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Build Quicker with Zipper

Tyler Hawkins 36

Build Quicker with Zipper

Building a Ping Pong Ranking App using TypeScript functions

Tyler Hawkins
Level Up Coding
Published in
9 min read23 hours ago


Ping pong ranking app built on Zipper
Ping pong ranking app built on Zipper

Seasoned software engineers long for the good old days when web development was simple. You just needed a few files and a server to get up and running. No complicated infrastructure, no endless amount of frameworks and libraries, no build tools. Just some ideas and some code hacked together to make an app come to life.

Whether or not this romanticized past was actually as great as we think it was, developers today agree that software engineering has gotten complicated. There are too many choices with too much setup involved.

In response to this sentiment, many products are providing off-the-shelf starter kits and zero config toolchains to try to abstract away the complexity of software development.

One such startup is Zipper, a company which offers an online IDE where you can create applets that run as serverless TypeScript functions in the cloud. With Zipper, you don’t have to spend time worrying about your toolchain — you can just start writing code and deploy your app within minutes.

Today, we’ll be looking at a ping pong ranking app I built — once in 2018 with jQuery, MongoDB, Node.js, and Express; and once in 2023 with Zipper. We’ll examine the development process for each and see just how easy it is to build a powerful app using Zipper.


First, a little context: I love to play ping pong. Every office in which I’ve worked has had a ping pong table, and for many years ping pong was an integral part of my afternoon routine. It’s a great game to relax, blow off some steam, strengthen friendships with coworkers, and reset your brain for a half hour.

Those who played ping pong every day began to get a feel for who was good and who wasn’t. People would talk. A handful of people were known as the best in the office, and it was always a challenge to take them on.

Being both highly competitive and a software engineer, I wanted to build an app to track who was the best ping pong player in the office. This wouldn’t be for bracket-style tournaments, but just for recording the games that were played every day by anybody. With that, we’d have a record of all the games…