I’ll admit it, I have never been much of a web developer. Sure, I once built a website, somewhere around the start of the century. It included a guestbook, a visitor counter and a LED ticker display. It was hosted on a free .tk domain. You get the idea. But ever since things got a bit more serious, I mostly stayed away from web development.
I once used to blog as well. At a previous company I worked for, I contributed to the technical blog once a month for three years straight. But I never had a personal blog before. My main excuse has always been that I don’t want to deal with the overhead of building a website and keeping it alive. I have considered blogging on a platform like Medium, but I tend to agree with Scott Hanselman, who claims that as a developer, not only should you have your own blog, but you should also buy your own domain in order to keep control over your content.
So what changed? Two things. First, I came across this post by Amy Hoy. Her advice to just start small – one tiny step after another – may sound pretty obvious, but it was still a bit of a wake up call for me. Second, I recently realized just how much web development has matured over the past few years and how easy it has become to set up, deploy and maintain something like a static blog site.
You don’t need to know any Ruby to install gems like Middleman or Jekyll. You just play around with some open source templates until you find something you like. You link your domain to GitHub Pages and you can be up and running in a matter of minutes. Call me old-fashioned, but I think there’s something quite magical about being able to deploy a website simply by typing git push.
So here you have it. A first tiny step. The beginning of something. No promises about frequent updates. No begging to subscribe to my RSS feed. But no more excuses either.