Hi! I’ve never really posted here before, but I guess there’s a first time, so hello everyone! I’m Kelvin Praise, and I’m so glad I found the Coda platform from the AI at work hackathon!
Before last week, I never paid attention to doc apps, well I used Notion for sometime but found myself switching back to my piling stacks of A4 papers lol, there’s just something about the idea, of me being able to hold a single sheet and read without feeling overwhelmed by bounded books.
I’m a self taught software developer—still learning—who loves hacking and making things. Just recently before the hackathon, I unwittingly discounted an idea, of generally using no code/low code tool in my process, because I’ll just rather make it myself, than stress over customization, and then I also had experience with a couple of confusing ones. Now if you know where this is going , you’ll be happy to know Coda’s platform gave me epiphany! I got my mind blown, just seeing the potentials of having customizable templates, already built drag’n’drop components, extensive formulas/packs and a quite capable AI assistant, all in one place!!!
For the most part of last week, I was wowed, that I could really build an app on Coda! So connecting the dots, I choose to restart the project I’d been working on—for Dreampiper a DAO I’m part of—as a template! We currently raise funds to run the DAO and also test out ideas by participating in hackathons, and we needed a space for making our hackathon process much more efficient hence the project: Orionsync
Orionsync, is all about having a single platform, to herd most design and development workflows. As mentioned earlier, we raise most of the funds for the DAO from winning hackathons for the time being, and making the process smooth is paramount to winning.
I started building it out with Next.js, and it required 6 main routes:
- Projects: Project details with assigned task trackers.
- Meeting: Private video meetings with previous recordings.
- Wallet: Contract wallet and transaction history for the project.
- Guides: Technical documentations for the project.
- Assets: Assets used in project development.
- Events: Timeline events related to the project.
I also needed to connect an LLM into the app, to create the technical guides, which I didn’t do yet, it needed data visualization and so many more things, and it took about 3 weeks to barely put the app together, only the wallet is complete .
Having read the documentations for Coda on the 7th of july, about 2 weeks now, I was able to build a custom pack called Orion, an accompanying video meeting app, and also the rest of the template with similar routes as the first app, in less than 11 days, all on Coda!
In the previous app, we needed to add in an LLM to help with quickly creating technical guides on scaffolding a project and so on, using the AI assistant, I was able to complete that in less time than I could ever have imagined, and this was our most dominant use case for AI in our process.
Looking through the packs documentation, I figured I could extend the template with a custom video and audio calling pack, and so I wrote the Orion pack, which makes possible, a video and audio call feature right within the document, making for a seamless experience to the users of the document!
I started about 10 days to the end of the hackathon and familiarizing myself with the platform took around 2 days, so I couldn’t experiment with as much ideas that came to mind, and also I unfortunately couldn’t add the wallet feature in my template.
Also, I found out the iframe packs, didn’t have permissions to allow video and audio calls, I knew about the disabled full-screen rule, so I didn’t spend days looking for a bug, that was simply fixed by running a script in the console, that added those permissions, hopefully in the future we can get the permissions for that.
My experience from the AI at work hackathon using Coda, made me realize the potentials of AI enabled docs with the extensibility of packs and formulas, and that maybe I’d been missing out from using A4s, I also had some thoughts about the coming consequence of no code tools as the future of development—I did more research and found power platform by microsoft—guess I’ll need to check up on my other biases, lol.
You can compare the original Figma design and Coda docs to see the differences, from the links below. I’m glad I could write this, so thanks for reading!
Link to Coda Orionsync doc: Orion Sync
Original design in Figma: https://www.figma.com/file/p9hTeTWTPY0LNZTsehKD6s/Orionsync