Solo developer Mario Stopfer earns praise and brings inspiration after building a social network in 4 years.

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Solo developer Mario Stopfer earns praise and brings inspiration after building a social network in 4 years.

October 28
08:06 2022
Mario’s four-year journey to developing a social network serves as a big inspiration in the industry and a great way for developers to understand programming from someone who built a real-world system and is ready to share his knowledge.

Solo developer Mario Stopfer is taking social channels by storm after his four-year journey to building a social network inspired many solo developers to create a real-world system.

Mario took up Immersive Communities, a Social Media Platform for Content Creators, in early 2018 and completed it in 2022. Back then, social media users were dissatisfied with Facebook and its policies on user privacy, while others were complaining about YouTube and its monetization practices. Meanwhile, others turned their opinion against the social networks where they were voicing their opinion, like Medium.

At first, Mario sought to know whether it was possible to create an enterprise-level system as a solo developer. He thought about creating a social media platform from the desire to provide content creators the ability to create content as individuals while at the same time engaging with their peers and having them provide something to the content creation process while being able to monetize their effort – all in one social network.

Mario used the OOAD approach in creating the system, which would tell him how every part works and how it connects with other parts of the system. He then extracted business rules to implement in code.

For the Project Design part, he maximized his time and looked at which products already worked well and utilized those as a source of inspiration. 

“The system itself had to be simple. Every user should be able to create and own their own community. Other users should be able to join as members and write articles to contribute content to this community,” wrote Mario. 

On the Tech Stack part, Mario chose SaaS services so he could save time since he would not need to implement the features by himself. The services he decided on included Cloudinary, Embedly, Algolia, Recombee, Locize, Twilio, and Stripe.

When the world was thrown into turmoil due to the pandemic, Mario knew it would change the world and how people interacted with each other in ways nobody could imagine.

In order to be ready for the modern web, the development approach was Mobile-first and Offline-first. This was supported by two primary technologies – Tailwind CSS and PWA. In terms of styling and in order to simplify the system, Mario added Tailwind CSS.

However, the biggest problems he faced during the development stage included how to allow users to join multiple communities but keep the private or restricted data in each community separate from the other. 

He solved this issue by assigning a type column to each entry in the DynamoDB database. Every user would have its type set to “user, “while each community would simply be set as “web. ” This solved the multi-tenancy problem.

On the other hand, in solving latency and high availability problems, he decided to create ten different AppSync APIs in all available regions at that time. He also later employed Markdown Editor, which emerged as a very popular way to write text. He improved data input and replicated the iOS bar, and used it throughout the website as a navigation bar. He further implemented Cloudinary, a service for media management, and Algolia, where he implemented the search for communities, activities, articles, and users. 

During the project, he changed jobs thrice, every time being quite involved. However, even though he had to go for job interviews, he would still go back home, sit behind his desk, and continue to work on my project.

Looking back at his journey, Mario’s story is something that has motivated other solo developers to finish whatever they started, regardless of how they feel. 

“I have shown that it can be done with the tech stack that we have at our disposal. More than anything, this is a statement to every developer working on their side-project or is thinking of starting one,” writes Mario.

While asking for help when one is stuck is definitely not the fastest way to solving an issue, Mario says solo developers must take this as a challenge to help discover their limits.

“Once you’ve decided to do something like this, and you succeed, you will know that everything else you decided to do after that will be easier to achieve,” writes Mario.

Those who wish to learn more about Mario Stopfer and Immersive Communities may visit its website at or follow its social channels for more information.

Media Contact
Company Name: Immersive Communities
Contact Person: Mario Stopfer
Email: Send Email
Country: Japan

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