A step by step approach

One thing that has long been a goal of mine has been setting up a personal website of my own. Before I started at FlatIron, I had tried to take the time to build out my blog with Jekyll RB but never got very far learning on my own. For me this is a dual purpose, to learn the individual aspects beyond development, and to provide a personal hub on the internet. It seems like most developers you see maintain some sort of personal site if only to maintain some ownership of their online presence. In the past, I had worked with static site generators, but I wanted to design a site from (mostly) scratch to deployment using the best practices and adhering to modern DevOps principles.

Due to their nature developer bootcamps cannot possibly teach every step in launching and maintaining a website. Most bootcamps only last a few months and are focused on getting you to a point where you can be a productive member of a team. All of this means the focus is generally on learning the latest language features, writing clean, consistent code, and developer tooling. Of course, this leaves many topics not discussed, something that those of us who have graduated from bootcamps must learn elsewhere.

It’s not that the teachers didn’t care; instead, they acknowledged for many of the students graduating promptly and finding new work was the goal; taking more time to learn about publishing could distract from that goal. Instead, the focus was on blogging, usually published on Medium. At FlatIron, the big unofficial push to publish our work was put together by students and focused on publishing our portfolio projects. Few of us took the time to put together personal blogs, and most weren’t much more involved than themes with links to those projects. Every bootcamp graduate knows there’s a lot more learn and the steps in publishing a website provide a clear path for future learning.

So this is where I’ve found myself for over a year after I graduated and started work, several blog posts, an incredibly simple themed blog, and a desire to do a lot more. That’s why I’m redoing everything with the aim to document the steps along the way. I hope that this provides a clear path for anyone either learning on their own or a bootcamp graduate looking to learn more. I’ll be going through recreating my blog based on the principles of the 12 Factor App using current security and DevOps best practices. Consider this the inaugural post in a series on putting all the disparate parts of web development together.