal I had to somehow get hold of the 898 different Pokemon that currently make up the national dex.

To complicate things I only have the Nintendo Switch Pokemon games and Pokemon Go as I kind of lost interest in the mainline Pokemon games after Pokemon Ruby (the original one) but got back into them after Pokemon Go came out.

As a kid I completed my Pokedex in Pokemon Red and had Mew (although it was a clone from the…


I caught them all in the shorted month

Completed my Pokedex in Pokemon Home

I got a special Pokemon for completing my Pokedex in Pokemon Home

One of my goals for 2021 was to complete my Pokedex in Pokemon Home. I had about 800 of the different Pokemon already thanks to playing Pokemon Go and Pokemon Sword and Shield so I figured it was achievable.

I’ll write a post on to cover off the whole journey but I was able to utilise my massive surplus of Unowns from Pokemon Go to trade for the majority of what I needed.

The last task was to clear all the legendary Pokemon in the Dynamax Adventures in Pokemon Shield which once…


Apologies for the motions but I wanted to demo the zooming and panning ability

In my last blog I talked about some of the work I’ve been doing with react-konva in order to produce an example user journey map for the new product I’m working on — reciprocal.dev .

In that post I created a very basic user journey which had one logical branch, which, while great for showing the techniques being used isn’t really reflective of the scale of most user journey maps once they have a high level of functionality.

As the width of the Stage was set to window.innerWidth in the example, there is also the constraint of the user’s browser…


As part of an upcoming product that I’m working on (reciprocal.dev if you want to sign up early) I’ve been looking at how to render a user journey map on a webpage.

I’ve created maps before in tools like Miro and Figma but never had to put much thought into the code that sits behind these tools — turns out thanks to Konva (and react-konva) this is actually pretty simple to do.

While this might not be the final solution I use, this approach is a nice introduction into how to use SVG to create the objects in a design…

Colin Wren

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

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