John Polacek

Chicago Web Developer

John Polacek is a web developer from Chicago who leads front end at GiveSmart.

Follow me at @johnpolacek Redesign

Originally published on 4/27/2019
Chicago Tech Events Website

Something like 6 years ago I started My idea was to create a list of events to help people be aware of all the cool stuff going on in the Chicago tech community.

While the community and our events have evolved over the years, the website has not. I think it is high time for a redesign.

You can follow along as I go by reading the build log. The preview is up and running at

I’ve written previously about moving this blog to Gatsby and publishing a Gatsby Events List Starter. Now I’m building on top of that work in creating a new Chicago Tech Events website.

The original website is a minimal PHP setup, built with Twig templating. The new website is going to be JAMstack, a static site generated by Gatsby and deployed to Netlify.

In the past, people could submit events by creating an account (powered by Auth0). For the new site, people will be able to submit sites without creating an account.

I created a Netlify Function that creates a new markdown file for the new event and uses the Github API to create a pull request which I can then review and add to the site. Thanks to David Wells for sharing a great example of this and answering some questions for me while I was initially figuring things out.

Before I can officially deploy the new site, I still have some work to do:

  • Generate email template for the newsletter
  • Set up RSS feed
  • Use Meetup and Eventbrite APIs to grab new events

If you have any feedback on the new design, you can send me feedback via twitter or create an issue on Github.