Among my responsibilities at Steamclock was maintaining our web presence and specifically the company blog. Posts were written in Markdown and compiled by Jekyll which provided us with the opportunity to use variables, known as Front Matter, to control certain aspects of the post experience. Modifying the markdown files was possible in any code editor but it could sometimes be easy to overlook whether or not certain Front Matter variables had been defined.
I thought that maybe there could be a better way to keep track of which variables we need, which are optional, how each one applies to the output, and which are missing. After a quick trip to Figma I had the outline of what seemed like it could be a reasonable app, the only problem was our development team didn't have the bandwidth to take on a side project and I had never written a line of code that wasn't meant for the web.
Turns out, my familiarity with HTML & CSS gave me enough of a foundational knowledge to pick up with SwiftUI and I was able to write a prototype within just a few days. The result was a simple app:
open a Markdown file
display the Front Matter in a sidebar
allow us to edit the post content
allow us to edit the Front Matter variables
Prototype macOS app
Plans were quickly drafted for what a future version of the app could look like and I got back to work in Figma applying some polish outside of the core post editor interface.
Unfortunately the project never reached a releasable state but the time I spent learning SwiftUI paid dividends soon enough as I was able to help with front-end UI work on the Ora Organic project.