Several years ago, I set out to put all of the web development skills I had acquired at the time into building a personal portfolio website from scratch. And to coincide with my twentieth birthday, on March 14, 2017, it was launched. At the time, I was happy with it. I was proud of it. It was my baby. By the end of that year, I had already started on a new website.
Things change. Science evolves, tastes turn sour, and best practices become better or worse. I started feeling like I was falling behind. One of my goals for the website was for it to be a learning experience - a playground to try new things in. As a side effect, it also became a showcase of what I was capable of. Because of that, I saw it as a reflection of my abilities, but it wasn’t showing enough. My skillset grew, but my website failed to demonstrate that. Not to mention the simplistic design.
I didn’t hate the design. By no means was it great, but I am not a designer; I knew that and still do. I mean, it had plenty of whitespace, so at least it looked modern, right? Here’s the thing: I didn’t hate it. But as time went on - as I spent more time looking at it - I began to. I kept thinking it could have been so much more. Not necessarily better, but more. Eventually, I just decided it was time to try again.
Then 2020 came along and the redesign had not launched. Neither did the second redesign. Nor the third. Now that I have started on the fourth attempt of redesigning my website, I decided that it’s been way too long. So I spent some time looking into solutions for quickly getting a website up. Originally I was thinking of using Wordpress. Between work and side projects, I had enough experience to be comfortable with it. But I decided that the editing experience wasn’t for me. Instead, I settled on using a static site generator, specifically Jekyll. I have also heard of and considered Hugo, but I had some second-hand experience with Jekyll whereas my experience with Hugo was more third- or fourth-hand. The goal of this post is not to review one or the other. Rather, I just wanted to reflect on these past three years and explain what the plan is from here.
What you see now is temporary. Of course, temporary is relative - it could mean a few weeks, a few years, or until the collapse of the internet. But my goal is to continue working on v5 of quangdao.com. I also want to start blogging more. When I had originally launched quangdao.com, I was enthusiastic about posting to my blog regularly. That blog made it to three posts, one of which was three months later and was originally written for my company’s blog. I’m hoping that a fresh start and the extra free time I have would encourage me to write more, between the time I spend on v5, of course. Hopefully, if everything goes well, this won’t be the last you hear from me 😉