Have you ever wanted to print a label from home for any carrier you could imagine getting discounted rates all from a single application? Most people probably haven’t actually, but if you are a business owner, this probably sounds like something you’d need! I work for EasyPost, a company that creates a shipping API. We saw the various carriers in the world and thought “if only there were a way to connect to them all at once.” That’s exactly what we do. Developers can use our API to connect to hundreds of carriers instead of needing to build out connections to each carrier individually; we did all the hard work already.
I started on our IT team and eventually found I had some free time on my hands. Having developed for years, I wanted to get involved on the software side of things. I had never built an application that took advantage of an API before nor really knew how to use one. I didn’t even really know what all our product could do yet so I decided to build out a simple app at EasyPost that would allow me to ship cheap packages via USPS. EasyPost doesn’t provide a frontend currently for anyone to create a shipment and label from - I thought I’d take a look.
I built EasyPost UI to solve that problem. It started as a simple project, provide a from and to address and parcel size and it’ll spit out a label for USPS with the cheapest rate. I knew I could do much more though. I eventually built out multi-carrier support, multi-user support, learned how to create unit tests, select your shipping method, refunds, all sorts of fun things. It only took a couple weeks to build and is now a fully functioning product that could be deployed in any business, maybe even our own here!
This project is a testament to me that if you don’t know something, all you need to do is get started. This project took me a couple weeks - a year or two ago it would have taken me months. If you’re constantly learning, you’ll take your skills from one project to another which can only increase your production speed. Now that I know how to use an API and develop for one, I can take that to whatever my future holds knowing that I’ve put in the work to become proficient enough to tackle whatever challenges await me. If you’re curious about something, interested in a concept, just go for it. The only thing stopping you from doing or building something incredible is you.
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