John Polacek

Chicago Web Developer

John Polacek is a lead web developer from Chicago who does frontend at Howl

Follow me at @johnpolacek

Adding Dark Mode to a Next.js Site

A quick look at how I add dark mode to a Next.js site with code examples.

Building a Blog with Next.js and MDX

Next.js MDX Blog Starter Demo Page

I’ve re-done my website with content authoring in MDX, powered by Next.js. I’ve open sourced a Next.js MDX Blog Starter so you can too.

I reach for Next.js because it scales to what I need it to do. It can build a simple static blog like this one, or a SaaS app with parameterized routing, serverless backet, user auth and an integrated API (see my Hello Next App project for example). I pretty much use it for everything new I’m building on the web these days.

MDX is a powerful tool for authoring content. It gives you everything that authoring your content in markdown does, but with the added superpower of being able to drop in React components at will. For a web developer blog, that’s obviously pretty appealing.

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

I have been on hiatus from social media and posting online for the last few months. As I am starting to post again, it must be said, Black Lives Matter. I’ve made a $200 donation to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. an official partner of the Black Lives Matter movement. I urge you to donate as well!

The Cost of Covid-19

Tracking the cost of Covid-19 across Europe, China and the United States.

I built, a website for tracking the cost of Covid-19 across Europe, China and the United States, in human lives and to their economies.

Color to Color

Color to Color

I like to wear dress shirts with matching socks. Sometimes I buy socks in a set and have no shirts that match. How can I find a shirt to match my sock, or a sock to match my shirt? I decided to build a thing. Check it out at

Design Systems Playground

Design Systems Playground

I finished a rebuild of my Design Systems Playground project. Open sourced on Github. Built with React / Gatsby. Styles and theming by Theme UI. Animations with Greensock. Deployed to Netlify. Tested with Cypress.