Why start a blog?

There is no single answer to this question. Rather, many reasons for why I felt the importance of starting a blog - here are a few:

  • Learning
  • Documenting my struggles, and
  • Advancing my professional career.

Let’s take a closer look at these.

Learning

A goal I have for this blog is to pick some topics that I don’t know very much about and make the effort to research them to the best of my ability so that I’ll be able to explain them in a way that will hopefully make sense to others. It’s said that Albert Einstein stated something along the lines of, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” That quote is why I mostly keep my mouth shut when I’m around folks that are smarter than I am.

Documentation

I’m a Python developer by day (and mostly by night, as well) and I work on a ton of projects in my free time. I needed a medium to document these projects on. If for nothing else but for me to reflect fondly upon. A few examples of these projects include a Siri-controlled Christmas tree that tweets (Arduino), a game where the main character is a frog that hops around and eats as many flies as he can while also being chased by a mean bird in hopes of having dinner (Unity), and so on.

Career Advancement

There are benefits to exposing yourself in a way that shows your passion extends beyond your day job. This may seem absurd, but you’d be surprised at how far enthusiasm alone gets you. Remember what I said about documenting? One practical upshot of having portfolio of projects ready to show to an employer probably makes a better first impression than a slow-glazed glance over a resume. Probably, I said. This isn’t about cracking the coding interview.

What blogging service to use?

There are plentyyyyy of services to choose from. Initially, I went with Jekyll, a static-site generator. Jekyll is still the most starred static-site generator on Github. This solution works great for many, in fact most of the people I admire in the Nashville developer community use Jekyll as their platform of choice. I decided for $REASONS to go with Hugo instead. Hugo felt more user-friendly, easier to setup. Then, just start writing! Like Jekyll, it can also be served via Github Pages. Which is how you’re reading this now.

The high level guide of getting Hugo up and running.

  • Install Hugo
  • $ hugo new site <sitename>
  • $ cd <sitename>/themes and clone a theme of your choice.
    • I chose this theme and made a few modifications.
  • $ hugo new post/<title>.md
  • Write write write…
  • $ hugo server
  • Browse to http://127.0.0.1:1313

How to host it?

As I mentioned, I’m utilizing Github pages for free hosting! Hugo provides a nice guide for deploying your blog. There’s even a handy script in there for automating deployment.

Wrapping things up.

This blog was created with the best of intentions. If you decide to check in regularly, you should see posts that fall into four categories. Dev, Shorts, Fitness, and Personal. Most of those are pretty self explanatory with the possible exception of Shorts. Posts in that category will be short code snippets or random thoughts. This is all assuming that I’m somewhat regular in posting or at the very least continue to remember this thing exists now.

Like I said, best of intentions. What can we do if not try to do better?

The repo for this blog is located here.