Semicolon&Sons screencasts show you exactly what you need to know to build, grow, and maintain your very own software business big enough to quit your job-day.
Each episode is a behind-the-scenes tour of my own one-man software business, Oxbridge Notes, which has supported me comfortably since 2010.
We take a look at the main flows through a web application I've been running for over ten years, OxbridgeNotes. You'll see each side of this marketplace, along with its admin area. You'll visit Google Analytics to see the traffic figures, and afterwards we'll return to the command line and analyze the codebase size, showing off some handy tools in the process.
I'll show you how I came up with the idea for my online business, show just how minimal the first version was, and show how I went about marketing it. Then I'll give two examples of where I failed to use minimal viable product reasoning and how it caused untold waste.
The ease of running
This episode goes through some of the strategies I used to get north of 200k monthly organic page views to my website. I'll cover picking keywords through Google Keyword Planner (and why it's important to build your code naming conventions around these), structured data (which increase CTRs on Google), and scalable mass-content creation - what I believe to be the best strategy for SEO both when I began in 2010 and ten years later when I released this screencast in 2020.
A key factor in reducing my coding time for Oxbridge Notes down to a few hours per month was adding comprehensive integration tests. Today I demonstrate how these tests work using the test-browser's NO HEADLESS mode, which lets you actually see the browser executing your tests. Next I show how to write such tests using tools like factories (touching on how I test tracking code). Following that, I show how to set up a continuous integration server (using docker containers), and how to run your CI tests locally to verify they work before pushing them to the cloud. Lastly, I finish with a discussion about what we should test, given limited testing budget.
These screencasts are aimed at ambitious programmers who need to take full responsibility for their codebases - especially as owners of small software companies.