DEV Community

Ali Spittel
Ali Spittel

Posted on • Updated on

Show off your first app!

I recently remembered the first web app that I built. It was part of my senior thesis in college -- I thought that adding a way to visualize the data I was working with would make the project more interactive and it would be able to reach more people.

It's far from perfect, and the version online is the second design and I also went through a big code refactor at some point.

I had also been writing code professionally as a software engineer for around a year when I wrote this (and was a computer science teaching assistant for a year before that), but it was just data science/analysis code instead of code for the web.

I learned a lot with the project, and a lot of that knowledge has carried over to work even recently!

The app is here:! You can see the about page for more about it, and the source code is also linked in the footer!

What was your first app? Is it still online? Show it off below in the comments!

Discussion (106)

vintharas profile image
Jaime 🔥🧙‍♂️🔥

Behold! The first website I built was when I was 12ish and managed a Age of Empires/Kings clan. I can't believe it is still there after 20+ years:

(Brace yourselves)

(No. Really. Brace yourself)

Curiously, the next time I did any web development was 15 years later xD

rpalo profile image
Ryan Palo

This is the beauty of the Web that I came here to see.

chrisrhymes profile image
C.S. Rhymes

I remember using yahoo geo cities to build a site many years ago. I would have been very happy at the time if it looked that good as that.

therealkevinard profile image
Kevin Ard

Tripods are still online?!?!? Now I wonder if mine are still there :)

ld00d profile image
Brian Lampe

I miss frames

m0ntassar profile image
Montassar JDIDI

I accidentally hit wappalyser chrome extension button, it literally said "No technologies detected." xD

vintharas profile image
Jaime 🔥🧙‍♂️🔥

No technologies were used in the making of this website XDDD

jamesmh profile image
James Hickey

This makes me feel so many nostalgic emotions. Boss.

biros profile image
Boris Jamot ✊ /

It's so vintage!
I love minimal design :D

vintharas profile image
Jaime 🔥🧙‍♂️🔥

hahaha YES! If you were to describe this design with just one word it would definitely be minimalistic :D

aimerib profile image
Aimeri Baddouh

A true hipster, ahead of the curve in the minimalism movement! He Marie Kondo-ed (or Kondomari) his whole website and disposed of anything that didn't spark joy ✨🙌

Thread Thread
vintharas profile image
Jaime 🔥🧙‍♂️🔥


rhereja profile image
Roberto Hereja

My first application is a web platform for elementary and middle school online education

soapdog profile image
Andre Garzia

Behold! A client for Blogger. It allowed you to post to your blogs from the comfort of your desktop. I built this for MacOS Classic back in the day.

Blogger client app running on MacOS Classic

Also it has a cute splash screen:

iBlog splash screen

I miss doing desktop apps a lot.

aimerib profile image
Aimeri Baddouh

What about building Electron Desktop apps? These days you might even be able to replicate most of the functionality in MacOS classic...

soapdog profile image
Andre Garzia

To be honest, I don't like Electron. You end up with multiple chrome engines running on the same machine wasting resources. I love web technologies but I'd rather use something less wasteful on the desktop. Thanks a lot for the reply though. I wish all those electron apps were sharing a runtime.

edkahara profile image
Edward Njoroge • Edited on

I recently built my first mobile app. I decided to learn react native by building a simple chess clock (for android). If you have an android phone, you can download the apk and check out the repo


aimerib profile image
Aimeri Baddouh

I've been getting into React-Native recently myself. What was your biggest road-block to getting started?

edkahara profile image
Edward Njoroge

My biggest road block was probably wasting time with video tutorials. I knew what I wanted to build before I started react native. The tutorials weren't helpful so as soon as I decided to just learn as I was building it, things went smoothly.

