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Building Makr App

makr2 min read

Makr App

The genesis

My idea for makr.tech came, as many product ideas do, out of frustration. Why am I keeping-up my LinkedIn profile, a résumé, a personal site, etc. separately? That’s a lot of wasted effort. I’ve put that I’m not looking for opportunities on LinkedIn, but yet, I receive several InMails per day from recruiters. Besides that, LinkedIn just doesn’t feel like it fits the tech industry. Networking? I’m doing that far more effectively on Twitter…

So, naturally I started dreaming-up what I would like to see. Something that looks polished, almost like a nice personal website that I would build myself. A platform that keeps recruiters at-bay, unless I’m actually looking for work. A flexible way to showcase my work - maybe using markdown and embeds. An app that respects my data and privacy, but also gives me access to page view and referral analytics. PDF exports for résumés.

That’s a lot. But isn’t it overdue?

Building Makr

When I had this idea (mid-2020), I tested my assumptions about what tech workers would like to see in a platform of this sort by blasting out a survey. I received feedback from a super wide variety of folks (137 in total): designers, UX researchers, engineers, engineering managers, product managers, technical writers, support engineers, QA engineers, developer experience advocates, marketing, and business development. The results were kind of surprising.

When given the prompt “Platforms like LinkedIn help convey skills, projects, and experience specific to my role”, the average response was 5.9/10 - with answers ranging from 3 to 8. That’s not great! The follow-up prompt of “I know how to best convey skills, projects, and experience specific to my role when applying for jobs” got an average response of 7.8/10, answers ranging from 6 to 10. So, for the most part, tech workers know how to convey their skills - but LinkedIn isn’t helping. When asked if they had their own personal website, less than 1% of respondents did. So people seem to be stuck.

With this data in-mind, I started building out the necessities of a profile: name, picture, title, pronouns, location, about me (free text). Besides that, there’s the usual timeline of where you’ve worked, studied, contracted, volunteered, etc. All the usual LinkedIn/Resume items.

Where the app started to diverge from others is in this idea of custom blocks. Since folks know how best to convey their “skills, projects, and experience” - why not let users get creative? For this, I’ve built a WYSIWYG editor that can handle images/attachments, code snippets, and certain embeds (these need to be one individually for security purposes). Users can also choose their own slug, so something like makr.tech/jonathan.

That’s fine and all, but it’s not enough. Moar features!

Where Makr is going

The original feature set was OK - but I knew Makr had so much more potential. To give you an idea of where things are and where they’re going, here’s a sneak peek at the feature set. I’ll denote what is on the roadmap.

Basic (FREE)

  • basic about me section
  • timeline cards
  • custom blocks with WYSIWYG or Markdown (Markdown in-progress)
  • Twitch, Twitter, Figma, Youtube, Vimeo embeds (more on roadmap)
  • choose your theme (in-progress)
  • export your data in JSON (on roadmap)

Pro (Paid)

  • everything in Basic
  • custom domain (on roadmap)
  • analytics (on roadmap)
  • custom Twitter and opengraph cards (in-progress)
  • resume export (on roadmap)
  • newsletter signup (on roadmap)
  • custom themes (in-progress)
  • remove Makr branding from footer (in-progress)

These features are just the start. I look forward to launching before all of these are shipped so I can hear from users. If you haven’t signed up to be on the Beta list, head to makr.tech and get on the list. Beta users will have the opportunity to get in first and will receive a generous discount on Pro when it’s ready.

© 2021 by Jonathan Speek