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I, too, built an app with ChatGPT.
AWS? Floating cats? Sound effects? I did it all.
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This week's topic: I cover my journey of using ChatGPT / GPT-4 / Midjourney to create a web application from scratch with limited app-building experience.
I finally caved in and spent the $20 to access GPT-4 last weekend. Since half of my feeds these days are stories and tweets about generative AI, I had seen so many different things I wanted to try and decided it was time to kick the tires.
As primarily a “backlog imagineer” through most of the last 10 years, I’ve never taken the time to understand what goes into building and deploying an app to the cloud. Sure, I’ve built web pages and updated my MySpace profile with cutting-edge HTML, but I’ve built something like a web app from scratch. I had installed Visual Studio previously with the intent of building but never followed through.
Let’s take a digital walk through my experience building and deploying what I have decided to call “Meow Game.”
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Step 1 - Ideation
Fast forward to last weekend - My kid loves video games, and she loves cats. So I decided I wanted to make a web based game/application from prompt leveraging GPT-4 and Midjourney V5.
Here’s the prompt that kicked it all off:
Step 2 - Create and upload all of your files
I followed the prompts very carefully and ended up with 5 files for the application. The full body of code was created and supplied from GPT-4, and I ended up using my own prompt for Midjourney to create a cartoon cat image.
Since I’ve never created anything in Amazon Web Services (AWS), I followed the prompts to set this up. I was walked by GPT-4 through a lot of command line stuff which - to be honest with you - was a little trickier than I remembered. The nice thing about ChatGPT is that as you're following each step, if you have issues, you can type those in, and it will help you troubleshoot.
We worked through the issues together, and wa-lah - we have our first S3 bucket:
Step 3 - Configuring Amazon things to work together
I’ve done a lot of configuring over time through different work apps. Still, since I was doing all of the Amazon work on the fly and seeing it for the first time, I struggled to figure out some of the policies to enable data to move fluidly between things like the AWS bucket and CloudFront (which is used to deliver your content to the WWW).
Since my new robot friend has been so helpful up until now, I go on a troubleshooting path with it until we figure out what we need to have our app live.
Here’s an example of prompts I’m creating that are just direct copy/pastes with issues, and ChatGPT does a great job of walking me through it:
More examples of me just asking ChatGPT to explain or give me insights into the process since it’s all new to me:
Step 4 - Test and launch
I was making some great progress and then remembered - I never figured out if/how I could test this locally. My quality assurance friends would lose their minds if they found out I was going straight to prod, and we need to make them happy, right?
So I turned once again to ChatGPT, and once again, I was not let down.
My new best friend not only tells me it’s doable; it also walks me through putting all my files in a specific folder, has me create my server using Python, and once run, I can see my app in the browser.
After I tested in my local Chrome, I put the finishing touches on my Amazon situation and successfully used my web app for the first time.
Time after time, I blasted ChatGPT with questions and concerns, and every time there was a detailed response. I was incredibly impressed by how well it could walk me through something I’ve wanted to learn for a long time and gave significant detail in each step. If I ran into issues, I brain-dumped a way for me to describe what I was experiencing along with any expectations I had, and without fail, I saw helpful responses on my journey.
Is it the craziest game ever imagined?
No. (Although your little one might find it amusing for 10 seconds)
Am I inspired to make some other fun things using this technology to help myself and my friend’s or coworkers’ lives a little better?
Have you used ChatGPT for any fun projects like this? I would love to hear about them! Click on this button to leave a comment and tell us your story.