Why Gatsby

Begin - Art by Danielle Macinnes

At the beginning of the year I set two tasks for myself. First, work towards an AWS certification. If all goes well in the next few weeks that will be achieved. Secondly, develop my front-end programming skills. Most of my career has been focused on operations and devops. Over the years, as technology evolves, one has to adapt. To that end what one would call a full stack developer has been my ambition of late. Decades of real world production experience building, support and managing some of the largest IT initiatives in Canada is now coupled with new world skills.

When I started to look at front end frameworks React seemed an obvious one to start with. From there I moved on to Gatsby and for most projects lately it's been my go to technology.

This is a very brief "hello world" post, developed with Gatsby and Markdown. I'll be adding tags and search functionality in the short term. I'm using this site as a portfolio and will add features that reflect various skills over time. I'll be back!!

The Technology

  1. Gatsby: A React based open-source framework for creating websites and apps. Gatsby is a static site generator which generates HTML during a build process. Gatsby loads JSON from GraphQL and merges that data with page templates. The pages are then deployed to a CDN. Removing the need for server side rending and delivering pre compiled static source removes a layer of dependence and eliminates the need for a back end server. Gatsby supports

  2. Markdown: Markdown is a markup language for creating formatted text using a plain-text editor. Instead of using a CMS (content management system) like Wordpress, Ghost, ButterCMS or Contentful I decided to use Markdown. Markdown is more than adequate for my needs. With markdown, my content is maintained with the source code and statically built during deployment.

  3. AWS Amplify: Amplify is a set of tools and services provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS). Integration with Github or CodeCommit allows you to deploy sites or applications on commit/pull request, with the option of pull request previews. With Amplify, you can configure back end services such as storage, APIs, authentication etc. Given I've spent a fair amount of time in AWS preparing for my certification exams using an AWS service was a natural choice. I will be preparing some blog posts on using Amplify and S3/Cloudfront as static site hosts. This site is hosted on Amplify and builds automatically when I update the Github repo with a post.

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