Thread Thread
aimerib profile image
Aimeri Baddouh

That's funny, because I struggle with a lot of that too. Often I'll watch video tutorials thinking they will help me as long as I follow along, but what I've been quickly realizing is that: 1. They often give me a false sense of security in thinking that I know more than I do since I'm familiar with how code should look like, and 2. that I enjoy watching those more as entertainment than as a learning tool.
I do find a lot of value in written material though.

berniwittmann profile image
Bernhard Wittmann • Edited on

My first real app was a tournament and game schedule administration for sport events of my local sports club. It was done with the MEAN stack and especially the backend contains a lot of spaghetti code and is the pure callback hell 😣 However I'm still proud of it ☺️ Check it out below

BerniWittmann / spielplanismaning

Spielplan Beachturniere Ismaning


GitHub version Code Climate Test Coverage

Spielplan - System für die Beachturniere in Ismaning


Hier findest du die Dokumentation

Build Status

Umgebung Build-Status
Testumgebung Build Status
Produktionsumgebung Build Status




npm install && bower install


gulp test

Server Start


gulp build

Lokal über gulp

gulp serve

oder für Serve aus dem dist

gulp serve:dist


npm start


  1. Neuen Branch von develop erstellen
  2. Änderungen in mehreren kleinen Commits auf Branch
  3. gulp versioning task ausführen
  4. push to origin (inkl. tags)
  5. Pull-Request erstellen
  6. Tests und Code-Analyse laufen automatisch. Pull-Request kann nur bei erfolgreichen Tests und nach Approval gemergt werden. Möglichst auch alle Code-Climate Issues beheben.
  7. Pull-Request mergen

lkreimann profile image
Lea Reimann 🦄

Callback hell 😈 I know that feel :(

lauragift21 profile image
Gift Egwuenu

My first was for my dissertation for my first degree. I built a human rights NGO website with just a little knowledge of HTML, CSS and JS. My only regret is I wasn't aware of Git and Github so I've lost the files. 😢

puritanic profile image
Darkø Tasevski

I've left this as a reminder how far have I come on my journey :) Not my first first project, as I wrote a bunch of Greasemonkey scripts for online browser games, but the first project after I've decided that I want to work as a developer for real :)

aimerib profile image
Aimeri Baddouh

Was this for the curriculum?

puritanic profile image
Darkø Tasevski

Yep :)

Thread Thread
aimerib profile image
Aimeri Baddouh

I went through a lot of their course in my early days! It was such a good experience, and so empowering! It felt really nostalgic to see the tribute page again!
I've kept mine for posterity too!

pranavpandey profile image
Pranav Pandey • Edited on

I developed a Stopwatch for Sony Small Apps API for Android in 2013. It is still live on Google Play with over 85K downloads.

Later, I made most of the code open source in the form of a library which is available on GitHub.

Stopwatch Small App

detunized profile image
Dmitry Yakimenko

I built my first app in x86 16-bit assembly when the OS looked like this:


or at best like this:


and had no multitasking. I built a resident (or TSR) text mode screenshot grabber one could invoke by a keypress and it would save a screen buffer to the floppy. Ancient stuff =)

moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

My first TSR (that I let other people get their hands on) decremented the clock counter twice per tick. That meant that the Windows 3 screensaver clock appeared to run backwards. This was very clever, to my juvenile brain.

detunized profile image
Dmitry Yakimenko

Back in those days the viruses were so innocent. Like playing a tune every day at 5 o'clock or flashing red frame around the screen once in a while. Not like ransomware of today :-[

matthewbdaly profile image
Matthew Daly

The first actual web app I built solo was also my first solo professional web app. It was called Pagepooch and it was a price and page tracker - you'd submit a web page using a bookmarklet and it would either track the price of a product as it changed, or track changes to the page content. It was built with CodeIgniter 2 and had a companion Phonegap app.

