One-Off Apps

Whenever I have a simple repetitive task, I like to create a quick single-page app to automate it.

I built one that created SQL strings for a predefined, comma-delimited list of strings.

Another was a transcription tool for a podcast I once hosted that allowed me to type notes while playback controls let me rewind the cast so I could transcribe quotes accurately.

These are crappy utilities. They have hard-coded strings all over the place; repetitive code; bad design. The transcription tool required me to change the source code to pick a different audio file as there was no method to do so in the user interface.

But quality code was not the point. These were not production applications. The user base was one: me. I only needed to automate one particular thing and “user friendly” was not on the list of requirements.

I’m drawn to the allure of these one-off apps once again for project management. I need one place that provides quick access to information stored on, in Jira, and on a SharePoint drive. None of these tools gets me the view I want, so I’m considering building a custom dashboard that pulls the data together in the way I’d like to see it.

Is this Jamstack? I guess it might be, but there’s no customization. No one else will be able to use it for their projects, and that’s okay.

Written on May 23, 2022