The Next iteration: How I built my new blog

December 14, 2021

Photo by Kieran White

Over two years ago, I built a new blog with Gatsby and moved my content off Medium to have more control over the experience. Since, I've published over 20 new blog posts and felt like now was the right time to revisit the overall experience of this blog.

I haven't published as frequently this past year because of a focus on the Practical Abstract Syntax Tree course and then the next iteration of this blog. Now that the course and blog are released, I wanted to share a bit about how it's built.

Motivations

As with most projects, I had a few motivations for rebuilding this blog.

  • Design & experience: the biggest motivation was updating the overall look and feel. The existing design used many colors and gradients, but it started to feel dated and distracted from the core content. It was also static, which most blogs are by nature, but I wanted to make it a more dynamic and interesting experience.
  • Content updates: on top of the design and experience, I also wanted to refresh some of the content. The previous iteration included podcast episodes, YouTube videos, and recently read books. I haven't been actively maintaining nor creating these types of content so I wanted to remove them (for now at least). This focuses the blog on the content that I'm actively maintaining and creating: blog posts, a course, and open source projects.
  • Learning: the final motivation was trying to learn some new technologies and patterns. The biggest were Nextjs, vanilla-extract, generative illustrations, and several others covered below.

Previous iteration

Before digging into the details, you can see the result for yourself. You're viewing the next iteration of this blog right now!

If you hadn't visited the previous iteration of this blog, here's a screenshot below to compare. Or, play around with the previous iteration on the internet archive.