It's no longer active but you can see it at

horus_sky profile image
Cedric W

One of the first sites I created was a one page site back in 2009. It showcased an internet puppet show call Tank Talk: The Shark and Ray Show, sponsored by The McWane Science Center in Alabama. Some of the shows are still on youtube:

But it was just a simple one pager to display the youtube videos.

tank talk

darkain profile image
Vincent Milum Jr

My first published app... Something like 20 years ago..?

I wrote an application to allow an infrared remote to control playback of music on Winamp. Today, we can just talk to computers... But imagine two decades ago being able to control a computer from across the room. This was still the age of dialup computers. Almost nobody had a home network at all, wifi wasn't really a thing yet... But despite this, I gave people a tool to wirelessly control their media experiences!

tvanantwerp profile image
Tom VanAntwerp

I hesitate to even call it an app, as there is zero CRUD or backend of any kind. But it's the first thing I built in React, after which I started using React a whole lot more. The site is an interactive exploration of state-level tax data:

Screenshot of

drhoneydew22 profile image
David Lanaway

My first web app would have been a university assignment from a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. As for my first Android app: Apocalypse Cow. Made primarily to learn some Java and OO programming, and to have a go at making a game.

jinojossy93 profile image

My first website was my own portfolio and is still online 😀

ianandhum profile image
Anandhu Manoj

hey keralite!!!

jinojossy93 profile image

Back at you bro

Thread Thread
ianandhum profile image
Anandhu Manoj


moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair • Edited on

Ironically enough, none of my early "apps" still work - if you take "app" in the modern sense to mean a web or mobile application. They all rely on combinations of Perl and C and CGIs and stuff. One I found mentions that it "should" work with the new Debian 3 and Internet Explorer 6. Too much hassle to try to sort that lot out.

The earliest thing I found that was self-contained, given to the world at large, and still runs, seems to be a game of 3d naughts and crosses ("tic-tac-toe" to some of you). You can download it for DOS from where it seems to have been uploaded sometime in 1993. This may be a time period before you were born, but fear not. We had scared away most of the dinosaurs by the late 1970s. You can play it if you use something like DOSBox



jamesmh profile image
James Hickey • Edited on

After my first year of programming (at school), I created a 100% voice-drive children's game with .NET tech. It's the pinnacle of UI excellence 😜

Here's an old youtube video of me demoing it 🤷‍♂️

benprax profile image
Ben Prax

I didn't know you could do speech recognition back then. Very interesting 👍

jamesmh profile image
James Hickey

Most tech we come across is usually actually pretty old - just wrapped up in a prettier package 😂

Thread Thread
benprax profile image
Ben Prax

Right!! 😄🎉

ilrock__ profile image
Andrea Rocca 👨‍🍳 • Edited on

The actual app doesn't even look too bad. But the code. Oh boy, the code. I switched the repo to private just so that people can't have a look at it


joehobot profile image
Joe Hobot

Wish I could but yahoo pages are long gone.

In a nutshell it was a web app for AIM/AOL "hackers" - build a small app that would change colors on AOL Chat. Shared vast html pages as "blog posts" on how to do stuff.

Yup I feel "old" now, just writing this ^ .

yechielk profile image
Yechiel Kalmenson

My first web app was FlyLog, a logbook for student pilots written in Rails.

I wrote it to remind me the real reason I was learning webdev, so that I can hopefully afford to get my Private Pilot's License one day 😂

Here's the blog post I wrote about it:

fredericbonnet profile image
Frédéric Bonnet

I believe it was a 3D wireframe X-Wing viewer I wrote on my Atari ST using GFA Basic circa 1990. I first designed the X-Wing on paper before writing all the coordinates in arrays. I then did some research and calculations on 3D coordinate systems, perspectives, etc. at my college library, and wrote conversion routines to display the X-Wing in wireframe. Lastly I added keybindings to change the perspective mode, move and rotate the model, and toggle anaglyph stereo mode.

jaimetrejo profile image
Jaime Trejo

This was my first app a little silly, but it helped me learn a lot.

