Website Details & History

First off - I definitely don't fancy myself a designer! Although I've done a bunch of things in the industry, most of the time I've just been sitting in the shadows. I accept that this has to change and that the full stack needed to be embraced.

Implementation

Framework(s)

As mentioned before, this site is (and always will be) a work in progress. Things will be broken, missing, probably doing some funky things; for which I apologize.

The current implementation of the site is:

  • Developed with Gatsby and React. I was a hard sell up front, but I'm 100% on board now.
  • Hosted on Gitub Pages as all great seem to be.
  • Styled using Styled Components - I have flip flopped from using Styled Components, to Grommet, to Antd and now back. I should never have changed to begin with.

Design & planning

I've been attempting to categorize the types of Mdx created based on the highest level categories:

Articles

I decided to go with single serve Mdx files for publishing. I had originally started with Md but figured just having the ability to add components into the posts would be solid.

I'm slowly starting to customize the components to provide a little more functionality, I found that event though there are a solid number of plugsin available, they just didn't provide the control I wanted.

Timelines

I am in the process of converting my resume/experience timeline away from Mdx files (one per entry) into a yaml data file. The goal here is to add more than just work experience, while providing a better and more easily customized layout.

There are a number of wonderful timeline libs out there, why re-invent the wheel?

Pages/Sections

Pages are where things get hectic, I love the idea of continuing with Mdx for the pages, but this limits things somewhat. JSX in markdown is pretty solid when the Components are self serving - but when using container components to wrap content, the content is no longer in markdown.

The requirements to have:

  • Each page customizable
  • Each pages sections customizable

The Mdx plugin provides a nice way of wrapping each Mdx file:

  • By using the configuration for templates
  • By exporting a default component type

I feel like this just gives a little more option.

Bitmoji

Yup, Bitmojis are one of my online guilty pleasures. I'm only somewhat ashamed to admit it!

Don't judge!

Attribution

The following glorous people/group(s) need to be acknowledge:

Colours

I've been playing around with a few of the top 50 schemes published here. Some of them don't work well without the higher end graphics/imagery for which they were designed; but they're fun to play around with.

  • Cool and Fresh (4)
  • Striking and Simple (12)
  • Minimal Yet Warm (19)

They don't provide links - so the numerical position in the list is the best I can provide.

Fonts

Fonts are provided by:

Icons

Icons are provided by:

History

This site has seen many iterations. Sadly, I didn't have the foresight to include previous versions and make them available here. At any rate, there is a brief history:

2020 Github & Gatsby

Around the same time I had started playing with React and React Native; although JavaScript has never been my favorite, I really started appreciating it and wanting to use it more. Following the rabbit hole, that is the Internet, it quickly became apparent that Gatsby was the next thing I had to get my hands on (the Lord of the Rings reference definitely didn't hurt).

While working through the theming process I decided to give my own a shot (again, I don't know why I don't learn) with the following:

Another chance to pad the articles.

2019 Github & Jekyll

In 2019 I decided that I spent enough money on GoDaddy and enough time trying to get into PHP; so it was time for a change! I had been reading about Gitub Pages and Jekyll; I figured like it would be a solid (and free - although I current subscribe for Github now anyhow) choice. This time I decided not to try and play around with my own theme - I ended up choosing a plain little theme Lagom by Matt Swanson.

I was pretty happy but needed a little bit more out of it:

  • On mobile devices there was no menu access (problematic)
  • It wasn't built for a large number of pages

So the added functionality got added in Lagomier, sadly Jekyll wasn't long for this world.

Here's an article about it.

2018 GoDaddy & Wordpress

My first personal website (we'll leave Geocities and MySpace out of it) was a Wordpress site hosted on GoDaddy. This site was (imagine this) pretty much the same layout this bad boy is now (the sidebar menu with 1/3 split, if that's still what it is); using a theme that I had attempted to build myself using Bootstrap. My lack of design skills coupled with my distain for PHP made it not very pretty, and me not very active.

I was able to continue to use it while playing around attmepting to grow my enjoyment of PHP (which got a little better, but I still wouldn't call it love). The main project that came out of Wordpress and PHP was my Yahoo! Fantasy Sports Wordpress plugin.

Blogging in General

So, I get that 2018 seems like an odd time to have a first personal website.

I'll be completely honest, I never really saw the point. Prior to 2018 I was working either in a support or analyst role and doing development on the side was done for my own personal interest when I had time; the thought of forcing myself to start writing about the things I've done or learned (when I could be outside or doing offline things) just didn't seem like a good idea for me.

Fast forward to 2018 it started to become apparent that regardless of how much I dislike blogging - it's a necessary evil in this industry. I've always been a pretty anxious person, and that's probably rolled into the thought of

Who actually wants to read something I've written?

or probably more accurate

There are way smarter people and way better writers out there creating things I could never think of.

Regardless of those feelings though, I've been doing my best to get content out every once in a while when I come across/resolve an issue that has taken a few days of Googling and code reviewing that will hopefully save someone the heartache.

Enjoy.

Issues & Features

Check out some of the open issues and features I'm hoping to implement some day.