Typical Backend For Side Projects

There are many side projects that I usually work on. Part of the reason is to actually see what the world outside my work is doing. That is my way of making sure that I actually understand open source libraries and infrastructure since I dig those.

Over the years, I have played with lot of different hosting solutions ranging from EC2, Google App Engine, Google Cloud Compute, Meteor and Heroku. Some of these are really different genre of products so they don’t really belong in one list. What I mean by that is that Google App Engine is nothing like EC2 or Google Cloud Compute (which are similar). Meteor is nothing like Heroku. Meteor has galaxy now which can host your meteor apps which is more closer to heroku.

Another thing that is very important is I am only talking about side projects in this blog post. So, nothing ground breaking that has internet flocking to my site. Because, that would require serious engineering and then which hosting solution you end up using doesn’t hurt you so much. You probably can figure out parallels among them and make it scale if you have engineering clout and yes that is a big ‘if’.

So, yes for side projects and getting something running quickly – my personal favourites are Google App Engine and Meteor (with their free hosting). Incidently those are the ones where machine details are hidden from me and I can just code, test locally and deploy without worrying about which datastore I should use and details like sharding, replication, load testing, etc. Other proper hosting solutions are too much engineering heavy that they take the fun out of side project – it ends up being my main job in that case.

That said, be careful with that advice – the minute something is successful, you probably have to roll up your sleeves and get into hard engineering problem to get your service to scale or hire someone to do it. But, then again that is good problem to have and more often than not, you will definitely find someone to help you once you got a taste of success.

P.S.: By the way, writing blog posts in pelican is so amazing experience. I just wrote two blog posts back to back in vim without having to touch mouse. Loving this setup. Details are in previous post.

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