Title Screen
Game Selection

learnbyexample profile image

My first and only mobile app (which was based on an idea I had in school and then implemented a basic version in hardware with my friends in college) was Square Tic Tac Toe - not sure if it works fine on newer versions of Android

The idea when it started was simple - instead of same old making a line for Tic Tac Toe, make a square on 4x4 board. Am from ECE background, knew only programming basics and had Java as a subject in school days. Still, I had quit my job and had plenty of time on hand. The result was multiple 1000+ lines of spaghetti monster created over a year of coding, static and global variables all over the place, cannot create two objects of a class without crashing, etc. The game suffered from poor UI/UX and feature creep. Yet, I am proud that I was able to release a working game.

SquareBoard4Medium SquareBoard6Hard

To spice up Tic Tac Toe for higher board size, I introduced varying line sizes and blocking moves:


I tried to rewrite for public release, but lost interest. Only a small part of it is now present on Github - it has computer playing logic for generic NxN Tic Tac Toe board (with line size fixed at N)

For years, I've been wanting to take a shot at it again using Python (as a reason to learn Python GUI modules), who knows I might even take the first step this year.

mjb2kmn profile image
MN Mark

The first thing I'd consider an "app", I built to make my job easier previous to being employed as a software developer.
It was a hideous mess of "clever" php spaghetti code, although as ugly as it was, it turned 30 minutes of manual effort to build a report into a single HTML form with less than 5 minutes of runtime.

Before long my various bosses had me building functionality for them and other departments.

About 2 years later I landed my first Software Engineer job at 29 years old. Better late than never!

bouzaf profile image

My first app(the first that I took the courage to publish) is a simple note-taking app for Android.
At the moment is all saved locally but I plan to include some online sync functionality in the future.
I also put together this text-editor because I didn't like the one I was currently using.

karlredman profile image
Karl N. Redman • Edited on

This was my first public release of something (before a long line of NDA's -which caused me not to release anything publicly again until much later):

In 2001 I released run-free (later updated in 2004). It was the first popular command line execution platform via GTK gui at the time. By 2005 having a command line execution 'thing' from X11 based systems was all the rage. But I did gain some popularity on (defunct) back in the day.

The old c (original) and c++ (2004) code is hosted on sourceforge and mirrored on github.

It might be interesting to browse the sources these days for fun and to see how we published stuff 15 years ago+....

Here's a screenshot: run-free (2004)

creynl profile image
Chris • Edited on

Throughout Lambda School before we had build weeks we had to build a note taking app. The front end after the front end curriculum and the back end after the back end curriculum. I decided to style it up a bit extra after Google's note taking app Google Keep


Not the very first project I've built(that would be this) but definitely the first deployed full stack app I've ever built

thepassle profile image
Pascal Schilp • Edited on

One of the first apps I made and actually put online was a tool to practice advanced techniques for Super Smash Bros Melee on the Nintendo GameCube 🙈

I was a total noob at the time, both at SSBM and writing code, so the code is abysmal, but the tool was actually really useful. It's basically a metronome that plays a sound on when you should input a particular button to practice an advanced move or technique in the game, and it helps to develop the muscle memory for it. The coolest thing was that I could plugin my USB gamecube controller and practice.

I recently took it offline, but it got quite a lot of users in the first couple of years I put it online which was really cool to see and a massive confidence boost; it's really nice to make something that helps people and that people like to use to get better.


david_j_eddy profile image
David J Eddy

Starcraft 'clan' site using the game elements for the UI.

3 panel iframe (no borders! \o/) from HTML 3 I think it was. JS image mouse-over effect applied to the menu items.

