Turn love into knowledge

This article was originally published on LinkedIn by the same author.

A little while ago, I was presented with a opportunity to take over an ongoing project that catalogues every card ever released in the Magic: the Gathering game into a database in JSON format, built using NodeJS. This project is called MTGJson and is currently hosted in https://mtgjson.com/

I'm a developer since 1992, and I know my way around many languages, including JavaScript. I was not that experienced with the language as I had used it in a limited amount of opportunities and mostly using in browsers on top of jQuery.

Being as passionate as it gets about this game, when the original developer announced that he was looking for someone to take over the project, I did not need to think twice. I wrote him an email and we started talking. I had already seen the code, and was familiar with it. We exchanged a few emails, he made sure that I knew what I was doing and that's all it took. I had a new pet project to keep alive.

What I hadn't expected is that I would fall in love with NodeJS, its ease to use and philosophy. And since the original maintainer hosted the code using nginx, I started researching about it too, and now I prefer to use it over Apache. The project now also has a dedicated Debian server just for him on maHost, a company that has also taught me a lot about server management. All its data is cached and protected by CloudFlare, another tool I've came to learn because of this project.

MTGJson still grows to this day and so does my skills on all the related tools: node.js and its many modules, JavaScript, nginx, server administration, HTML, CSS, and many others.

What was just a "pet project", is now a passion, and I have learnt so much from it, and got to know lots of people interested into contributing to the project, wanting to know more and using the data provided by it to create awesome websites.

The lesson here is:

When you put effort into something you love, you are bound to learn much of the involved tools and meet people interested in what you are doing. So much for me, learning all that technology is leading me to a new direction in my professional life.

Keep loving and keep coding!

Image Copyright Wizards of the Coast

Thu, June 16th, 2016