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Hello 'Real' World

4th July, 2018

Introduction

The idea in creating this blog is that I can record the development of myself as a programmer in the world.

Considering I completed university only a few weeks ago, Hello ‘Real’ World seems like a suitable title for my first post on this blog. Up until now I have been a full time student at Waikato University studying a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Computer Science.

As with any long time goal, finishing it brings on a range of emotions. I’m greatly relieved to not have to continue any math based courses and instead focus on things that I am more passionate about such as Fullstack development and the latest Javascript technologies.

Javascript technologies which for instance can create a fast, responsive portfolio and personal blog in little time while still giving you 100% control.

Portfolio

Having just finished university, I wanted a portfolio up and running quickly to display my projects and skills to employers. I decided to go with React because of my previous experience. The plan was to make it as to the point as possible, hence the simplistic design of both the portfolio and this personal blog. Although I could have gone with a css framework such as Skeleton, I ended up just writing the css myself.

If you haven’t used a web application platform like Angular, React or Vue before I would highly recommend it as a module/component based approach to web development speeds up the process significantly.

I also decided to use EmailJS for the contact page (as the portfolio is entirely frontend) and Font Awesome to create a more aesthetic apparence.

With a minimal portfolio created I was now ready to deloy it for the world to see. I uploaded it to Heroku and sent my family a link. Although Heroku provides ssl for its own domain, any custom domain costs extra money to provide ssl and the first response I happened to read was from my brother saying he doesn’t trust any website without ssl.

This is when I was introduced to Firebase, a fast, responsive web host by Google that provides ssl for free.

Blog

Wanting to keep with the simple design of the portfolio, I wanted a lightweight blog CMS which still gave me 100% control in the hosting and theme. After some researching, I managed to find the perfect solution, Hexo.

In only two days I had created a theme incorperating all of the styles from the portfolio. I then hosted it once again using Firebase.

Life

I have quickly realized that without a job and without any study obligations, I still need to work to continue to develop as both a person and a programmer. Thankfully I am undertaking some web development as a freelancer and have these types of personal projects to fill my time with.

This has also caused me to start reading more, even if I’m already confident in my ability to use that technology I often find myself learning new, interesting ways of solving problems.

Thank you all for reading.

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