Died sometime in 1997 / 1998.

karmacode00 profile image
Andrea Lafertte

Last year I started a coding bootcamp, sadly I couldn't finish it due to health issues, but I went back last November and this is the first web I made the second time I was there:

victoredier profile image
Victor Edier

I do remember three projects:

  • a tic-tac-toe game than never lost (it always starts first) it was a horrible code.
  • a Galaxy game, in turbo C++ (yeah TURBO C++), the cool part was we create another app to record the movements of the enemy ships
  • a Matrix Gauss Jordan Reduction Calculator, I was so proud of it, also written in C
conw_y profile image
Jonathan • Edited on

This is such a cool topic. Thanks for posting it, Ali!

My first three web apps:

A faster, snappier way to snag the right emoji!
Screenshot of the main screen of Emojipedia²

Mobile app for tracking calorie & cost per meal.
Screenshot of the main screen of EatPayLove

Mobile copy-paste text templates.
Screenshot of the main screen of Pasta

I wrote a few other apps much longer ago, targeting MS-DOS (Batch files) and then Windows (VB6), but those are unfortunately lost to the graveyard of crashed hard drives. 😄

neurodynamicdev profile image
Mark Stewart

The first one I remember building was for practicing different gender pronouns. Here's the first version of it:

Getting the "__ is"/"__ are" radio buttons to fill in with the first-person singular pronoun of choice is the first thing I remember ever doing with JavaScript. Still feels magical.

I rewrote it a while later to be front-end-only with React so as not to have to pay for hosting:

vitalipom profile image
Vitali Pomanitski • Edited on

Hi Ali ^^
My first real app is effected keybooard, it's a keyboard that visualise your typing on phone as you type. It's still available on the google play store and available for download, you can see it here [link below] it's not yet complete with full animations, but it's super comfortable keyboard if you're using Android with vim like experience. Feel free to download and comment below as well: [btw I'm glad you're writing L]

chrisrhymes profile image
C.S. Rhymes • Edited on

A few years ago I wanted to learn more about angular so I built an app with ionic called Project Name Generator. Ironically, the idea came about as I couldn’t think of a name for my project. I think it’s still available on Google Play.

desi profile image

This is the first thing I made, and it was recent - a Glitch remix to help you generate file or project names... coming from someone with one too many “hdiekwjwi.ext” files on her computer:

I wish Geocities was still up for me to recover my first forays into HTML!

uddeshjain profile image
Uddesh • Edited on

My very first WebApp was a weather finder, it was very basic and build with react.js but serves the purpose what it is made for.

Click here to visit.


jacoby profile image
Dave Jacoby

Summer of 1997? I was working for IT support for the engineering schools while majoring in CS, and a responsibility was maintaining the paper checkout system for the documentation library, which included several bookshelves of O'Reillys.

It was all flat-file DBs because I didn't yet understand Berkeley DB, much less SQL, but it contained author and links to Amazon based on ISBN for more information.

tinsoldier6 profile image
Jason Gade

I've always been a dabbler in coding, for 35+ years! Most of the things that I've written were small tools for work purposes, including log searching in C-Shell and AWK and form work in Microsoft Word using VBA.

One of the few non-work-related things that I did back in 2007 was a Javascript RPG die roller, which include photos that I took of my dice (D4, D6, D8, D10, D12, and D20). I still have the code, I should upload it to GitHub.

parthchokshi profile image
Parth Chokshi

Ah! This is interesting. I cloned Microsoft Notepad after I learned Java Swing in my college days and named it TextWrooo. Here is the jar file:

equiman profile image
Camilo Martinez • Edited on

It's already online

Equimanthorn - BATHORY en Español

Since 1997 when I was learning PHP + MySQL and a lot of Frames 🤷🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️

abdallahmezo profile image
Abdallah Ebrahim

Back to 2016 When I started to learn how to create web pages using HTML, CSS and JavaScript, Was fanatic to create a clean design and layout as design was my ex-career.
My first page after watching tutorials and W3School :

islam profile image
Islam Sayed

The first app was a hangman game app. It was called "guesso". It was not responsive and contained redundant code. It was far from any best practice. Built with HTML, CSS, and Javascript.I built it after 3 months from starting learning web development and UI was designed by my wife. It should be played over desktop or tab.

svijaykoushik profile image
Vijay Koushik, S. 👨🏽‍💻

My first app was a notification tray applet that chimes every hour. I built it to send an musical alert every hour to withdraw myself from spending too much time playing games since my mom wouldn't stop scolding me for spending hours playing games. And it worked! 😎

svijaykoushik / clockalert

A time management system tray applet that chimes every hour like a clock

Clock Alert

Download Clock Alert Platform support License

Dont know time flying by when you're engaged with your computer then Clock Alert is the right solution for you.

