A Video Course Platform Built for a Course Called Modern DevTools

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In this episode of Running in Production, Umar Hansa talks about building a video course platform with Express and Node. It’s hosted on a single $10 / month DigitalOcean server. It took about 3 months of part time development and has been up and running since late 2017.

Umar talks about keeping it simple, building a server rendered monolith, using SQLite and not being afraid to build something from scratch. He covered a lot of ground in this episode.

Topics Include

  • 4:03 – Motivation for using Node and Express
  • 8:21 – A break down of what features the platform currently has
  • 10:26 – Currency exchange rates, PayPal and Stripe integration options
  • 17:46 – It’s a monolithic app with 4,000 lines of code that evolved slowly over time
  • 21:53 – It’s using server rendered templates with progressive JS enhancements
  • 29:29 – TypeScript is being used here and there and Gulp is building assets
  • 32:49 – How asset cache busting works with Gulp and the template language
  • 34:43 – SQLite is being used with the Knex library as a query builder
  • 38:50 – A background worker isn’t being used but adding one is a work in progress
  • 43:18 – Sending emails out with Postmark and dealing with 3rd party APIs being down
  • 46:53 – It’s hosted on a single $10 / month DigitalOcean server running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
  • 52:13 – Managing the Node process using PM2 in production with minimal down time
  • 58:37 – Setting the server up by hand by following tutorials and then using ServerPilot
  • 1:04:34 – Using GitHub Actions in the future and secret management
  • 1:09:03 – Depending on DigitalOcean’s automated backups and handling logs
  • 1:14:37 – Best tips? Don’t be afraid to build something from scratch
  • 1:16:03 – You can find Umar on Twitter at @umaar and he goes by the same name on multiple sites, also check out his new course at https://learnbrowsertesting.com
📄 References
⚙️ Tech Stack
🛠 Libraries Used

Support the Show

This episode does not have a sponsor and this podcast is a labor of love. If you want to support the show, the best way to do it is to purchase one of my courses or suggest one to a friend.

  • Dive into Docker is a video course that takes you from not knowing what Docker is to being able to confidently use Docker and Docker Compose for your own apps. Long gone are the days of "but it works on my machine!". A bunch of follow along labs are included.
  • Build a SAAS App with Flask is a video course where we build a real world SAAS app that accepts payments, has a custom admin, includes high test coverage and goes over how to implement and apply 50+ common web app features. There's over 20+ hours of video.


Oct 12, 2020

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