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My journey towards a blog

30-Sep-2020 . 5 min readshare on twitter imageshare on twitter image

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Image: Werner Moser/pixabay - bit.ly/3clqxme

I would like to share the story behind this blog as my first blog. I would explain the various technologies I tried and failed and then found something and finally succeed.

Why write a blog?

We can avoid many mistakes (sometimes foolish) in our lives, if we only use a few seconds to ask ourself, why? There should always be a logical reason for doing things. I want to share the knowledge I have gained and at the same time, I want to learn. Questions could be asked, why write a blog to learn? Yes, there is a point. But many times, learning once is not simply enough, maybe, I missed something, maybe I overlooked something. What if I were to teach the same thing to a group of people? How would I prepare for it?

My motto here is not just to learn but to teach! Yes! therefore the motto of this blog is to teach is to learn twice.

What to write?

A blog is nothing without content. As I wrote earlier, I will be sharing things that I have experienced and I have learned. I will be writing things, mostly, related to web & mobile development, design patterns, clean architecture, highly scalable & available systems design, and newly released interesting tools, technologies.

Where to Write?

That was a very important and big question for me. One can start blogging within minutes on platform like Medium or Dev.to. But I already had a site (boring) & domain, I thought, why not make my own? I am a developer and would love to get my hands dirty! WordPress, being a PHP oriented was a no-go (sorry).

I began looking for a .net-based CMS. I tried following CMSs.

I had some constrained too. My web-hosting plan does not include a free MS-SQL and only 20 MB space.

  • Umbraco: Great CMS which I am familiar with. I would have gone for it, had they supported MySQL (somewhere in 2019).
  • Miniblog.Core: Mads Kristensen's .net core blog template. It was a good one but the UI was built with Razor pages. I wanted de-couple my front-end by using a JavaScript Framework from the back-end.
  • Orchard Core: Very promising CMS but I found it was too much for a blog, at least for me. Regardless, a very good framework as well as full, decoupled, and headless CMS.
  • Strapi: This was the first time, I saw a CMS (headless) made in Javascript! I went through Strapi quickly, but then, I found something very interesting. There was no coming back to Strapi, sorry Strapi.

Why Gatsby JS?

I instantly fell in love with Gatsby JS!

Excellent documentation, excellent tutorials (this blog is made from scratch using (almost) Gatsby tutorial), a plugin for almost everything, great community support. I said earlier, I am a developer and want to get my hands dirty, Gatsby gave me a good opportunity. The greatest satisfaction came with the fact that I made this blog site almost from scratch! I, indeed, took some inspiration from other blogging sites.

  • Performance: Being a static site generator, pages are served locally. No database involved. Further more, it loads critical parts of the page
  • Markdown: Writing blog in markdown removes the burden of database & a text-editor!
  • React: It is easier for me to create my own components.
  • GraphQL: This is the biggest power of Gatsby. A bit complex to get through, but powerful to query data.
  • Engaging: I am involved in every aspect of my blog (design, write, build, deploy). I can always add or modify feature.
  • Quick development: As Gatsby has many plugins, it shortens the development time. Furthermore, there are many ready-made templates available.
  • Typescript: Great for Typescript lover. At some point of time, I am gonna re-write this blog in Typescript.

Warning! The caveat of ready-made templates!

In the beginning, I tried to use some templates to shorten my development time. I never worked with Gatsby before, however, I thought I could do it. That was a mistake. I end up losing the time, I wanted to save :-(. Gatsby has an excellent tutorial, going through it not only makes one better in understanding Gatsby but also gives a pleasure of building one's blog or site.

What now?

Well, I dreamed of starting my blog since 2019. Tried many things but in the end, came up with a blog, albeit late, in September 2020! But now, I have a platform ready. I just need to write. My Google Keep list shows 11 topics, ready to write. I will try my best to write one blog every week, short or long.

I hope this will be a very interesting journey.

© 2023 Ramésh Kunwar
Licensed under CC BY 4.0
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© 2023 Ramésh Kunwar
Licensed under CC BY 4.0