John Polacek

Chicago Web Developer

John Polacek is a web developer from Chicago who leads the dev team at GiveSmart.

Follow me at @johnpolacek

Next.js Project Starters

Animated Gradient Background Generator Website

As a big fan of Next.js, I have created some starters to quickly get new projects up and running with the “React Framework for Production”. I’ve made a little home for them at

Building a Cool Front End Thing Generator

Animated Gradient Background Generator Website

On a side project that I've been working on awhile back, I added an animated gradient background. It turned out pretty cool, so I was inspired to create an Animated Gradient Background Generator and then decided to take it a step further...

Happy Bolivian Independence Day

Flag of Bolivia

This past Friday was Bolivian Independence Day. Some of the developers I’m fortunate enough to work with are from Bolivia. They all had the day off and at our standup the day before I asked if there was a dish I could prepare to celebrate them here with my family in Chicagoland.

Homemade Hot Pepper Olive Oil

Hot chili peppers with the tops cut off in an air fryer

We’ve been growing hot chili peppers in our backyard, picked them, dried them out in our air fryer, turned them into flakes and bottled them up into our own homemade Pola-Pepper Hot Olive Oil.

Next.js Web Scraper Playground

Url and property input fields with a submit button for using the Next.js Scraper Playground

Was working a bit with setting up some web scraping using Next.js API routes, so I made a tool for experimenting with web scraping on different urls and parsing the markup with cheerio. You can see it at and check out the code on Github.

The Death of Flash, the Rise of React and What’s Next

Me wearing Adobe Flash User Group T-Shirt from 2010

A bit over 10 years ago, I was a Flash developer. We were in high demand in those days. We were building RIAs, aka Rich Internet Applications, that delivered snappy animations, all manner of graphics and fonts in a single page experience that made computer fans accelerate all over the internet..