How I Developed a Social Network in Two Weeks

· 1 min read

Over the last two weeks I’ve developed a niche social network around childhood videogames. I named it my childhood games.


In order to rapidly develop a prototype, I decided to use the battle-tested PHP framework CodeIgniter. Newer frameworks like FuelPHP or Laravel are promising, but their documentation and community still lacks behind CodeIgniter’s.

For the view (front-end) I chose Bootstrap, a framework developed at Twitter to encourage consistency.

A note about frameworks

Frameworks include knowledge. They can tremendously accelerate the development process, as you don’t have to reinvent everything from scratch. Established frameworks are (ideally) based on best practices. You also don’t have to maintain their core. This makes frameworks great for prototypes and early-stage products that haven’t reached product/market fit yet. Later on a custom solution becomes easier to maintain and extend than a framework, in my experience.


my childhood games is a niche social network focused on childhood videogames.

People can register with Facebook, Twitter, or their email address. Afterwards they can select their favorite childhood games, which are automatically pulled from API. You can also submit missing games and add game details. Everybody gets a public profile URL ending with their username, unless disabled in their privacy settings. The top-100 list reflects the most popular games, which allows people to discover masterpieces that they might have missed out on. Furthermore, the complete library is searchable, and every game has a details-view in which people can discuss and arrange meetups to play their beloved games together.


I started my childhood games as an experiment, and to put the model-view-controller (MVC) pattern into practice. If you’re interested to take over the project, feel free to reach out.


my childhood games — Profile view

my childhood games — Game view

my childhood games — Library view