Clock alert is a simple application that sits on the windows system tray and monitors your system clock. After each hour passes the app alerts you with an audio notification. It helps people who work with computers and gamers alike to keep track of time they spend in front of their desktops & laptops.

install guidelines

Download Clock Alert

1. Download Clock Alert 1_2_1 file (latest version)
2. Extract the zip file to a well known location on your computer. E.g. Desktop
3. Go to the location where you extracted the files
4. Open the Clock Alert 1.2.1 setup.msi file to open Clock Alert installation wizard
5. Follow the installer instructions on screen to install clock alert.

    For more detailed instructions, checkout the Instrctions.txt file that is bundled along with
kbocz profile image
Kris Bocz

My first ever live website (it's not really an 'app') was an events website I did at work in 2002 (I worked as a web editor then): HTML and CSS only, tables for layout, scrolling marquee (eek...), no JS or back-end. I had only started learning HTML and CSS about a year before, using 'View source' and Notepad.
It's no longer live but the Wayback Machine never forgets:)

sergio profile image
deleteme deleteme

My first application was FastFlick, built during some year in college, can't remember when.

I've always been the type of programmer to build stuff I want to dogfood and always keeping the human in mind. If my software was hard to use, nobody will use it I always thought to myself - still do.

It's fun checking out my first project! Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

finnurtest profile image
Finnur Eiríksson 🇮🇸

My first was Garfield of the day about 18 years ago. It was never online, only ran it on a local server at work.

I had no idea what I was doing, used it to learn php. Each day a new Garfield comic was published on Filename was YYYY-MM-DD so I used date functions to construct the filename and display the comic in an image tag. Then I added prev and next buttons and date input so I could navigate between different comics.

andersjr1984 profile image

I made a page showcasing awesome Madden NFL '99 trades that I had figured out when I was 15 years old in 1999. After not doing any web development for 19 years, I took a Code Academy course two months ago and have since made the two following sites using React and Firebase Back-End Architecture:



I am a bit obsessive.

dirkncl profile image
Dirk Levinus Nicolaas

This is my first and first program that can be online.

Before I entered the programmer community, I was very proud to be able to make a small program that could be online. But now I'm embarrassed myself, because it turns out my program is just a dust among the programs that I know.

But I'm proud too, because I am among great people. Let's see who are the contributors at and I am among them.

wizkid_alex profile image
Alex Oladele

Being the huge fan of Frank Ocean that I am, I made a Frank Ocean twitter bot to tweet random Frank Ocean lyrics every 2-ish hours. I had just learned databases more in-depth, so I was looking to see how I could connect code to a database, and this is what spawned. The code is very bad, but I was very proud of it!

Github link

andreasjakof profile image
Andreas Jakof • Edited on

Aside from little things in school during CS, my first App, which was completly mine, was a small countdown timer, written in Delphi.
During my studies, I just met my future wife. But soon after we met, she left for home over the semester break.
I was (and still am 15 years later) fully in love and couldn‘t wait for us to see each other again. So I sat down and wrote that little countdown timer, to show me, how much waiting was still ahead.

The hardest part was, to make the title in the task bar change, even when it was minimized. I had no idea of events and background threads at the time and learned quite a bit, since it was also my first app in Delphi.

I don‘t have it anymore. And I guess I would do the same thing now in about an hour or two. But I still think fondly of it.