It's been nearly a decade and a half since I first set out to build a blog. A place on the web to distribute my thoughts. A repository to store solutions to problems I had solved. A place to compile my hours of Googling so that someone else might find the solution in a single search.
As a web developer, this was to be an exciting undertaking. An opportunity to build something that would not only allow me to share with the world, but also serve to showcase my skillset in building out the actual blogging platform and website. It was an opportunity to try out some of the cutting-edge frameworks or approaches that I had not yet had the opportunity to try in my daily work. An opportunity to learn and grow as a developer, then to share my experience in my inaugural blog post.
I set up the hosting, I registered the domain, and I started to build. The first version, so long ago, would utilize the templating features of FrontPage or Dreamweaver to allow me to generate new static HTML files for blog posts based on templates that I would design and build myself. Many hours went into it, but this was a side project that never got very high on my priority list. I was busy and progress was slow.
It wasn't long before the incomplete blog site was becoming outdated. I still wanted to launch something fresh and cutting-edge. I needed a CMS and mobile versions. I scrapped the project and started fresh.
Much like before, I was busy and progress was slow. I was settling into my professional identity as a Drupal developer and I needed to showcase what I could do with Drupal. I would build a responsive theme and tailor the content entry experience to be best suited for a technical blog. Again, I started with a fresh code base and threw away the previous work.
When a new major version of Drupal hit beta, I would start over again to learn the new features and show off my latest abilities. Again and again, I started fresh. I would try a "headless" or "decoupled" approach. Next, it would be a progressive web app. Then, decoupled Drupal with Gatsby.
The years went by and many new versions were born, partially developed, and then deleted. My availability to work on a side project continuously diminished as I took on new roles and responsibilities in life and work. Time saw me become a business owner, open-source developer, husband, father, speaker, conference organizer, and trainer. Where would I find the time to prioritize the development of a state-of-the-art blogging platform? I never would, and it was clear that I needed to move on from that idea if I ever wanted to have a place on the web to distribute my thoughts and to store solutions to problems I had solved.
I didn't need to build something major to showcase my latest and greatest. I could try out new techniques and blog about them. I could showcase my latest abilities in posts, not in building the platform itself. I wouldn't have the time to build something from the ground up, or maintain it after. I needed to find an already working solution so that I could simply start sharing.
In a coincidence of timing, a colleague mentioned Hashnode, a blogging platform built with developers in mind. This was my first time hearing of it so I gave it a try. It allowed me to use my own domain and maintain ownership of my content while utilizing a cutting-edge publishing platform that I did not need to build, host, or maintain. It took very little effort to get up and running and the authoring experience was clean and simple. It quickly proved to be a satisfying solution to my blogging needs.
So, here it is. My blog, version 1.0, and it's live on the internet. It doesn't run on a single line of code written by me, but it doesn't need to. The real value will come from the content that I can now share, whenever I want, starting today.