WSWD – Where Should We Drop
One of the simple apps I built recently was WSWD which stands for Where Should We Drop (website is here). The goal of this app was to provide a very simple interface that allowed someone to randomly select a drop in the Fortnite world. Often times Squads would argue over where to drop and this app was intended to be the fix for them being able to drop. I wanted to take a second and explain the architecture that we used while building the app. The app did grow from its original form to include a small backend.
FrontEnd – React Native
We used React Native for this application. Yes we can sit here and argue the Native code vs JS for the rest of time, but for 98% of apps React Native is perfect. We did use Expo which allowed us to quickly bootstrap it and get it up and running faster. Expo is sweet since it will allow you to compile Android and iOS all from the same source code. It is also nice because it introduces the ability to have live reloading within the application.
BackEnd – NodeJS/ExpressJS
The backend we used the combined Node/Express. Specifically by leveraging Loopback. This allowed us to very quickly get the backend stood up. Loopback is nice in that it generates A LOT of the boiler plate code that normally has to be written. We are able to very quickly implement it and then run it and even quickly connect it with a Database
Database – MongoDB
Mongo is amazing for this backend mostly because Mongo Atlas offers a free tier. This allowed us to get going quickly and was really mostly picked due to familiarity.
Hosting – Heroku
Obviously we don’t have to worry about hosting an app (that gets downloaded onto your phone), but we do have to worry about the backend. We toyed with the idea of serverless using AWS Lambda, but ended up with Heroku just to try and keep it simple.
The goal of this app was not meant to be difficult and that is why we chose things that we were overly familiar with. We didn’t want to spend HOURS figuring out a new tech just so we could use it but preferred to just pick something simple and keep on keeping on. This was mostly meant as a quick little hackathon that we did one weekend that was suppose to be quick. We didn’t want it to take forever because it didn’t need to.