30 Hour Jobs Version 2

After many hours of work, 30 Hour Jobs version 2 is live! I'm excited to launch this new design and complete rebuild of the site. Previously, I had been using online services to create the website and host the job board. Additionally, managing the site involved a lot of manual work to send out the weekly email newsletter.

Some History

30 Hour Jobs started as an idea I had one night in February. I was pretty tired from a long work week, and I thought it would be nice to work less. In fact, I thought everyone should work less if they wanted to. After a bit of research on the internet, I found that I wasn't the only one who had this idea.

I quickly jotted down a short pitch for anyone else who might be interested:

More hours worked doesn't mean more problems solved. In the age of thought-work and automation, a rested mind can lead to better work performance and work-life balance.
30 Hour Jobs is a job board for job seekers and employers who believe that shorter workweeks can lead to increased productivity and higher job satisfaction.

Once I was satisfied, I found a website builder and threw up a website in about 20 minutes. To my surprise, the domain 30hourjobs.com was also available so I went ahead and purchased that as well. I described the site as being a job board, but in reality, that was still just an idea. The site was just one page with a signup link to a mailing list.

With a couple dollars a month for a website builder and host, and a free Mailchimp account, I was able to get my idea up on the internet to share with others. It probably took less than 2 hours one night after work. Before going to sleep, I posted my new site on Hacker News and Lobsters to see what others think.

When I woke up, I was surprised to see that 30 Hour Jobs had been trending on both sites over night and my Mailchimp mailing list now had over 400 people signed up! Now that I had an audience of people waiting, I had to write a newsletter!

Fast-forward a few months and I have the newsletter going strong and I have a job board using a hosted job board solution with a handful of companies posting jobs somewhat regularly. The newsletter has over a thousand readers and the website has some decent traffic. So I started working on a custom built site.

Version 2

My goals for the new site were a cleaner design and better extensibility. While Carrd and Seeker are great for the proving out the concept, I wanted the freedom to do whatever I wanted with the site.

The new site is built using Django with just a bit of Vue.js in the browser for dynamic forms. I'm familiar with Django and I recommend it to anyone considering building a web app. The framework has been around for a very long time and there are well documented patterns for basically anything you need to do. I had never used Vue.js before, but it was attractive to me as an alternative to React which I have plenty of experience with. For the look, I used Tailwind CSS which I can't recommend enough – it's fantastic.

The most attractive aspect of Vue.js is that it does not require a runtime. This means that I can still use the javascript framework even though I'm rendering html on the server and have very little javascript.

Along with a nice design and a more cohesive experience on the site, I also added a company directory. The goal of this directory is to be a resource for those who are seeking a shorter work week. It's completely free to post your company in the directory and companies that post a job have their company added to the directory automatically.

Next Steps

Now that the new site is out I have several ideas of what to build next:

  • RSS feed: the previous job board had one and this is the only feature the new site does not have yet
  • Automated email newsletter: I need to create an automated email newsletter. I've stopped sending the weekly newsletter while I focus on the rebuild and I need to get back on it. Automatically sending subscribers the latest job posts will alleviate some manual labour.
  • Integrated blog: I'd like to move the blog content onto the same domain in order to have a consistent experience across all parts of the site. Right now it's hosted on an instance of Ghost. I would like to keep the content in Ghost and use the api to render the content on https://30hourjobs.com.
  • Search: once there is more content on the site, it will be helpful to filter the content. Postgres offers some powerful tools for this which I intend on exploring.
  • Social proof: I'd like to add some social proof to the site. I've had several people tell me that they've hired or have been hired through the site. I think adding some testimonials to the landing page will be good.
  • Whatever users want

I'm excited about what's to come for 30 Hour Jobs. If you have any requests, questions, or comments, hit me up at @nbrempel!

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