Web Site Live For Realz!!!

Published: June 4, 2024

This web site has been in the making for over a decade, maybe two. I have been wanting to do this during that time and have made many attempts using the latest blogging thing at the moment. It did end up being a learning experience each time with my focus on the technical aspects of making this site versus, you know, writing something. It is different this time around.

Why Is It Different Now?

I have a new motivation, I recently lost my job. This has given me some "free" time. These days I prefer spending my free time with the family, relaxing, or in other mundane pursuits like mowing the lawn rather than giving my life in full to writing code and burning out. The current job market is not very good and the interview process, when you can get an interview, has turned every company into a FAANG company. Instead of asking questions like how many manhole covers are there in the United States or you have three bags of gold and one bag has fake gold, which one is fake, to timed exercises to implement an image blurring algorithm, find the largest common prefix, or given a set of move instructions on a grid determine if there is a cycle. One tech assessment was a writing a text based game of Tetris. What is going on?

It is now obvious that I need to practice like I am studying for school exams. I need to study questions you would find on sites like LeetCode or HackerRank so I have solutions to these types of problem top of mind when taking that next timed assessment. In addition, I have to be a good little developer and work on side projects in order to demonstrate some level of competence. So for now, this web site needs to serve as a resume, referencing my projects on GitHub, writing technical articles to demonstrate I can write on topics that are relevant to developing software. It does not matter that I have 27 years of experience writing software, racking servers, drilling holes in walls to run network cables, to using the cloud. Nope, I need to LeetCode before I am even considered. Heck, before that I have to get through AI resume submission process, which is another problem.

Bring It Back to the Topic Dude

This site at this domain has been available for a number of years. I started with Hugo, then MetalSmith, then 11ty, then went live with VuePress. After some initial work on the Reference section I did not touch the site until now. VuePress was old, replaced with VitePress. VuePress was nice in that it provided the structure of the site allowing you to focus on the content. However, I now wanted to build that all myself for the learning experience using Tailwind CSS and 11ty. And that is how this site got going again. I have done enough work on the site structure for now that I can focus on the content. I still have some things I would like to implement such as dark mode and site search. I am keeping my wish list as Issues in the repo of this site.

The Learning Experience

It has been a fun ride and has really gotten my joy for coding back to levels from the old days. I have learned the following creating this iteration of the web site:

  • How 11ty works and how to customize it.
  • How to configure Tailwind CSS and use for responsive design and transitions.
  • How to use AlpineJS to create a responsive design along with Tailwind CSS.
  • Learn about web fonts and incorporated a few into this site.
  • Learning Font Awesome and the differences between icons as web fonts and SVG.

Final Thoughts

I had fun getting this web site up and running for real real. Learned some tools such as Tailwind CSS and AlpineJS which I plan on using more extensively along with HTMX for web application projects I have planned next. I will write about those experiences here and add new features to the site. Hopefully this work demonstrates I can do more than mow the lawn. I hope I find a job or create one soon.

Seems like an old dog can learn new tricks!