Start of my personal site

Published Last updated v1.0.2

So why do I want to get myself out there? You know, here on the internet. I’ll keep it short, because most likely very few people will read it anyway, also I saw this tweet the other day

are you a techie considering blogging & unsure where to start? worry not, here's a 5-point outline for your 1st post:

  1. mildly quirky greeting
  2. why i've held myself back from writing before
  3. why i want to write now
  4. (optional) blogging frequency goal
  5. optimistic closing
Tweet by -webkat-huang

And more importantly, this response by swyx

second post: “how i built this blog”

third post: “sorry its been a while life got busy”

last update 3 years ago

Tweet by swyx

The point is, an introductory post explaining in detail why I want to start this blog is not that important. Just getting started and writing (good) posts consistently is more important.

So, real short, I want to start this blog to

  1. I just have the urge to write. I'll simply write down what I know. Writing reveals vague thinking and forces you to think clearly. So even if no one will read it, just the process of thinking about it and writing it down will be valuable to me.
  2. Incidentally, teach what I know.
  3. Have my own playground for new tech.
  4. Maybe have an outlet for various creative projects.

And I have really been enjoying reading personal blogs for the last year or so. It’s wonderful to find blogposts that make you go “I didn’t realise I could do that or approach it like that” or the reverse, which is more painful but just as valuable ”I never realised I shouldn’t do that”. I’ve learned a lot of good stuff from blogs and became a better developer because strangers decided to write posts (usually) in their spare time. I’m thankful for that. I've a lurked for too long and I'd like to contribute in this way as well, let's see how it goes.

On top of all that I've had two domain names for this purpose for over a year, it was time.

Here are some nice quotes on (dev) blogging/writing. I was planning to write a story around these quotes but in the end I didn’t. The quotes are still good though.

One of the best things I've done for my career: if someone asks me a question multiple times, I write a blog post.

Tweet by Lee Rob

Best piece of advice someone gave me that I never followed and always regretted: Every time you learn something coding at work, write a tiny, low-effort blog post about it. You can always edit or beef up later, but it's the fastest way to remember what you've learned.

Tweet by Sam Julien

I get qtns from “lurkers” who ask about my Twitter/newsletter/podcast strategy and are surprised to hear I have no strategy. Just principles.

  1. Write about stuff that fascinates you
  2. Find others who share your interests
  3. Keep going

thats the infinite game of #LearnInPublic

Tweet by swyx

The 6 biggest mistakes of my programming career

  1. Not starting to write sooner
  2. Not participating in the community sooner
  3. Learning too much vs specializing
  4. Under-valuing working with experienced teams
  5. Under-communicating
  6. Not realizing my own value soon enough
Nader Dabit

Write about what you learn. It pushes you to understand topics better. Sometimes the gaps in your knowledge only become clear when you try explaining things to others. It's OK if no one reads what you write. You get a lot out of just doing it for you.

Addy Osmani: Software Engineering - The Soft Parts

Everybody is treating writing as a "content marketing strategy" and using it to "build a personal brand" which leads to the fundamental flawed idea that everything you post has to be polished to perfection and ready to be consumed.

Joel Hooks: On Writing More

It doesn’t matter how many people read your blog. Someone somewhere will be glad you wrote that article. It’s okay to make mistakes. If you or someone else finds an error, fix it, explain what and why you’ve changed it and move on. Don’t be afraid of what others might say or think. Some people are assholes (ignore), but most people are nice.

I’ve learned so much more in the last 4-5 years compared to the years before, just because I wrote and talked about the topics that interested me and not about things I already knew.

matuzo.at: Blogging is one of the best ways of learning

Last year I only put out 3 blog posts. One of the reasons I didn’t write consistently was simply because I was not sure if my content was original enough or good enough. I have dozens of drafts sitting somewhere in my hard drive that never see the light of the day because I don’t think they are good enough. I think we are all good at being the lousy judge of our own work. I believe this is what they call impostor syndrome and that needs to be combated. I have decided to try a more regular blog cadence and record more of the thinking and process of whatever I am going to be doing. I am not going to broadcast every waking thought but I truly think I just have not been blogging enough. I will start writing more in order to get comfortable with my writing/content creation process. Anyway, I am starting out with pursuing consistency over quality. See you soon.

Rebuilding My Website && Back To Blogging

It’s natural to want to hold off publishing our insights and discoveries until the magical right time when it all clicks together in one beautiful, perfect essay that springs forth fully formed from our foreheads, making us famous and showing the world how smart we are. We want it so much we end up never writing it. This is how the world misses out on so much of our unique voices, taste, and perspectives. The Three Strikes Rule is designed as both a filter (for passing thoughts) and a prompt (for you to write more). To stop being so precious about your blog. To share ideas more openly and freely with your readers.

swyx: My Three Strikes Rule for Blogging

One of the hardest parts of maintaining a blog is knowing what to write about. Finding topics, developing those topics over time, and ensuring that there is a steady stream of ideas itching to be written about has been key for me to write consistently. What's normal for me is novel for someone else. [...] Writing about things that you already know, but with a specific audience in mind, unlocks a lot of opportunities to help others. It's also a great way to re-check preexisting beliefs by looking for new information that might improve or replace some of your ideas. And of course, writing things will solidify topics that exist as a loose jumble of ideas in your head into something tangible and clear for others.

Brian Lovin: Reasons you aren't updating your personal site

I have a mind warp that if I know about something then surely most other people know about it too. It's wrong but it often does feel that way, like I have nothing to new to tell.

I read "Make It Stick" recently, which praises the practice of explaining things in your own words:

The more you can explain about the way your new learning relates to your prior knowledge, the stronger your grasp of your new learning will be, and the more connections you create that will help you remember it later.

Make It Stick book

I'll have two sections, blog posts and notes.

The blog will be the place for more polished posts. To prevent the classic overengineered dev blog with 3 dated blog post collecting dust, I have prepopulated it with 4 posts! But I really plan to be consistent and write regularly.

'Notes' will be the place for unpolished writing. I've been compiling and writing info on mostly React & TypeScript for myself for a while. I reckon with a little formatting and cleanup some of these will be useful to others. So I intend to publish them unpolished and tend to and grow them of those notes, digital garden style. Some notes might be polished and promoted to a blog post.

A quick rundown of the stack, I might write a more detailed post on this if I feel like or if people are actually interested.

  • Framework: React
  • Meta-framework: Remix
  • Component library: Radix
  • Content: MDX with a few remark and rehype plugins
  • Styling: Vanilla CSS with lots of custom properties and OpenProps. Plus stylelint to help me keep it tidy.
  • Hosting provider: render.com