Blog Post

      My First Flask Application


      I wrote my first Flask application over a long weekend in 2016. I'd never programmed an application from top to bottom before, and starting from scratch was like drinking information from a firehose.

      My end goal was to put an application on the web that would utilize Ebay's API to look at the sales potential of item lists that were provided to me via Excel docs or a webpage. I would gather data from either a CSV import or by screen scraping it from a site my friend managed, and then feed it to Ebay's Finder API to gather item lists for interpretation about how often an item sold, when it had last sold, etc. Now, a great way to have handled this project would have been to map out exactly what I intended to build, including the pages that I was going to include on my site, the packages I was going to use for the screen-scraping, what my application was going to look like. But the truth is that planning has never been my strong suit, so I dove in head first and stated coding.

      It took me a couple of days to finish the initial project, one giant file full of templates, filters, helpers, views, one screen scraper, one CSV import module, a bunch of terrible looking HTML and some particularly mediocre javascript. But it existed, and it (mostly) worked!

      So I went to meet with the friend that I'd built it for. I was super proud of the work I'd done, about how quickly I'd learned something new and how well the app worked, and he kind of shrugged and started pointing out the things it didn't do. So I learned something about user expectations in the 21st century, and exactly what it would take to build a successful app.

      Next time I'll post about how I took the next big step with that little app and got it on the internet.

      This site was built with Flask - a Python framework.