How To Build Your First Angular JS Application

If you’re looking to learn a new front-end framework, you could do a lot worse than Angular JS. I spent several months debating whether or not I should learn a front end framework at all but upon deciding that it’d be a good idea, put the question out to the Slack chat room I’m part of. The opinions came in thick and fast:

The best framework to learn is Ember.js

There is no point learning Angular as they’re going to rewrite it for the launch of Angular 2.0

Why don’t you learn React? Everyone wants to learn React!

The reality, which I learned only after starting was that it doesn’t really matter. Just pick one and run with it. It was by developing in Angular that I was able to build my first single page applications Credit Card Airline Points. Learning this exposed me to task automation with Gulp (I’d already done a bit in Grunt) as well as proper project structure, scripting tools like Jade and Sass and using them through a package manager like NPM and Bower.

If you’re looking to build your first Angular JS application, here is what I’d recommend you do:

  1. Pick a realistic but worthwhile goal. Don’t build another fucking to-do list, build something that you yourself would actually use. In my case, I collect airline points by churning credit cards so this app made a lot of sense to me. The challenge was steep but the end goal made it wortwhile.
  2. With your goal in mind, start mapping out your project and figure out the most simplistic version you could build that could actually be delivered. In my case, I wanted to do all sorts with custom user inputs and compare long-term spend cards to signup bonus cards. The reality is, people don’t really care anyway and I’ve not spent enough time tracking use to see if many people are even using the app. Launch something, get some feedback and iterate on it.
  3. Hire a tutor if you need to – I spent $350 on a tutor to help me break through the roadblocks I knew I’d face. As a beginner, something simple like forgetting a closing semi-colon can take hours to debug and can often be enough to sap all your momentum. Working with a tutor helped me break through these roadblocks and get my application launched.
  4. Build it properly – use version control, continuous integration and proper package management. These things are incredibly useful on your build and make it easy for you and your tutor to work collaboratively. Don’t plan to retrofit this stuff – build it right from the start.

Time For A Rethink

I know, I know…this is a pretty bland site for someone claiming to be a WordPress developer. The truth is, this isn’t my first site and nor is it the first site to live on this domain. I’ve been working for myself since the end of 2008 and since then, my business ventures have undergone a series of evolutions. I’ve decided that I’m going to use my site to not only market myself as a web developer and showcase some of my projects, but also as means for interacting with interesting people through my podcast.

I’ve spread myself way too thin over these past few years and I’m going to condense it all down into this single site. Over time, I’m hoping that the site itself becomes a condensed version of what I’m working on and that I strip away all the shit that is just a distraction. That’s the hope anyway, we’ll see what the reality looks like.

So, please don’t be put off by the fact I’m just using this basic iteration of Genesis theme to start off. There is going to be some great WordPress-related content coming your way very soon and the site itself will be tarted up as well. I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few years being distracted by stuff and my WordPress theme was something that I couldn’t allow to get in the way of me actually getting my site up and pumping out some content!

Episode 11: Interview with Mike Michelini of Global From Asia

Another fantastic interview, this time with Mike Michelini of Global From Asia. Mike is a US-native who, after importing from China for several years, moved himself and his business to the far east where he’s now focused on training and actually brining high quality goods back into China rather than sending them the other way.

Learn about the pros and cons of basing your business in China and the lessons Mike gained from his years of trading in both directions and from both countries.

Episode 10: How To Create a WordPress Website

Why You Should Create A Website

Whether you’re looking to test an idea, start a blog to build an audience or trial selling your new product or service online, using a website offers one of the cheapest and most cost-effective platforms on which you can start, build and grow.

While I outlined a few options in Episode #7 around testing and using services like Unbounce or LeadPages to throw up a landing page, going the extra mile and using WordPress:

  • Offers you room to grow your idea beyong a landing page into a site, forum, podcasting platform, e-commerce system etc
  • Is free or cheap (vs. the +$50/month you’ll pay for a landing page testing service)
  • Helps you to understand the processes and systems that power a website – a valuable piece of knowledge for outsourcing later on.

How To Create A Website

You have two options here – a cheap option that comes free with no headaches or drama and a free option that comes with some head scratching for the uninitiated.


Contact me and I’ll provide you with one of my freelancers who can do it for around $50.

DIY Option

  1. Register a domain name with Namecheap
  2. Setup a hosting account with Hostinger (free) or Siteground (paid but great value).
  3. Get the nameservers from your web host, open a support ticket if you can’t find them.
  4. Point your domain to your web host’s nameservers.
  5. Install WordPress (work through options)
    1. By asking your webhost to do it for you
    2. Or by using a scripted service like Fantastico
    3. Or by downloading from, uploading with Filezilla and using your web host’s cPanel interface to setup a database for your website.
  6. Login to your site, add some content and drive customers to it.

Mentioned In This Podcast

Episode 9: Interview with Elisa Doucette

From here on, I’m all about simplicity so the thoughts section will be brieft! This is a great interview with Elisa Doucette who runs a content writing and marketing agency and spent some time out in SE Asia work with Dan and Ian at The Tropical MBA.