Building an ERC-721 token on Ethereum with Solidity, Truffle, IPFS, and Pinata

Working in blockchain often requires one to explain amorphous concepts in a meaningful way. In my latest encounter with this challenge, I had to describe Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) to my 65+ year old mother. Having been a Product Manager in the tech industry, I am familiar with presenting complexities to individuals from a gambit of demographics and backgrounds. What I have found to be the most effective approach is to contextualize the concept to match the audience. In this case, my mother is a wonderful cook with an arsenal of recipes that span generations of our family. Today, these recipes…


Building integrated smart contracts on Ethereum with web3.js, Node.js, and Ganache

Small business owners from sole proprietors to solopreneurs find it difficult to get external financing: from loans for growing their business to mortgages for purchasing a house. Driving this need for external financing is the fact that it takes two to three years, on average, for a small business to turn a profit. A survey of small business owners run by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) in September 2020 found that 1% of small business owners report that external financing is their top business problem with 2% reporting that their last loan was harder to obtain than previously…


Building a smart contract on Ethereum with web3.js, Node.js, and Ganache

Owning and running a small business can be one of the most satisfying and liberating careers out there. Unfortunately, in many countries including the United States, small business ownership is a challenge. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics within the United States Department of Labor, 20% of small businesses fail in their first year, 50% fail in their fifth year, and 70% fail in their tenth year. One of the most common reasons why small businesses fail, according to Investopedia, is inadequate business planning and primarily struggles with cash flow. In fact, a survey from 2019 showed…


Decentralized application with Node.js, web3.js, Solidity, and Ganache

In this blog, I build a decentralized application, also known as a “dapp”. While there are various definitions of a dapp, in general they are applications that run on a decentralized peer-to-peer network, as opposed to a client-server network, and are governed by all the members, as opposed to a single entity that centrally owns the underlying servers and databases. In Ethereum, a dapp is backed by what is known as a “smart contract” containing the logic of the dapp. This makes a dapp running on the Ethereum blockchain potentially unstoppable as it won’t go down because the logic is…


Full stack application with Node.js, Express, MongoDB, and React.js

In this blog, I build a frontend application that interfaces with a backend application via a RESTful API. After building the frontend, I add security so that only authorized users can access certain content and make requests to the backend.

The frontend application is built with a collection of JavaScript libraries: React.js, React Router, and axios. The backend application is built with Node.js, Express.js, and MongoDB and is the result of a project discussed in my previous blogs where I detailed how to build a RESTful API using Node.js, Express.js, and MongoDB and how to secure a RESTful API built…


Adding authentication and access management with JSON Web Tokens and bcrypt password hashing

In this blog, I detail how to add security to a Node.js application and, more specifically, how to build authentication and access management endpoints for a RESTful API built with Node.js. These endpoints will allow end-users to create a new user account for our application, log in using the credentials from that account, and gain access to the other routes within our application. This blog expands on development that I did in a previous blog where I detailed how to build a RESTful API using Node.js, Express.js, and MongoDB. …


Full stack application with Node.js, Express, MongoDB, and React.js

I was recently tasked with building the REST API endpoints for a web application running a Node.js backend. Having been working in Python using the Flask framework for a while, I needed to refresh on Node.js and investigate the latest in its supported web frameworks.

In this blog, I build a simple Node.js application that reads from and writes to a MongoDB database. I start by creating a basic web server with the Node HTTP package, then connecting to MongoDB with Mongoose, and finally enhancing the application with the Express.js web framework. …


Implement authentication and authorization with Flask-Security

My team and I were recently presented the challenge of building a secure administrative interface for our application. We had already built the application’s frontend in React and the application’s backend in Python primarily using the Flask framework and associated extension packages. For the administrative interface, we chose to use the Flask-Admin package because Flask-Admin makes it quick and easy to build an interface on top of our existing data models. However, the task was to build a secure administrative interface, and, in classic Flask fashion, Flask-Admin leaves it up to the developer to choose our approach. …


Build a modular Flask application using Jinja and templates

When I began learning Flask, one of the first questions that I had was how to build a user interface. Having a background in React, I was used to just defining a function that returned a series of tags. I quickly discovered that this would not fly in Flask. My early Flask applications consisted of beefy modules with copious lines of hard-coded, static HTML with inline formatting. I knew that there had to be a better way. …


Build and run a simple Flask application in under 5 minutes

What is Flask?

Flask is a Python web framework built with a small core and easy-to-extend philosophy that was originally designed and developed by Armin Ronacher in 2010 and became the most popular Python web framework in 2018.

What is a web framework?

A web framework is a code library that makes web development faster and easier by providing common patterns for building reliable, scalable and maintainable web applications. Since the turn of the century, it is common practice for web development projects to use an existing web framework except in very unusual situations. Other than Flask, popular web frameworks include Django, ASP.NET, Laravel, and Ruby on Rails.

Colin Kraczkowsky

Problem solver wielding JavaScript and Python as my tools. Builder of RESTful web services and progressive web applications. Scholar of the newly possible.

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