Personal blogs are kind of a funny thing. Typically, they are started because the blogger had something very specific to talk about at the time of their creation. Over time, some posts are made - usually with very specific bursts - and then, they fade into the annals of the Internet Archive only to be found via a random Google Search.
My site has followed a similar pattern for a number of reasons. Life happens, of course. I don’t feel like my posts will be very interesting or will contribute much to the central knowledge base of the world. And, last (but not least), I hated actually writing the posts.
I didn’t hate writing the posts in the sense that I disliked sitting down and typing the words. But, I very much disliked the platform that I was using to write my blog. For the past few years, I have used a hosted WordPress solution. Now, don’t get me wrong - WordPress is obviously a great platform and its wide use shows that it has something to offer. But, for me, who typically is a minimalist, it always felt heavy and it always felt like I was fighting with the platform to do the simple things that I wanted to do. The primary example that jumps to the forefront of my mind is that, although my blog is about programming, formatting programming code blocks was an exercise in insanity. I wanted something simpler.
I am fortunate to work with some very excellent people. One of those folks, Jon Pitcherella, told me that he had just switched his own site over to GitHub Pages. He gave me a quick explanation, I checked it out, and I was instantly hooked. Switching the site over was a breeze. My workflow now consists of my Git client (SourceTree), an editor of my choice (Atom), and a quick Jekyll install on my local machine to provide templating and allow me to easily test out my changes, and I’m done! My toolset is now a minimalist experience.
The actual authoring of my posts has also become extremely simple. Markdown is a beautiful thing. And, best of all, thanks to the awesome Ruby library, Rogue, syntax highlighting becomes as simple as a highlight block with the name of the language specified. Awesome.
So, what’s this all mean? Well, I hope to have time to write more blog posts in the future since the tools now get out of the way rather than feeling like something I have to maintain. I also am planning to expand my topic scope. When I first started this blog, I was going to stick strictly to “code things I am working on.” I now realize that, while I do work on code fairly frequently in my spare time, much of what I am doing is not something I would consider code-worthy, nor was it taking advantage of some of my greatest strengths as a software engineer. (Perhaps more on that later.)
In any case, welcome to my old, new site. I hope you enjoy what you find here.comments powered by Disqus