Cover image for How I created devchallenges.io in just 3 Months in my free time

How I created devchallenges.io in just 3 Months in my free time

nghiemthu profile image Thu Nghiem ใƒป3 min read

About me

Hi I am Thu. I am from Vietnam and I moved to Finland 5 years ago (all alone..). I came to study and I got my first job as a game programmer just after 1.5 year of self-studying. Later I got a job as a web developer in one of the biggest company in Finland - Telia. I am working as Developer/Scrum master in the team.

Now I am at the point where going to work everyday become a bit boring, so I decided to do something different. I started to make devchallenges.io after seeing people sharing their stories in dev.to and here is how I make it happen.


Week 1

I gathered inspirations from different sources for designing the website. Most of my time I spent on Dribbble, I picked several designs and I use the colors from them.

After few days, I had a rough idea of what I wanted to do. Then I used Figma - a free tool for design to draw quickly designs in just one weekend.

Alt Text

Week 2 - Week 3

I worked hard in these 2 weeks translating my idea to Code and I completed 75% of application - both frontend and backend

Week 4 - Week 8

The next step is to design challenges.

This is the most challenging part as I have to come up with the ideas and designs. But I manage to do 16 designs at the end by reading different articles and Dribbble :)

Week 9 - Week 12

The last step is to put everything together. There are time when I wanted to give up as I thought it's never going to complete.

There were many I have to redo because it does not make sense when it comes together. But a good thing is whenever I shared my work to my friends they all think that the designs looks goods and it moves me forward.

What I use

I use all the free stuffs here :)




  • Firebase - I use for hosting, authenticate, database,.. everything it offers.
  • Express - To create RESTful API


How I keep it look professional

When it come to design a website, I want it to look good. And there is no secret to it, as long I keep my spacing and color consistent, it will turn out well eventually.

By using CSS and Sass variables, I manage to do it with ease.

Because I make it look so clean, many of my friends keep asking if this is free. Yes it is free, I am not selling a damn thing there :)))

What next

I will continue work on devchallenges.io and make it better. I already see the first users and I hope there will be more.

I am planning to create a youtube channel where I share my stories and share my experience.

The end

So thank you for reading, I hope this will help you in your personal projects or somehow motivate people to do what I do. And if you want to improve your portfolio then checkout https://devchallenges.io/.

Feel free to leave me a comment.

Posted on by:

nghiemthu profile

Thu Nghiem


Creator of devchallenges.io, Software developer at Telia Finland


Editor guide

Thu, your site is really really beautiful, sleek, modern, sexy and VERY practical! It's such a great idea. I was looking for something like that to practice my skills. Thank you for sharing it. Just followed you.


Thank you so much for your comment Rodolfo. Hopefully to see you more in the future :)


Incredible work!!Congratulations!!!I am 60 to 70% in the Junior category right now and I can imagine how hard is to build this site !!!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘


The hardest part for me was not to give up :) thank you for your kind words


I understand completely !!


This looks really nice and professional. Thanks for making this for the web!

Could you share what did you study in Finland and how was your life moving there all alone? I am exploring postgraduate study opportunities. Thanks!


I studied Business IT. I was a real struggle at the beginning - didn't know what I wanted, didn't have enough money to buy what I want. But I was lucky to meet nice people but still hard to do everything alone.

I have a nice job currently and people at work are super nice. Last year, I bought my own apartment and now I am living my best life :)).

I do plan to share my life in my youtube channel in the future, glad that someone was curious


I bet you are happy with your decision and I am happy for you. Please do share more in your channel.๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป


And Now I am waiting for that full-stack path.

Meanwhile I will try other paths. Cool Stuff!


I am working on it atm, you can try Discord for updates :)


Hey dude congrats for your work looks fancy, and its a an amazing work just for u


Thank you dude :)!


yes I'll consider that in the future thanks for suggestion


This is great. Do you have a revenue model?


I have some in mind. But I don't expect too much. I do this because I want to start my own youtube channel. I really hope it will help people more than I earn more money. Tax in Finland is really high :))


AMAZING! I been meaning to look for something like this. Thank you!


nice to hear, I hope you will have a fun time with it :)


Thank you so much!


This really looks perfect to upskill myself. I should thank you for this.
Just a suggestion. Please have the Sidebar(navbar) fixed and let the scrolling be in the content area.


I'll add it to the todo list, please join Discord, you can suggest more features there :)


Awesome work, glad to be a small part of the bigger picture! ๐Ÿ‘


This is so cool๐Ÿ™Œ


Seem interesting, maybe you can put patreon or bitcoin donation at bottom..
I will try to solve any problem listed due i learning frontend developer with vue


Sounds great, I'll design more challenges. and yeah patreon may sound easier to do :)


Wow, thank you for the inspiration for me โ™ฅ .


happy to hear. Please share it if you can :)


I am inspired. How long will it take me to learn figma?


learning the tool is not difficult, but learning the concept is.

I think it will take you 2 days to learn how to use the tool. I am not so sure how long to learn to concept, I learned designing 4 years ago and bit by bit improving over the time :)


What did you do for state management, like were context and hooks enough.
Did you use useReducer


Thanks for your inspiration.
P/s: hay quรก anh ฦกi :D


haha thank you and minh con tre lam :)


Thank you :)


This gonna help me a lot. The site looks awesome.


haha nice to hear :)


Love the simplicity. I'll give it a go 'cause I'm learning frontend at the moment and looking for practice opportunities.


Xin chao! Glad you like it, and best of luck with your studying :)