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I finally built myself a blog 😅

April 10th, 2020

Hi. New blog who this?

So I finally got around to building myself website. It's funny since I build websites for a living.

A good friend of mine always loved comparing a web developer who doesn't have a website to a mechanic who drives around with a shitty car. "He's probably too busy taking care of other people's car to put time into his own."

Same friend also always encouraged me to write a bit more. I figured it was finally time to do that.

Why decide to build a blog now?

I guess the first and most important reason is that I just need to write more. Specifically write more about what I dabble with. Writing (and to some extent, expressing myself) is something I am not particularly good at and the only way to not suck is to just write more.

Also, I'm hoping that it would rekindle my curiosity for learning. I learnt React and Redux around a year ago (early 2019) and outside of a few libraries I haven't really been learning anything new. I want to fix that.

Another reason is that I need an outlet for building fun things and then talking about it. For the most part, I would like to be coding a lot more outside of work, and on a less professional level.

Lastly, I'm bored. I built this blog during the COVID-19 epidemic and I acknowledge how privileged I am that my biggest issue is that I have nothing better to do other than build myself a website. In my defense, I've been procrastinating this site since December so It was only right I followed through with it. I guess that's another reason you can put on the list, I'm just seeing through something that I've started.

I'm using the term website and blog interchangeably btw.

This site is built with love and:

  • JavaScript + React
  • NetlifyCMS
  • MaterialUI
  • Hosted on Netlify ❤️

JavaScript + React.

No surprise really. I am a front-end developer. React is my go to. I actually had only gotten back to being a front-end developer less than 12 months ago, and before that I was working professionally as a UX designer. It feels great to be programming again! Also yes, I do have ambitions of moving into TypeScript.

I'm using the Barebones Netlify CMS + React Starter. That link leads to a repo on my GitHub profile though its fair to say that its a starter heavily modified from Jinksi. The reason for the starter is that when I work on new projects, I just want a blank canvass with all the tools I'm going to be working with already humming under the hood. It's a bit messy and It needs a lot of work. I'm looking to outright redoing the whole thing with create-react-app + adding a few other things.

NetlifyCMS + Netlify

I figured building this site was also a good excuse to learn something new. While I could have easily just written all my posts on Markdown and read from that directly, I was very interested in working with NetlifyCMS. I had worked a lot with WordPress back in the day, and I wanted something that was more inline with the technology I worked with with today. It was a good excuse to get started.

NetlifyCMS does not have a starter with just React (ala create-react-app). I wasn't exactly interested in dealing with Gatsby or Preact right now hence another reason for the starter I mentioned above.

Netlify is just ❤️ I have nothing else to write about them.

Material UI

I love this React UI framework. While I built most of my own UI components, its just comforting to know that I can pull ready to use components if I had gotten lazy. I was relying namely on their createMuiTheme and makeStyle functions as they're super convenient.

There were a lot of other tools, libraries and tricks I used building this blog. They're not really relevant at the moment but I will be writing about them in future blog posts!

Future posts

As mentioned, I already have a few things lined up for future blog posts. The ambition is to try to have a new blog post up every week, just so that I get into the habit of writing.

Do I expect people to be reading all of this?

Nope. 💩

But do be on the look out for posts regarding StorybookJS, a discussion on privacy policies, modular scale + vertical rhythm and a lot of other good stuff!