📟 the server

or, what used to be the hard part



sometimes in our trade it can be difficult to avoid the “not invented here” feeling. you want to start things fresh, build everything in-house and have control over the whole stack. indeed, 5 years ago, i was of this mindset when i wrote this part of the guide: +📟 appendix: setting up a self-hosted server (now moved to an appendix if it’s interesting to anyone).

but much like the OSI model of layering i think a new abstraction has arisen in the form of tech like Vercel. it abstracts away some of the complexity of hosting servers, running APIs, scaling, etc. this of course takes away some of your control as a developer but significantly reduces the cognitive load to help you just work on building a great product.

when i worked on my open source project all-the-things it was originally a fork of create-react-app and the missing piece, to me, was that it was purely client-side and lacked server-side rendering (or server anything, for that matter). so my own tinkering was to attempting to build a shadow of what Vercel has become. indeed, i’ve now switched the all-the-things app to be Next.js based and i enthusiastically and emphatically recommend Vercel for most basic needs when starting a new project!